MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 28-year-old man pleaded guilty Monday to hitting and killing a bicyclist last November in St. Paul.
Dustin Hegner Royce pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide in the death of 52-year-old Jose Hernandez Solano, who was biking home after working as a dishwasher at Brasa Rotisserie. Hegner Royce hit him at West Seventh Street and Grand Avenue, and fled the scene. Witnesses at the scene said the driver ran a red light.
Hegner Royce’s mother, Abbey Rose Hegner, is also charged with two felony counts of aiding an offender-accomplice after the fact. She told police she sold the vehicle involved in the incident in November.
The crash fractured Solano’s spine and he was left with chest cavity hemorrhaging and head trauma. He was on life support for a week and a half at Regions Hospital before he died Dec. 7.
Surveillance video led police to Royce and Hegner, who were arrested in December.
Royce’s employer told investigators he saw the suspect vehicle at his landscaping company in the days after the crash. Royce told his boss he hit a deer with the vehicle, according to court documents.
Hegner Royce will be sentenced on Aug. 15.