Prosecutors say a Minneapolis driver had a blood-alcohol level of more than three times the legal limit when he struck and killed a bicyclist Monday. The Hennepin County Attorney's office has charged John Iverson, 49, with criminal vehicular homicide. County Attorney Mike Freeman called the incident "unnecessary and tragic."
"The streets in Minneapolis and elsewhere belong to pedestrians and bicyclists as well as cars," Freeman said at a news conference. "He was intoxicated, he was speeding, he ran over the bicyclist and then ran up onto the sidewalk and dragged him."
Witnesses told police that Iverson, who was heading west on Franklin Avenue, swerved his van toward the curb, struck 26-year-old Marcus Nalls and knocked him from his bicycle. The van ran him over Nalls - just blocks from his Lyndale Avenue apartment. His body was pinned under the van when police arrived.
Nalls was riding his bike westbound on Franklin Avenue near the intersection of Garfield Avenue South when he was hit from behind by the van, pushed over a snow bank, and trapped under the van for about a quarter of a block, police said.
Blunt force injuries in the collision killed Nalls, according to the medical examiner report released Thursday afternoon. He died at 9:51 p.m. Monday.
Witnesses also reported that Iverson continued down the street, where his van struck a parked vehicle, jumped the curb, veered down a sidewalk, and struck a garbage dumpster.
Officers said Iverson, whose eyes were bloodshot and watery, smelled of alcohol and admitted he had "too much" to drink, according to the criminal complaint. Iverson recorded a blood-alcohol level of 0.27 percent on a preliminary breath test. In Minnesota, the legal limit is 0.08. Toxicology results from a blood sample are pending. Iverson turned himself into police late Friday morning and is expected to make his first court appearance Monday.
A memorial bike ride to honor Nalls is scheduled for Saturday. Details here.