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Unlicensed driver hit teen on bike Monday

It might have been a sixth sense, it might just have been a case of being in the right place at the right time. Whatever it was, it was not fun for Farmington police officer Steve Kuyper to see a teenage girl get hit by a car.

Kuyper was just coming back from washing his squad and picking up a soda at 9:30 a.m. Monday. He was at the four-way stop at Pilot Knob Road when he spotted a 14-year-old girl on a bicycle crossing 195th Street. She made it across that street just fine.

Kuyper went through the intersection, but watched in his rearview mirror, just to make sure the girl was got across Pilot Knob Road from the west to the east. And that's when he saw her get struck by a minivan. He saw her body go up in the air, then fall to the ground.

"That was not the way I wanted to start my Monday morning," he said.

Kuyper responded to the accident and called for assistance. The driver of the Plymouth Voyager minivan was a 46-year-old man who is new to the area.

The driver's name has not been released, but the man listed his previous residence as New York. Kuyper also said the man's driver's license had been suspended, and he carried no insurance.

Drugs or alcohol were not factors in the accident, Kuyper said. The driver said he did not see the girl.

The teen was not wearing a helmet. She was transported to an area hospital, but her mother told police she was later released. The girl hit her head on the windshield, but received no broken bones, only some deep tissue bruising.

Kuyper said the driver has been charged with failure to have a Minnesota driver's license, no insurance and inattentive driving.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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