CAMBRIDGE, Minn. (KMSP) - He thought he'd hit a dog or maybe a turkey on a dark stretch of Isanti County road. The truth is, the driver hit and killed 15-year-old skateboarder Antonio Demueles. Thursday, prosecutors said it was all a very tragic accident and the driver will not be charged.
The teen's mother was caught off guard off by the prosecutor's decision. She says she's forgiven the driver, but is now upset at the system not holding him accountable.
"We all make mistakes,” said Renee Salazar. “But at the same time I’m very hurt at what the outcome is."
A passerby found Antonio severely injured in the road last September. A surveillance camera from a nearby business showed a white pickup truck driving down the street around the same time, and the driver turned himself in the next day. But prosecutors say since Demueles was wearing dark clothes and riding his skateboard while sitting down in the middle of a dark road, the driver thought he hit a dog or turkey -- until he saw his pickup on a news website.
Even though the driver told investigators he had two beers at dinner before the accident, prosecutors say there was no evidence he was impaired -- a claim corroborated by a neighbor. While the so-called Amy Senser Law requires drivers to stop and investigate if they hit something, prosecutors say it made sense for this driver to inspect his pickup at home, about a mile away, rather than stop on the side of a two-lane rural road at night.
"God forbid you hit something,” Salazar said. “Just make sure you check. It’s the right thing to do.”
Even though the criminal case is closed, Antonio's family is considering a civil case against the driver.