MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Police are investigating after a wrong-way driver struck three people on a sidewalk on the University of Minnesota campus early Friday.

Police said the incident happened at about 2 a.m. at Fifth Street Southeast and 12th Avenue in Minneapolis.

The driver was heading west down Fifth Street, a one-way stretch, and struck three people who were walking on the sidewalk.

Officers said none of the three pedestrians even saw the car coming before it ran into them.

One man, Ben Van Handel, was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center in critical condition. His family said he has a severe brain injury and multiple broken bones.

Van Handel’s family said he is an economics major at the ‘U’ and is set to graduate next month.

The other two pedestrians, both women, were also taken to HCMC but are expected to be alright.

Deb Bagley of Minneapolis said her 22-year-old daughter Sarah was one of the victims.

Sarah Bagley is a student at the U and was out with friends celebrating their upcoming graduation. They were on their way home when they were hit.

Deb Bagley said her daughter heard a car accelerating down the street. She said she doesn’t remember anything after that. She will have to have surgery on her knee because of the accident.

Police are looking for the driver, but say they don’t have a definitive description of the vehicle.

Homicide detectives are assisting in the investigation.

WCCO’s Edgar Linares Interviews Deb Bagley

WCCO’s Edgar Linares Interviews David Nelson

WCCO’s Edgar Linares Interviews Mallory Kumm

Comments (42)
  1. Mary says:

    This is one of the many reasons there should be cameras on all the streets so these people are caught.

    1. Ed says:

      I hope your not serious, cameras on all the streets? Really?

    2. We need cameras everywhere! says:

      We need cameras everywhere!

      1. Marcus Mayo says:

        Don’t worry, we’ll be living in a police state soon enough.

  2. Tigg says:

    Im wondering if the driver or perhaps the pedestrians were walking home from a party that was broken up by the Police near 6th Ave and 10th Street in a Sky Blue House?

  3. Tigg says:

    Excuse me, 6th Street and 10th.

  4. JoAnn Share says:

    No, they were not walking home from the party you reference. It was my nephew walking with two girls who were hit. I understand that there was actually a 4th person, a male, walking either in front or behind them, that was seriously injured. They were coming home from a bar after celebrating graduate school acceptances.

    1. Kelly Jo says:

      I am so sorry that your nephew was one of the students. I just called my nephew to make sure he was OK…I hope your nephew and the other 3 injured will be alright. Prayers going out to all of them

  5. l says:

    is it really necessary to have a photo of a victim being brought into an ambulance?

  6. KY says:

    Might work — but the damage has already been done too.
    Better idea – avoid the booze. In 58 years of living I have yet to have a car sneal up behind me …. especially on a sidewalk. Just stating the obvious here is all
    I’m not blaming the victims for a thing – just pointing out the facts. No way and no how does a car or truck catch one from behind if tone is sober. 😉

    1. marcy says:

      Actually, you are kind of blaming the victims. Are you aware that cars are faster than people–including sober people?

    2. marcy says:

      Sorry, that was kind of snappy. Just seems silly to suggest that sober pedestrians don’t get hit by cars.

    3. Mike says:

      No way? You obviously have never witnessed the lack of noise a Toyota Prius running with the combustion engine turned on.

    4. fred says:

      drunk…sober…2am…2pm…you should be able to walk down a sidewalk without getting run over!

  7. chinwhiskers says:

    “Wrong way driver strikes 3 on the sidewalk.” Just which is the right way to go on a sidewalk?

  8. Jan weighs in too says:

    Dumb question but with this many involved how do they not have a description or a plate number?
    The whole affair seems like its from HouseParty or similar.

    1. Gary says:

      I can understand not getting the plates if it was going fast. But not a single description, as of yet, seems a bit “fishy”.

      Why is there no lookout for car with damages on so and so part of their vehicle posted?

  9. James says:

    I live on 5th St and everyday I drive I see cars coming down my street the wrong way…not to mention they come down University the wrong way and 4th street at any given time of the day. They’re either drunk or distracted. It’s crazy…sometimes they wont even listen if you honk the horn and tell them “you’re going the wrong direction!”

    1. Marco says:

      ok – that happens. Now explain the “on the sidewalk” to me and how nobody heard it, especially at night. Or saw it – even without headlights on a car’s a big thing.
      more confusing – aren’t there tree on the blvd and cars parked? I’m trying hard to visually imagine the “hows” of this happeneing unless a whole lot of other “factors” are not involved.

