Investigators are waiting for results from lab tests and an ongoing investigation before determining whether to file charges in a crash last week that killed two pedestrians crossing Larpenteur Avenue in Roseville.
“There are a lot of complexities to this case,” said Roseville Police Deputy Chief Erika Scheider. Any charges filed will “depend on the final reports, and that could take a couple of months.”
Meanwhile, investigators are also waiting for test results related to the second driver believed to have struck Meridith Aikens as she lay on Larpenteur Avenue. On Saturday, police arrested a 61-year-old man who was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol attempting to drive away from a bar in St. Paul.
The man was booked into the Ramsey County jail but has been released from custody.
Some of the evidence was outlined in a search warrant police obtained after the Jan. 3 crash that killed Robert Blake Buxton, 47, and Aikens, 45, both of Roseville.
They were hit by a pickup driven by John Michael Rickey about 5:45 p.m. near the intersection of Larpenteur and Woodbridge Court. Rickey stopped at the scene and was cooperative with police, but a second vehicle that hit Aikens in the westbound lanes fled the scene, police said.
The driver of the second vehicle, a 61-year-old man from Roseville, was arrested two days later.
According to the search warrant filed in Ramsey County District Court, Rickey called a relative from the scene and officers overheard him say that he had “two drinks.” Officers also noted that his eyes were “bloodshot and watery,” and that Rickey, 72, admitted that he had consumed two drinks at Dean’s Bar on Rice Street before the crash.
Officers took Rickey to the Roseville Police station for further questioning and obtained the warrant to draw his blood for testing.
“There were indications that he had been drinking, but we don’t know to what level,” Scheider said. “As we talked to him we learned more.”
A blood sample was submitted to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for testing. Investigators also are waiting results of DNA testing conducted on Rickey’s 2011 GMC Sierra.
The deaths come during a dangerous week for pedestrians in the Twin Cities. A 30-year-old driver turned herself in after the Saturday evening crash in Inver Grove Heights that killed Haimanot Gebremedhin, 55. Last Friday, Zahra Mohamed, 19, of St. Paul, died after being hit near the intersection of McKnight Road N. and Burns Avenue in St. Paul. The other victim, Hanan Farah, 22, is expected to survive. On Tuesday night, two pedestrians were struck in Eden Prairie crossing Westgate Drive at Eden Prairie Road. Both were injured but expected to survive. The driver of the vehicle was cooperative and not intoxicated, police said.