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Hecker is released from hospital

  • Star Tribune
  • December 5, 2008 - 8:09 PM

Struggling auto dealership owner Denny Hecker left a suburban hospital Friday afternoon, two days after his SUV went off a west-metro are road and struck a utility pole.

Hecker, 56, checked out of North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, a hospital spokesman said. He crashed his 2008 Range Rover in Plymouth on County Road 6, west of Hwy. 101, about 8:15 p.m. Wednesday. He was alone at the time.

Police have declined to answer questions about whether Hecker was tested for drugs or alcohol, or whether he was wearing his seat belt. No citation has been issued, and the crash remains under investigation.

The downed utility pole meant some homes in the area were without electricity for a few hours.

Hecker attorney Tim Thornton said Hecker was heading home from his headquarters near Hwy. 169 and Interstate 394 when the crash occurred. He was about a block from his home.

Last month, Hecker closed six of his Twin Cities dealerships: in Roseville, Blaine, Forest Lake, Monticello, Shakopee and Stillwater. About 400 workers lost their jobs.

Prior to the closings, he operated 18 dealerships in Minnesota and three in California. In addition to the closings, he has sold three dealerships -- two in Minnesota and one in California -- leaving him with 10 dealerships in Minnesota and two in California.

Hecker's problems have been compounded by other recent financial and legal troubles. Chrysler Financial shut off the dealer's credit lines. He then sued Chrysler Financial, saying it damaged his business.

Since then, General Motors sued in U.S. District Court to prevent Hecker from selling Hyundai vehicles at his Southview Chevrolet dealership in Inver Grove Heights.

PAUL WALSH

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