Joe Senser's SUV has been linked to an Aug. 23 hit-and-run that killed a pedestrian in Minneapolis.
It has been confirmed that the former Minnesota Viking tight end Joe Senser owns the Mercedes SUV involved in a fatal crash that killed 38-year-old Anousone Phanthavong of Roseville, Minnesota. According to officials, Phanthavong, after running out of gas, was hit while he was walking an exit ramp leading from westbound Interstate 94 to Riverside Avenue about 11 p.m. on Aug. 23.
The day after the incident, Senser's attorney called State Patrol representing the SUV's owner.
The driver of the SUV has not been announced, but any family members have not been ruled out as the possible driver.
Senser's attorney Eric Nelson advised the Senser family members to invoke their Fifth Amendment rights to remain silent before a meeting with investigators on Tuesday, reports Star Tribune.
Based on the information that I have in this case, and I do not have access to the entire State Patrol report or what they have, but in any potential charges the driver would face, the state would have to prove who the driver was, Nelson said.
If the Sensers were to tell the State Patrol who the driver was, that would essentially guarantee criminal charges against the driver.
Joe is well-known for being a man of tremendous integrity, and as this process plays itself out that integrity will again be demonstrated, Nelson added. It's a very difficult situation for everyone involved, and I can't stress that enough. They are in shock, they are grieving for the victim and they are fearful of the future.
According to Phanthavong's family attorney Jim Schwebel, a vehicle owner is liable for the negligence of the operator of the vehicle with his consent under state law. Senser, who did not report a stolen SUV, must have given consent to the driver, said Schwebel.
The case is under investigation, and no one has been arrested or ruled out as a suspect.
Sensor, former football player for the Minneapolis Vikings who was a tight end in the 1980s, is also owner of local restaurants and theaters.