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Charge filed in Cottage Grove bike hit-and-run

As a teen boy recovers from injuries sustained in a hit-and-run, the driver has been charged with fleeing the accident scene.

Tylor Christiansen, 13, was on his bicycle attempting to cross Hinton Avenue at 79th Street in Cottage Grove last month when he was hit by a sport-utility vehicle driven by Daryl W. Moenke, 80, who lives near the intersection. Moenke faces a gross-misdemeanor charge due to the severity of Christiansen’s injuries.

According to the Washington County District Court complaint summons:

Christiansen was trying to cross Hinton Avenue, near Crestview Elementary School, on his bike shortly before 5 p.m. May 6. A friend walked across the street ahead of him. When Christiansen got to the northbound lanes, Moenke’s vehicle hit him.

Witnesses said Moenke had slowed down for the pedestrian but then accelerated and struck Christiansen. The boy was thrown from his bike and Moenke’s vehicle dragged the bike 79 feet, police determined.

Kids at the scene told police that Moenke stopped his vehicle, got out and said Christiansen was in the middle of the road. Moenke then returned to his vehicle and drove away.

A police officer driving through a nearby neighborhood looking for the suspect’s vehicle saw a man later identified as Moenke standing in a Hinton Park Avenue driveway. A vehicle matching the description in the garage.

Moenke told police in an interview that he was driving home to watch “Jeopardy” when he slowed to allow a pedestrian to cross the street, and then he sped up. That’s when a bicyclist “shot out” from the left side of the road and his his truck.

Moenke said he was told by the kids that Christiansen was fine and he should leave.

Moenke told police it was “stupid of him” to leave the scene and that he did not know whether the victim was injured, according to the complaint. Moenke said he had talked on the phone with his daughter shortly after the crash and she encouraged him to speak with police.

Moenke was charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury accident. The maximum penalty is a $3,000 fine and a one-year prison sentence.

Christiansen’s mother, Lisa, said her son is doing OK after the crash. His right tibia and fibula were broken and there was a hairline fracture in his ankle, she said. His leg was placed in a cast for six weeks.

The boy also suffered a concussion, his mother said. He was not wearing a helmet.

After the crash, Christiansen was given a free bike from the local Walmart store, his mother said. A helmet came with it.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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