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Van driver is jailed after Minneapolis pedestrian is killed

  • Article by: JOY POWELL
  • Star Tribune
  • April 26, 2014 - 7:07 PM

A driver on probation for a traffic offense was jailed Saturday on suspicion of criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the Friday night death of a Minneapolis mail handler.

Charles R. Lord, 65, died at North Memorial Medical Center at 1:39 a.m. Saturday — 3½ hours after the accident at W. Broadway and Logan Avenue N., according to the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office.

A 32-year-old suspect ran away from the scene after Lord was run over on a sidewalk and the van ran into a building shortly after 10 p.m. Friday, police said.

The driver was facing three months in the workhouse if he had any offenses similar to last year, when he was arrested on suspicion of speeding and driving without insurance or a driver’s license, according to court records. He had pleaded guilty to failing to “drive with due care” when caught driving at a speed greater than was reasonable under road conditions, state records show.

Police are uncertain where the suspect has been living. The Star Tribune generally does not name suspects before they are charged.

Lord, who worked part time at the main post office in downtown Minneapolis, was about to rent a bicycle from Nice Ride, the Twin Cities bike-sharing system, to ride to work when he was hit by the van, said his brother, Brian Lord of St. Louis Park.

Police were called to the scene at 10:10 p.m. Friday. Several people witnessed the man get hit and dragged by the van, police said.

John Elder, a police spokesman, said it appears the van was headed west on Broadway when it hit a tree in the center median, jumped a curb, clipped a street sign and crossed a sidewalk.

The van hit Lord, a decorative streetlight and a bike stand and then smashed into the building’s exterior wall.

“Some of the witnesses were tending to the victim when officers arrived,” said Scott Seroka, another police spokesman.

That brought solace to Brian Lord, he said.

“It’s good to hear that people were trying to help my brother — that he was not just lying there alone until the EMTs got there,” he said. “It means an awful lot to me.”

Brian was two years older than Charles, a bachelor who never had children. With their parents dead, the brothers were the only two left in their family and got together every couple of weeks for dinner.

Charles Lord had been a taxi driver for years, his brother said. Semiretired after driving cabs, Charles Lord worked part time off and on for years at the post office until he was hired as a permanent employee on the night shift.

He grew up in Minneapolis, graduated from West High School and had taken American studies courses at the University of Minnesota for a few years, focusing on history and humanities. He wrote fiction, listened to Mozart and had a great sense of humor, his brother said.

Joy Powell • 612-673-7750

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