It was Joe Senser's wife, Amy Senser, who was identified as the driver of the SUV that hit and killed a pedestrian last week, said Senser family's attorney on Friday.
The hit-and-run in Minneapolis on Aug. 23 claimed the life of 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 Joe Senser, the SUV's owner. The driver was not identified until Friday.
It would have been much better if they would come forth without putting the taxpayers of the state of Minnesota and the State Patrol, and us, through the work of determining who the driver was, Phanthavong's family attorney Jim Schwebel said.
According to Schwebel, the Senser family is pretending to feel a lot of distress and remorse, but they still won't give an account of the accident. The [Phanthavong] family isn't placated by what they've done to this point, said Schwebel.
Eric Nelson, the family's attorney, continued to refuse to discuss the accident, saying he didn't want to jeopardize the State Patrol's investigation, reports Inforum. The family does not intend to conceal information about the incident, said Nelson, assuring that details will be made public through possible criminal charges or a civil suit.
Before revealing the driver, Nelson had advised the Senser family members to invoke their Fifth Amendment rights to remain silent before a meeting with investigators on Tuesday, reports Star Tribune.
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 said. 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.
The loss of Mr. Phanthavong's life has weighed heavily on Ms. Senser and her entire family, Nelson said.
Ms. Senser is not faring very well, Nelson added. She is a wreck.
Amy Senser, 45, has not been charged, and has not reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.
The civil suit for wrongful death is expected to be filed Tuesday by Phanthavong's family.
The victim's family is grieving, said Schwebel.
They want justice. You know, these folks are like anybody who suffers the loss of a loved one, he added. They want the individuals who caused the death to be held accountable.
Joe Sensor, former football player for the Minneapolis Viking as a tight end in the 1980s, is also owner of local restaurants and theaters.