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Accused Drunken Driver Pleads Guilty To Killing Pedestrian

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John Peterson pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide on March 15, 2011. (credit: Hennepin County)

John Peterson pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide on March 15, 2011. (credit: Hennepin County)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The driver accused of striking two pedestrians in Dinkytown last year, killing one of them, has pleaded guilty to all criminal counts against him.

The criminal complaint alleged John Peterson, 23, was more than twice the legal limit when the car he was driving hit two people.

University of Minnesota students Kandyce Stoffel and Travis Smith were walking in the roadway early the morning of Oct. 24, because the sidewalk was blocked for construction.

Stoffel, 23, sustained critical injuries in the incident, and later died at the hospital after her family removed her from life support.

Smith was also hospitalized, needing stitches in his arm. He was knocked unconscious when he was hit.

Investigators said Peterson blew a 0.164 in the preliminary breath test. Police also said that he had apparently wet his pants. A witness also told authorities that they had seen Peterson hit on Stoffel at a bar earlier that evening.

There was a third person walking with Stoffel and Smith, Brittany Baron. She said she saw a body go flying and the next thing she knew, her two friends were lying in the street.

Peterson pleaded guilty to four counts of criminal vehicular operation and two counts of criminal vehicular homicide.

His sentencing is scheduled for May 9.

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