A 27-year-old driving with an instruction permit during a New Year’s Eve liquor run was speeding when she fatally hit a woman in north Minneapolis and fled after the victim’s body smashed the windshield, according to authorities.
Donella S. Day, of Minneapolis, was charged Monday in Hennepin County District Court with criminal-vehicular homicide and remains jailed in lieu of $150,000 bail ahead of a court appearance Tuesday afternoon.
Day was arrested and her car was recovered in her garage on Sunday, several days after she allegedly hit 37-year-old Aisha Freels about 9:20 p.m. on Thursday as the victim was crossing in the middle of the 3900 block of Lyndale Avenue N. outside her home toward a waiting cab. She was declared dead at the scene.
At the time of the crash, Day was driving with a learner’s permit, also called an instruction permit, according to the state Department of Public Safety, meaning there must be a licensed adult motorist in the front seat accompanying the person behind the wheel. The criminal complaint against Day makes no mention of anyone in the vehicle with her, and police have only mentioned Day as being in the car.
According to the complaint:
The cabdriver told police that he saw the car traveling about 45 miles per hour and hitting Freels, sending her body onto the hood and smashing into the windshield. The speed limit at that point on Lyndale is 30 mph.
Police, who noted that tips to authorities proved valuable in their investigation, found Day as well as the damaged car in the garage of her home, located a little more than a mile from the crash scene.
Day told officers that she went to a liquor store and was on her way to a friend’s house when “she saw a woman in the street. … The next thing she noticed was glass in her [own] face.”
Freels, a mother of four, was a hairstylist who frequently braided, cut and sculpted relatives’ hair. She also did the hair of several former Vikings players, including Randy Moss, a family member said.
She graduated from Minneapolis North High School and studied at the University of Phoenix, according to her Facebook page.