Delivery driver charged for hitting and killing woman walking in Hopkins

Tuesday,

A Minnetonka man has been charged for striking and killing a female pedestrian with his vehicle in Hopkins, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Cole Venables, 28, was charged with criminal vehicular homicide for operating the vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance. Venables was working as a delivery driver for a pizza restaurant at the time when he hit and killed 26-year-old Olivia DeMeuse of Hopkins.

Venables will make his first court appearance April 20 at 1:30 p.m.

According to the criminal complaint, on April 16 at 6:55 p.m., Hopkins Police responded to a vehicle crash with reports of an injury at Mainstreet and 15th Avenue South in Hopkins. When police arrived, they found Venables and the white Dodge Charger he was driving when he fell asleep and crashed, causing damage to the front of the vehicle.

The pizza restaurant insignia on Venables’ shirt and on a sign affixed atop of the vehicle indicated he was working as a delivery driver for that restaurant when he struck DeMeuse. She was found partially underneath the vehicle, and was pronounced dead on the scene shortly after police arrived.

A witness told police she saw the Charger jump a curb, hit a light pole, and run over DeMeuse who was walking on the sidewalk. Another witness stated the vehicle swerved before striking the light pole. The witness further mentioned  that when she made contact with Venables, she believed he was intoxicated due to slurred speech and him physically shaking, the complaint says.

In a statement to police, Venables informed them that he fell asleep while driving on Mainstreet. He also admitted to taking prescription medication and illegally purchased pills before his shift. His manager also asked him to go home early from his shift since he was “too tired,” the complaint continues.

A search warrant to take some of Venables blood was obtained and executed, and toxicology testing is still on-going, the complaint says.

In July 2016, Venables was convicted of fourth-degree driving while impaired for an incident that happened in November 2015.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)