Bicyclist killed by drunk driver in south Mpls, MPD says [UPDATE]

Categories: Bicycle, Crime
bikecrash1.jpg
Zach Nyhus on Facebook
The van involved in the fatal wreck can be seen in the foreground of this picture.
-- Update at bottom --

A bicyclist died after being stuck by a van near the intersection of Franklin Avenue and Harriet Avenue in south Minneapolis just before 10 p.m. last night.

SEE ALSO: Prosecutors: "Not enough evidence" to charge driver of car that stuck and killed biker with homicide

According to police, the as-of-yet-unidentified biker was headed west on Franklin a few blocks east of Lyndale Avenue when a westbound van hit him. The victim ended up pinned underneath the vehicle as it careened over a snowbank onto the sidewalk.

The biker was pronounced dead at the scene.

The van's driver, 49-year-old John Iverson, was arrested. Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder told us "alcohol appears to possibly be a factor."

Here's Iverson's mugshot:

JohnIverson.jpg

And here are a couple photos of the scene posted to Facebook, including one that appears to show the victim's bike:

bikecrash2.jpg
bikecrash3.jpg

Two hours later, that stretch of Franklin Avenue remained closed: We'll update this post with the victim's identity as soon as possible.

:::: UPDATE ::::

The MPD now says the victim was hit while biking down the street. (They originally said he was on the sidewalk.)

"His tail lamp and head lamps were illuminated," MPD spokesman Elder told us. "He was doing all the right things and for naught."

Elder said that through a recreation of the crash, investigators have determined the van allegedly driven by Iverson first veered and hit a parked car. Iverson then hit the biker before heading over the snowbank, into some commercial dumpsters, and down the sidewalk for a short stretch.

The victim was pinned underneath the van that whole time, Elder said. His identity still hasn't been released.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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122 comments
Jonathanminks
Jonathanminks

How do they let this jerk off with nothing? ... not enough to charge ? WTF ? A dead person isnt enough?

SosMpls
SosMpls

City Pages, was this Iverson's first offense? Some real reporting once in a while would be nice.  

Kirk Bednarchuk
Kirk Bednarchuk

Horrible hopefully that dirtbag sees lots of jail time

osirisnasnan
osirisnasnan

Any word on a critical mass memorial/awareness ride? Sad news...

Simon Helgeson
Simon Helgeson

It is absolutely ridiculous what drivers can get away with in their relationship with cyclists. Awful!

lynnbeuning
lynnbeuning

R.I.P. bicyclist  along with prayers to addicts and those who drink and drive.


Marc Spencer
Marc Spencer

Eddie are you kidding me, Eddie are you kidding me??

kezaezy
kezaezy

And just in case this point hasn't been made enough, don't fucking drive drunk!

Jeanne Griffin
Jeanne Griffin

Um, I drive a car and don't ride my bike in the winter, so there goes that. And as a decent human being (I see you can't identify) I gladly pay gas tax so my city can have safe roadways for both cars and bikes. You should really brush up on your learnin' before spouting your mouth because bicyclists pay road tax too. I feel bad for you. Quit now because you just look pathetic.

Eddie Lyndberg
Eddie Lyndberg

^ citiot loser! As far as "environmental concerns" The twin cities is the cleanest city in America, because we have no real manufacturing jobs here because of communists like you who are all for outsourcing. Here's an idea for you, look where the fuck you're going and have some damn situational awareness. You citiots are funny sometimes. Because you forget not everyone lives downtown/uptown. Talk about entitled.....you people have regard for cars, you just think everyone's going to see you and to will be peachy.

lonesomedrifter666
lonesomedrifter666

Maybe that lazy eye he has maybe had something to do with it. Also you maybe be able to avoid a cyclist on the street IF YOUR NOT DRUNK! Keep that in mind before blaming the cyclist.

Jeanne Griffin
Jeanne Griffin

What you're really saying is "Get out of my way. I have a car and you are insignificant on your bicycle." Fuck you, dude.

Jody Wynen
Jody Wynen

Alcohol is dangerous. And cannabis is illegal.

Nathan Delarwelle
Nathan Delarwelle

Sad, that driver needs to learn a lesson behind bars for life.

Eddie Lyndberg
Eddie Lyndberg

It's sad, but most of you city bicyclists are some of the mode clueless people out there. I see you guys running red lights all the time, and you make out traffic lanes dangerously narrow because of your lame ass bike lanes. If they would just do like they do in Amsterdam and build a separate path that is independent of both the street and sidewalk, there would be no problems. Because the traffic lanes would be normal sized.

mikejoewin
mikejoewin

Sad news.  I bike Mpls all the time, but people whom bike down Hennepin, Lyndale, or Franklin are asking for trouble from idiot motorists.  Take a side street.

Todd Dietrich
Todd Dietrich

He who lives in a glass house should not throw stones, just saying

Robbie Jenson
Robbie Jenson

Thanks Gillian ! I am, and I hope my friends are, too, but it still tears me up to know that someone isn't.

Louise
Louise

thoughts and love to the victim and family.  my heart aches for them.

sorry, but comments in regards to a sad story like this should be about love and support, not placing blame.  the world needs more love, especially in times like these.

