Driver charged in Bloomington hit-and-run crash that killed teen, injured sister

A car heavily damaged in a crash
Bloomington police say the driver of this car struck two teenage siblings — killing one of them — along a street in the city on Friday, and then fled the scene. The car is pictured at the scene of a second crash that happened a short time later near the Mall of America. The driver, who faces a criminal vehicular homicide charge, was identified at 27-year-old Mikala Ness of Oakdale.
Bloomington Police Department

A 27-year-old Oakdale woman is facing criminal vehicular homicide and hit-and-run charges after allegedly striking a brother and sister crossing a Bloomington street on Friday evening.

Mikala Ness is expected to be arraigned in Hennepin County District Court on Tuesday afternoon.

A mug shot of a woman.
Mikala Ness.
Bloomington Police Department

According to the criminal complaint, police were initially called shortly after 6 p.m. Friday to 78th Street, about a quarter-mile from the Bloomington Walmart, where two teens had been walking home from the store — reportedly in a traffic lane because the sidewalk was snow-covered.

Witnesses said a car speeding east on the Interstate 494 frontage road hit 17-year-old Donald Gayton Jr. and his 14-year-old sister Tamya and fled eastward. Donald suffered a fatal head injury in the crash. His sister was hospitalized.

According to the criminal complaint, police found car parts and a license plate registered to Ness at the scene of the crash, and soon got a report of another crash, near the Mall of America. They found Ness there, her car badly damaged.

Police reports say Ness had gotten out of the car at the scene of the second crash, and told a passerby that she believed she’d just hit and killed someone. Ness allegedly told police she’d been drinking at a holiday party, but didn’t remember where. She also failed field sobriety tests, and a preliminary breath test found her blood alcohol level to be 0.13, well over the legal limit.

Family members of Donald and Tamya were among those who gathered at a vigil at the scene of the crash on Monday evening, and Richfield Public Schools said they were prepared to offer emotional support to classmates of the siblings.

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