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Tow truck driver charged in hit-and-run death (MN)


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Tow truck driver charged in hit-and-run death of a woman who stepped out of his moving vehicle in S. Minneapolis

The driver left the scene but returned "some minutes later" to within a block of the incident only to leave again, according to the criminal complaint. 



Authorities have charged a tow-truck driver in the hit-and-run death of a woman who stepped out of his moving truck in south Minneapolis in August.


Jordan A. Jewell, 26, of Arden Hills was charged in Hennepin County District Court last week with criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the death of 42-year-old Stacy A. Morrison, of St. Paul, on Aug. 21.


Jewell was jailed on Sept. 1 and remains held in lieu of $150,000 bail ahead of a Sept. 20 court appearance. A message was left Tuesday with his attorney seeking a response to the allegations.


Jewell was employed for a few weeks with Cedar Towing and was a probationary employee until being fired "immediately when became aware of his violation of existing [workplace] protocols," said company spokeswoman Amy Koch, who added that Jewell was not in contact with Morrison for towing services.


"Mr. Jewell ... was trained in Cedar Towing's strict policy that no passengers are allowed in the trucks," Koch said.

According to the criminal complaint:


Police and paramedics were sent to S. Bloomington Avenue and E. Lake Street, where Morrison was down in the street and soon declared dead.


Surveillance video showed a Cedar Towing truck heading south on Bloomington toward Lake shortly after 1 a.m. on Aug. 21, when the passenger door opened and Morrison "exited the moving tow truck and was then struck by the back tires," the complaint read.


Jewell drove off but returned "some minutes later" to within a block of the incident only to leave again, the complaint continued.


Police contacted Jewell's employer, Cedar Towing, and confirmed the driver's identity. A towing dispatcher said Jewell returned to the business and mentioned that a woman had jumped into his truck.


Jewell told police that he picked up Morrison and she soon got out as he kept driving. He denied being aware that he ran over her.


When asked about returning to the scene, Jewell said he saw people gather there but didn't know why.


Court records show Jewell has numerous convictions in Minnesota for theft and illicit drug offenses. His driving history also includes convictions for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, operating a motorcycle without proper licensing and driving with a suspended license. Jewell's license was valid at the time of the alleged hit-and-run.


Explaining why Cedar Towing decided to hire Jewell, Koch said that Jewell had a nonviolent criminal background and "was approved to participate in an immersion program to stabilize and re-enter the community."



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