3 people struck in hit and run near U of M, 1 critical

10:05 PM, Apr 15, 2011   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

MINNEAPOLIS -- Police are looking for the driver who hit three University of Minnesota students early Friday morning in Dinkytown leaving one student critically injured.

The group of students were walking on the sidewalk around 2 a.m. near 5th Street SE and 12th Avenue SE when a car traveling the wrong way down a one-way street hit them.

"It happened so fast that you don't even really know what happened," said Joe Bailin, who was walking with his girlfriend, Katelynn Hanson, and friend, Sarah Bagley, when the car jumped the curb and started coming toward them.

"There was some sort of noise behind us and caught our attention.  And I remember just turning around and looking and seeing, and all you could see was headlights," Hanson said on Friday from her parents' home in White Bear Lake.

Bailin escaped injury, and Hanson is expected to fully recover from bruising and soreness.  Bagley remains in satisfactory condition at Hennepin County Medical Center.  But a third victim -- who was not a part of the first group struck -- is far more seriously injured.

Benjamin Van Handel, 23, of Appleton, Wisconsin, is in critical condition at the Hennepin County Medical Center. 

Van Handel's family said in a statement that Benjamin has a severe brain injury and several broken bones.

He is a senior majoring in economics and set to graduate next month.

Friends and family of both Van Handel and Bagley say they're praying for their full recovery. 

"I'm devastated, but now that I know she's okay," Sarah's boyfriend Caleb Larson told KARE 11. "I'm pretty angry."

The suspect vehicle is described as an early-2000's white Toyota sedan, likely either a Camry or Solara. It likely has front end damage.  Anyone with information about the driver or the car is asked to call police.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

Most Watched Videos