Charles R. Betts walked everywhere. Early Monday, he apparently was walking to one of his favorite restaurants for an early-bird breakfast when he was fatally struck by a vehicle at a Roseville intersection.
Betts, 79, was hit shortly after 5 a.m. and later died after he ran against a red light and into the intersection at Snelling Avenue and County Road B near the HarMar Mall, according to authorities.
A police officer on his way to work and others stopped and tried to save Betts as he lay injured in the street, with some using their vehicles as barriers. Betts died after he was taken to Regions Hospital, police said.
Betts, who was originally from New York, according to his family, lived just west of Snelling, said Lt. Lorne Rosand, a Roseville police spokesman.
Betts walked everywhere because he did not have a car. His ex-wife, Margaret Betts, said Monday that he was probably going to or from the nearby Perkins restaurant, where he liked to eat breakfast.
"Usually he walks across busy streets so that really kind of amazed me," she said, wondering why he ran against the light. She added that he may have been confused or distracted and did not see the oncoming vehicle.
According to police:
Traffic on southbound Snelling was traveling about 45 miles per hour heading toward the green light at County Road B. Betts ran from the east side of Snelling into the intersection and was hit.
The driver, a 39-year-old St. Paul man, was questioned and released at the scene. He was cooperating, and neither excessive speed nor driver impairment were considered factors in the crash.