Dinkytown hit-and-run hospitalizes 3 U students

Two of the students were out late in Dinkytown celebrating acceptance into graduate school when a driver hit them and fled.
April 15, 2011

A car going the wrong way on Fifth Street Southeast fled after hitting three University of Minnesota students early Friday morning after they left the Kitty Cat Klub in Dinkytown.

At about 2 a.m., Joe Bailin, his girlfriend Katelynn Hanson and their friend Sarah Bagley were heading west toward Bailin’s apartment near the intersection of Fifth Street and 12th Avenue Southeast, when someone yelled. The group saw bright lights coming toward them on the sidewalk.

Seconds later, a car slammed into them, knocking all three to the ground. It continued down the block, hitting another pedestrian, Benjamin Van Handel, who was walking alone, into a telephone pole, according to Susan Hanson, Katelynn's mother. Bailin stood up to check on his girlfriend, but she was dazed and couldn’t get up, Bailin said.

Van Handel, also a University student, is in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center,  Minneapolis police Sgt. Steve McCarty said. An ambulance also brought Bagley, 22, and Katelynn Hanson, 21, to HCMC where Bagley remained Friday with family and friends.

“It’s surreal … until this happened it was an ordinary night,” Bailin said.

Susan Hanson picked up her daughter from HCMC Friday afternoon after the hospital did a CT scan of her head and ultrasound of her internal organs. “They said she’s going to be okay,” Susan Hanson said. “I feel upset — I hope they catch this person soon.”

Police are searching for a white Toyota Camry or Solara, built in the last decade, with front end damage, McCarty said.

While Katelynn Hanson left the hospital with bruised legs and soreness, Susan Hanson said Bagley chipped her tooth, cut her face on her glasses and may need knee surgery.

The students went out for drinks Thursday night to celebrate their acceptance into graduate architecture school. Katelynn Hanson and Bailin plan to attend San Diego’s NewSchool of Architecture and Design. Bagley plans to attend the University of Oregon.

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