Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Information sought in hit-and-run along Willow Street in Faribault March 22, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 3:12 PM
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My neighbor’s totaled car, photographed Wednesday morning. That’s another neighbor’s house in the image. The car is exactly where it landed after being slammed into by a hit-and-run vehicle Tuesday evening. (Minnesota Prairie Rights copyrighted photo March 2023)

TUESDAY EVENING, MARCH 21, and we are kicked back, relaxing, watching “Will Trent.” And then it happens. BOOM! The undeniable sound of a crash. But we hear no screeching tires that would indicate slamming of brakes.

We pop from our comfy spots to peer out the windows. In the 9:30 pm dark of March, we see a vehicle parked in front of our house, then people walking down the middle of the street, busy Willow Street. Our eyes follow their path to a neighbor’s driveway and a smashed car. Demolished. We see no second vehicle near the crash scene.

Randy grabs his cellphone, steps outside in his slippers, phones the police. We have no idea what’s just happened, whether anyone has been injured. We know law enforcement needs to be summoned. Soon multiple squad cars arrive. We remain clueless and begin speculating as to what unfolded.

Wednesday morning I spoke with the owner of the totaled car. She was sleeping when an unknown vehicle slammed into her unoccupied car parked curbside by her house in the 400 block of Willow Street. I breathed a sigh of relief, told her how thankful I was that she was not in her car. Despite the loss of what she said was her “best” car, she also said she felt blessed.

My neighbor was remarkably calm. But also determined. She’d already begun phoning auto body repair shops and auto salvage yards in an attempt to locate the vehicle that destroyed her early 2000 Toyota Corolla. Yes, the driver left without stopping. How any vehicle managed to remain operable after totaling my neighbor’s car is beyond my comprehension. And how anyone in good conscience could leave the scene is also incomprehensible. But, hey, a driver drove away (never to be found) after striking my son as he crossed Willow Street to his bus stop in 2006.

On behalf of my neighbor, who asked if I am on Facebook (I’m not), I’m posting this information here in hopes that someone can help find the person responsible. State law requires drivers to stop following a crash. The person who parked her vehicle outside our house Tuesday evening was driving on Willow at the time of the incident and did the right thing by immediately stopping upon hearing the BOOM.

The hit-and-run vehicle is likely a large pick-up (or other) truck, probably with significant front end damage, my neighbor shared. Willow Street is a heavily-traveled arterial street in Faribault. I have to think that someone saw something that may be helpful. Perhaps a doorbell or surveillance camera will show a suspect vehicle.

Please, if you have any information, contact Faribault police at 507-334-4305. That plea goes to possible witnesses, garages, auto body repair shops, salvage yards, Willow Street residents. If someone you know is suddenly no longer driving their pick-up truck and your gut is telling you something, then do something.

My neighbor doesn’t seem the revengeful type. She just wants her losses covered. Then maybe she can sleep at night. It was disheartening to watch her Wednesday morning removing debris from the street, sweeping glass, emptying her car. She deserves justice.

© Copyright 2023 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


9 Responses to “Information sought in hit-and-run along Willow Street in Faribault”

  1. beth Says:

    that is so awful that the person did not stop

  2. How awful. Hope they get some answers and that your neighbor can get some financial help.

    • That is my hope, too, that my neighbor will get the answers she wants, the financial help she needs to cover her loss. The demolished car remains parked at the end of her driveway. I just had a thought. Maybe she should put a sign on it asking people to call the Faribault PD if they know anything. Or perhaps the simple presence of the car will be a prompt, jog a memory.

  3. OMG – I was thinking about you and your son when I started reading this post about your neighbor’s car. So grateful she was not in the car. I do not know how you hit something while driving that size and not realize you hit something that size and just leave the scene. I hope the driver is found or turns themselves in. Take Care and Be Safe

  4. Jean Says:

    Posted it to Facebook and asked people to reshare hopefully your neighbor will get answers

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