Jogger injured in crash with elderly driver seeks further action after charges declined

David Sley was injured in a crash while he was jogging. The driver will not be charged, but Sley says more will be done. (David Sley)

Questions are being raised about an 86-year-old driver who hit a jogger, but won't face any charges. As the jogger heals from his injuries, he’s pushing for the city attorney to do more.

Recovering from a brain injury, memory loss, broken shoulder along with injuries to his leg and ankles, David Sley realizes he could have been killed. On September 15, the self-described "slow jogger" was hit by a car on Victoria Street in Roseville, Minnesota and thrown roughly 60 feet in the air and knocked unconscious. 

“The driver who hit me was 86 years old,” said Sley. “Was driving her 92 and 96-year-old friends to church, which is great. But we’ve learned she has severe restrictions on her license. Not allowed to drive at night, not allowed to drive on highways, not allowed to drive over 50 miles per hour. Not allowed to drive without glasses. With those severe restrictions, it becomes a hazard.”

Sley says he can’t understand why Roseville’s city attorney is declining to charge the driver. According to the police report, she was going the posted speed limit of 40 miles per hour and was driving within her restrictions. 

Meanwhile, Sley was wearing was listening to music on bone induction headphones, specially made for runners. The police report also says Sley never hit the button for flashing lights before entering the crosswalk. To that, Sley says he doesn't remember, but his father, who happens to be a former prosecutor, argues according to Minnesota law pertaining to crosswalks that shouldn't matter to the city attorney. 

“He’s placing the burden on David,” said Ben Sley, David's father. “David has no burden whatsoever. The motorist is supposed to see him approaching the crosswalk, be in the crosswalk and stop.”

“Every witness to the incident has said independently the driver and the pedestrian did not see one another as they entered into and approached that crosswalk,” said Mark Gaughan, Roseville city attorney. “Given that, and knowing we’ve have to prove our case without a reasonable doubt. I couldn’t in good faith bring criminal prosecution against this driver.”

Minnesota law states drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians crossing in a crosswalk. 

At most, the driver would have been charged with a misdemeanor. Sley says he's less concerned about that and just wants the driver off the roads.