MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Eighteen-year-old Andrew Dudley was just a month away from graduating from St. Louis Park High School, but an accident on Shady Oak Road in Minnetonka Wednesday night changed those plans.
A car hit and killed Dudley while he was on his bike, just moments after pulling out of the parking lot at his church, Cross of Glory.
Minnetonka police said Dudley pulled into the southbound lanes going north. A car hit him, and Dudley flew onto the windshield. He fell off the car, landed in the intersection and died there.
Justin Jeppesen, Dudley’s youth pastor, said the incident is a “tragic reminder” of how short life is.
He said Dudley had an infectious smile and was devoted to his religion.
“It was just a blessing to come alongside him in his life and celebrate with him,” Jeppesen said.
Dudley was a regular at Cross of Glory’s Wednesday night youth group services. He and other high school students would pray, worship and get to know each other.
Jeppesen remembers the last thing he said to Dudley.
“I had given him a high-five and said, ‘I’ll see you on Sunday,'” Jeppesen said. “And he left.”
He never thought it would be the last time he’d see his friend alive. Other youth staff heard the crash and saw Dudley on the ground.
“I called 911 and ran and joined up with them to be with Andrew,” Jeppesen said.
Minnetonka police called the crash a tragic accident. They don’t believe the female driver will be charged.
After graduating, Dudley planned go to business school at a Twin Cities community college. He wanted to open a skateboard shop, because he loved to skateboard.
Counselors were on hand Thursday for students, teachers and school staff.
Principal Robert Metz said the school is doing its best to assist students through the tragedy.
Jeppesen is leaving on his religion and the community it provides to cope with Dudley’s death.
“It’s hard to even know what to think, to even process it,” Jeppesen said. “I’m still in shock.”