Witnesses have told police that a motorist who collided with a University of St. Thomas student riding a bike Saturday morning had the right of way.

The student, Evan Steeves, an electrical engineering major from Maple Grove, was not wearing a helmet and remains in critical condition, said Sgt. Mike Ernster, spokesman for the St. Paul police.

The collision occurred about 11:45 a.m. at the intersection of Cleveland and Jefferson avenues.

There were no signs that drugs, alcohol or speed were factors, Ernster said. The driver stopped at the scene and has been cooperating with the investigation.

According to witnesses, Ernster said, the driver had the right of way as he traveled north on Cleveland. Steeves was biking westbound on the sidewalk on the north side of Jefferson.

The driver told police it appeared that Steeves tried to slow down before the intersection but couldn’t, and the two collided, Ernster said.

The impact threw Steeves into the windshield, and the right side of his head took the impact, according to an entry written by his father, Mark Steeves, on the Caring Bridge website.

Mark Steeves wrote Sunday that his 21-year-old son had responded to ­doctor’s commands.

“On a positive note, the neurosurgeon called us on the phone when we arrived at the ICU last night and told us Evan had responded to commands. He gave a thumbs-up with his left hand and wiggled his toes when asked. The doctor saw this as very positive and called him a very strong young man,” the update read.

Steeves’ father added another update Sunday night: “He has had two CAT scans since his operation and both look good — meaning no changes in a negative direction … they are showing that the operation was successful in relieving the pressure on his brain allowing it to move back to a more normal position within the skull.

“Evan is still in critical condition, but he is opening his eyes when spoken to, nods his head, follows commands from the doctors and nurses … The doctors are looking at possibly removing his breathing tube tomorrow and are reconsidering a feeding tube that was planned for tonight.”