ISANTI, Minn. (KMSP) - The family of a 54-year old grandmother is wondering why, more than a year later, prosecutors have not charged the daughter of a Cambridge, Minnesota police officer in a deadly hit and run.
"She stopped or turned around, and at some point got out and saw my mother on side of the road, dead,” said Patricia Wolter’s son, Matthew Turner. "It wasn't even on the side of the road. It was in the lane. And then chose to leave.”
Bailey Hanson called 911 after she hit Wolter with her car around 10:18 p.m. on Nov. 2, 2015. But shortly afterward, she left the scene. Her father, Todd Hanson, who at the time was a long time Cambridge Police Officer, contacted law enforcement on behalf of his daughter the next day.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol’s Crash Reconstruction report there was plenty of blame to go around in a confusing series of crashes on Highway 95 near Moon Lake Drive, just outside the town of Cambridge in Isanti County.
To begin with, there were actually two crashes. In the initial crash, Patricia Wolter was a passenger in a car driven by her son, Joseph Turner, who police say was driving drunk and likely left the center line of the two lane road when he side swiped another car.
After that initial crash, Turner’s car traveled farther down the highway when it stalled in the lane. Wolter was outside of the car helping her son get out of the driver's side of the car, when she was struck by Bailey Hanson’s car.
It was a chaotic scene, as Bailey called 911 dispatch and appeared to give conflicting accounts of her role.
“Are you involved?” asked an Isanti dispatch operator. Bailey responded, “Yes. Is someone sending an ambulance?” But, 90 seconds later, Bailey appears to contradict that statement. “Is the ambulance coming?” Bailey asks again. The operator tries to clarify Hanson’s role, “Listen to me. You are not involved?” This time Bailey responds, “Right.”
According to the Crash Reconstruction report, Hanson knew she struck something, and saw a body lying in the middle of the road, but left the scene. Bailey told investigators someone giving Wolter CPR told her to leave, but in a letter to prosecutors, the State Patrol investigator said he’s been unable to locate the person who allegedly told her to leave.
“But she was involved,” said attorney Steve Meshbesher, who is representing Wolter’s family. "She struck the person he's performing CPR on.”
Because Hanson’s father is a local police officer, the State Patrol handled the accident investigation and the case was presented to the Anoka County Attorney. In June, investigators presented their findings to the Anoka County Attorney for charges. The State Patrol says the case was re-submitted again in early December with additional evidence.
Bailey Hanson and her father declined requests for comment. Todd Hanson resigned from the Cambridge Police Department three months ago.
The State Patrol won’t say whether they have Hanson’s phone records from the time of the crash. The delay and Hanson’s family law enforcement connection, makes Wolter’s family suspicious.
"I've been in this profession 36 years, and I've never seen anything like this,” Meshbesher said. “It smells funny.”
It is not the first hit and run in Isanti County to raise questions. Two months before Wolter was killed, Antonio DeMeules, 15, was struck and killed by Adam Maki. Prosecutors declined to file charges. But DeMeules' family discovered phone records showing that Adam Maki attempted to download an Isanti County Scanner phone app 40 minutes after the crash.
After the case was profiled in November by the FOX 9 Investigators, more than a year later, Maki was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident, but not the more serious charge of criminal vehicular homicide.
INVESTIGATORS - Phone records contradict official hit-and-run account