  10. wise larry sr says:


  11. hope they ok says:

    chit like this should not happen.
    with you on the later in eve happenings. Worlds to nutz to be running around or driving around when the dopers drunks rule the streets

  12. Steven says:

    Gary you Moron they were hit from behind

    1. ugh says:

      Uh, here’s how it works: cars are faster than people. If a car suddenly accelerates onto the sidewalk, pedestrians may not be able to get out of the way fast enough. Does that make sense?

      1. jeez says:

        i guess the sound of the car thumping on to the sidewalk is slower than a snail.

        1. Morgan says:

          How many seconds do you think they had after the sound of a car thumping onto the sidewalk? When it was going 35 mph?

    2. Morgan says:

      I live near by and I heard it happen but didn’t see it. From where I was we could even hear people talking but we didn’t know that there was a car until AFTER people where hit and looking for help. So no they didn’t know that a car was about to come up from behind them ON THE SIDEWALK and no they didn’t have time to jump out of the way. Anyone who’s suggesting that they should have realized the car was there and moved is suggesting that anyone walking down the street should constantly be on alert for any car possibly hitting them. And it was absolutely a split second situation, you didn’t even have time to process the fact that someone was hit by a car before it was all over and done with.

  13. Kim says:

    More and likely the person driving at 2 am was drinking I bet. Because why didn’t he or she not pull over after hitting them. I can not stand people that get behind the wheel and drive drunk it’s just risking other peoples lives on the road not just there own. Get a sober person to drive you or call a cab or stay home and drink. Again I hate drunk drivers.

    1. Splattered on da face says:

      I’ll up the ante and say I hate any drunks…..even if we are in the rack together doing the funny. A drunk is a drunk is all I can say

      1. swerver says:

        I bet you’ve been splattered in the face plenty, and you wouldnt even ever be doing the nasty if it wasnt for the other person being drunk, so shutty chitty

  14. kim says:

    I agree they should have more camras out there on not just the highways but side streets as well to help catch more of those people out there that commit crimes and also drink and drive.

    1. Grandpa thinks says:

      cameras MAY help catch the perp AFTER the damage is done.
      Costly – seldom the right angle and then it’s the PROVE IT WAS ME thing.
      More police – more common sense. More personal responsibility. At 2:00am – lucky they didn’t get shot by someone driving by.
      I lived in area in ’60’s and 70’s – you could do this stuff. That ended 20 years ago and I moved. Smart and safe I am today

  15. Gants P says:

    I read 3
    I read 4
    I hear 3
    Which is it?

  16. Derek says:

    All I have to say is if you’re walking on a sidewalk, sober or not, you aren’t thinking a car will drive up behind you. Honestly think to yourself how you would react and when, by the time you hear a noise behind you of the car jumping the curb, turn around and look as it’s speeding at you, there are not a whole lot of options left on the table to avoid it. But apparently a few of you are superheroes on here so you’ll just jump over the car or something…

  17. Carlie says:

    This is so sad! I know one of the girls and her little sister is one of my good friends. She found this out today at school it was so sad to hear!

  18. kim says:

    Will if you have more camras yes it would be maybe spendy, but you would catch more people breaking the law. More police can be spendy also. More police sounds good if not more camras. Maybe you may not see there face all the time, but if they are in a car you can see the car make and model and get there license plate numbers.

  19. sad but true says:

    Well good Larry you stay home and live in fear of life after midinght the rest of us will live our lives, the world is a fast paced place these things will happen, I don’t think you will get the federal government to put a midnight curfew on the U.S. so you stay home waiting to pass away.

  20. Joe says:

    There are a lot of dumb people on this board. Leave your ignorance at home, you’re embarrassing yourselves. I was hit along with my two friends, and if you weren’t there, you shouldn’t run your mouths. Hope you never have a car speeding at you from behind (while walking on a sidewalk) but I’m sure you’d be fine, I mean, you’d hear it right?

  21. kim says:

    Joe ~ Sorry you feel that people on here are dumb, but NOT everyone on here like (me) did not say anything about the people that were hit by the car. So you should not judge everyone on here that made a commit.

  22. Joe says:

    Alright Kim, I said a lot, not everyone. Obviously I wasn’t talking about you. I’m talking about the people that act tough from the safety of their mom’s basements but actually have no idea what happened. But so it goes…

  23. Josh MPLS says:

    You must have a boring life then….Plenty of good stuff happens past midnight