The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

June 14, 2014

Vehicle data sought in hit-and-run

Suspect's car found in Mankato after crash

MANKATO — Troopers are continuing their investigation of an alleged hit-and-run on Highway 169 involving a car and a motorcycle.

A State Patrol investigator's request to download information from a computer in the suspect's car was approved last week. The car was found in Mankato after the crash was reported at about 5:10 p.m. June 4. Troopers suspect the car was being driven by Shannon Marie Willey, 37, of Belle Plaine, at the time of the crash.

A witness reported she was traveling south on the highway when she saw the motorcycle traveling below the speed limit in the right lane with its emergency flashers on. Investigators later learned the motorcycle's driver, 25-year-old Alexander McGinnis of Bloomington, had lost a pair of sunglasses and was driving slowly because he was looking for them north of St. Peter.

The witness, identified in the search warrant request as Devan Maday, estimated McGinnis' speed was between 50 and 55 mph. She said she moved to the right lane to pass and left room for Willey to pass as well. Willey didn't move to the right, however, and bumped the back of the motorcycle, Maday reported.

McGinnis lost control of his 2012 Harley Davidson and crashed, resulting in injuries to himself and his passenger, 26-year-old Claire Oman of Bloomington. Both were taken to the hospital in Mankato to be treated for injuries that were not life threatening.

Willey allegedly left the scene. Troopers were able to identify the owner of the 1998 Pontiac Grand Am that she was driving and an officer at the Belle Plaine Police Department contacted that person. The officer reported he was told Willey had used the car to take her 12-year-old son to a baseball game in Mankato.

Troopers attempted to call Willey, but she didn't answer her phone. An attorney representing her called the State Patrol offices in Mankato later and told troopers the car had been left in Mankato after the crash. The car was located and towed to an impound lot, the search warrant request said.

The trooper requesting the search warrant, Sgt. Dan Anderson, said he wanted to download information from the car's sensing and diagnostic module. The module recorded data about the car's speed, braking and engine RPMs, Anderson said.

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