Driver who hit Elyse Stern charged with felony hit and run, but not homicide
Pulled over after hitting Stern, Hernandez-Campoceco told police: "I hit a person, I'm not going to lie to you, I hit a person."
The driver who struck and killed 28-year-old Elyse Stern while she biked through the intersection of East Lake Street and Cedar Avenue South early Saturday morning has been charged with a felony hit-and-run count and DWI, but not criminal vehicular homicide.
As the criminal complain explains it, an intoxicated 27-year-old Juan Ricardo Hernandez-Campoceco was driving through the intersection westbound on Lake Street when Stern tried to pass through the intersection in front of him. But Hernandez-Campoceco didn't see her and struck her with enough force to put a basketball-sized hole in his windshield. He then drove away from the scene before he was pulled over after an officer noticed his vehicle had massive front-end damage.
Stern wasn't wearing a helmet and her bike had no lights.
The criminal complaint explains in full detail:
The Star Tribune provides some biographical details about Stern:
Elyse Mary Stern was a beloved figure in Minneapolis' outdoor puppetry scene, having performed for In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre and the Bedlam Theatre in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. She also played clarinet and drums with BareBones Productions, a puppetry group that hosts an outdoor Halloween show.
"She is just sort of unlike anyone you've ever met, more loved than anyone I've ever met," said friend Betsy Burr. "This is so devastating to so many people."
Burr and Stern were part of a group of nine apparel designers who put on a fashion show called the "Fashion Sabbath" in 2009 at the Bedlam. Stern was also part of the army of creative bicyclists behind the annual Mayday Parade in the Powderhorn neighborhood. Stern, a waitress, rode her bike everywhere year-round, Burr said.
Stern was a regular at the Seward Cafe, and yesterday there was a donation jar set up there in her name.
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