Hopkins store owner killed in crash on way to his birthday party


A well-known 75-year-old businessman in Hopkins was killed in a crash on the way to his own birthday party, KSTC 45 reports. Another driver was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.

Jim Hance, of Brooklyn Park, was the second-generation owner of Hance Hardware in downtown Hopkins, the Star Tribune reports. He'd been working there for more than 50 years, KARE 11 notes.

Hance was still reporting for work every day, store manager Arnold Ohotto told the Star Tribune. The store will be closed Monday for funeral services.

"Most of all he loved his grandkids, and he loved coming to work and serving his community," Ohotto told KSTC.

Hance on Tuesday night was on his way home, where his wife, children and grandchildren had been waiting for him to celebrate his 75th birthday, KSTC reports.

The crash happened near Minnetonka Boulevard and Ensign Avenue in St. Louis Park, the Sun Post reported. Emergency crews extricated Hance and rushed him to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where he died several hours later.

Investigators say another car driven by a 20-year-old St. Louis Park man had crossed the center line and collided with Hance's vehicle. The 20-year-old was not injured and was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and driving with a revoked license, according to media reports. Police suspect he was under the influence of both alcohol and drugs.

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