Driver charged in New Year's Eve hit-and-run that killed mother


A 27-year-old woman has been charged in a hit-and-run that killed a mother of four on New Year's Eve.

Donella S. Day, of Minneapolis, who was arrested Sunday, is charged with criminal vehicular homicide. She's accused of fatally hitting 37-year-old Aisha Freels, who was leaving her home on Lyndale Avenue North to get into a taxi.

According to the criminal complaint:

Freels was crossing Lyndale Avenue to get into the taxi, which was parked on the other side of the street. She had crossed the northbound lane, and when she started crossing the southbound lane was hit by a blue sedan going about 45 miles per hour, the cab driver told police.

The impact caused Freels to hit the hood and strike the windshield of the sedan.

Day admitted to police she hit a woman on Lyndale Avenue. She told investigators she had gone to the liquor store and was driving to her friend's house when she saw a woman in the street, and the next thing she noticed was "glass in her face."

The Star Tribune says Day was driving with a learner's permit, which requires a licensed driver to be in the passenger's seat, but there was no mention in the criminal complaint that someone else was in the car with her at the time of the hit-and-run, the paper adds.

Day is expected to make her first court appearance Tuesday afternoon, according to Hennepin County Jail records. If convicted of the crime, Day could face 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine, the complaint shows.

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