Sarah Hausmann
Sarah Hausmann

Megan Brown. Thanks but no thanks. I certainly don't need you to apologize the the victim of a drunk driving accident for me, my husband, or anyone else I know who works in the service industry. Fairly certain that restaurants and bars all over the world serve alcohol. I don't know what circles you move in where drunk driving is considered a rite of passage. If you would like to offer condolences, by all means do so. But try to do it without offending a huge segment of our society whose job is literally to SERVE people. There is zero benefit to us for over serving anyone and we can be held legally responsible should they hurt themselves or someone else. It's a responsibility we take seriously. You are out of line.

tonia2458
tonia2458

Click the link it's a different story

kezaezy
kezaezy

1. Turns out cyclist wasn't riding on the sidewalk. 2. Punishment for cycling on sidewalk is NOT jumping curb and plowing down cyclist.

Citiot
Citiot

Reactionary dummy calls cyclists "entitled," thinks he is entitled to "his" roadway. Classic.


Also, this: "we have no real manufacturing jobs here because of communists like you who are all for outsourcing." You are very, very confused.

thfck
thfck

@Eddie Lyndberg If we were talking about a man who was killed because he was "stuck" driving a compact car and had been killed by a drunkard in a van, would you also advise him to reevaluate his priorities? Would you blame him for getting around in a way you find insignificant? Or if it had been a pedestrian walking on the sidewalk (which are maintained by all taxpayers, gas guzzling or not) would you also blame them? I will go ahead and guess yes, because they are "insignificant" and mere road hazards to car obsessed, ego-centric lunatics like yourself. The fault rests solely on the individual photographed above, a man who has no regard for the law nor respect for neighbors. You do not earn more rights to a public space because you buy more oil. That is not how living in a system and in a city works. 

bykwrench
bykwrench

Wow. You are an uninformed asshole. We ALL pay road tax regardless of what vehicle we drive. Get the facts straight before you rant about laws/practices you have NO idea about. 

jason.tanzman
jason.tanzman

As an FYI - only about 50% of the cost of roads are borne by "user taxes" (e.g. gas taxes, registration fees, etc) paid directly by people using roads; the other half comes from general fund money. So in reality, people who choose not to drive - such as bicyclists and pedestrians - are paying more than their share for roads.

youarefuckingdumb
youarefuckingdumb

Jody, you are so hot. Want to hang out with me and smoke some weed sometime? We can talk about current events and shit. 

rick.bernardi
rick.bernardi

When was the last time you read about a drunk cyclist killing some law-abiding driver?

You want to see clueless? Look in the mirror.

jason.tanzman
jason.tanzman

Wow - I actually, sort of, agree with an angry judgemental commenter. Bicyclists have been advocating for separate pathways that allow us to ride safely away from cars. That being said, we must be able to ride - as the law allows - on streets in traffic, because there will never be enough paths that we don't also need to ride on the streets. Bicycling is a viable transportation choice - we need to be able to ride without being killed by drunken killers.

ericj
ericj

@mikejoewin Side streets in the winter?  You might as well tell me that I belong riding over chunky ice in the parking lane.  Even in the summer... low visibility, a lot of stop signs and uncontrolled intersections, and then getting to those intersections with major streets where you can sit for ages waiting for a clearing.  Do I go 2+ blocks out of my way every time I need to cross a major street?  Is my time less valuable because I'm on a bike?  I ride the major streets all the time, especially in winter when they're the only ones that are clear.  Am I "asking for trouble"?  Way to blame the victim.  I should be able to ride any city street safely (and country ones, too).  Motorists need to take responsibility for the fact that they're putting other people at risk.

jason.tanzman
jason.tanzman

@mikejoewin I'd rather think about making Franklin Ave safer for bicyclists. Bike Walk Twin Cities commissioned a study/planning process on how to do this - there is space for bike lanes on Franklin, but planners and elected officials didn't deem bicycling a high enough priority. Bicyclists need to be able to safely use commercial streets, not just side streets.

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81

First I want to say I don't blame bar servers for what drunks do at all. When you serve somebody more than two or three drinks you have over served them though. I could go to ANY bar in the state right now and point out somebody that is being over served drinks. I think it's BS servers get blamed but if you really followed the law you would cut all your customers off after two or three drinks, of course you don't do that though or you would have no customers. lol

david.wrobleski
david.wrobleski

Hey everyone: I know there are very heated emotions here, but generalizing blame on all bikers/drivers/servers is just ignorance. When you start to give constructive solutions instead of ranting with no purpose, I'll start to listen.

How about more traffic signs on narrow roads that state bicyclists have the right to a full lane? This has been statistically proven to lower rates of accidents.

orangevening
orangevening

Actually the "bicyclists take full lane" are being phased out because they don't work. I personally will take the full lane if cars are not passing me with enough space.

bykwrench
bykwrench

@david.wrobleski  I agree. I'm just incredibly angry at the insensitivity being posted here. The driving test, behind the wheel classes and the exam all need to be updated. Every person who drives a car should know the cycling laws. Period. The state claims it's too expensive to update the manual/test material. Don't think road signs are a priority either. Drivers don't pay attention to most of them anyways. Plain and simple, we need education and awareness. The person killed was a brother, son, father, cousin, uncle, aunt. sister, mother of someone else. A human being was killed because some drunk jackass needed to drive somewhere. I hope he serves a long sentence.

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