Bayfield man charged in Superior Street hit and runA Bayfield man accused of running a red light Saturday on Superior Street, seriously injuring a pedestrian and narrowly avoiding her 9-year-old daughter before fleeing the scene, has been charged with five crimes.
By: Mark Stodghill, Duluth News Tribune
A Bayfield man accused of running a red light Saturday on Superior Street, seriously injuring a pedestrian and narrowly avoiding her 9-year-old daughter before fleeing the scene, has been charged with five crimes.
Robert Nicholas Buehlman, 29, is charged with felony criminal vehicular operation resulting in great bodily harm, criminal vehicular operation-leaving the scene of an accident, driving after suspension, driving without insurance and failure to stop for a traffic control signal. He is scheduled to make his first appearance on the charges today in State District Court in Duluth.
The accident caused life-threatening injuries to Ashen-Shugar-Aren Rhiannon-Orenda Diehl, 33, of Duluth. At the time that St. Louis County prosecutor Rebekka Stumme approved the criminal complaint Tuesday, the victim was in serious condition at St. Luke’s hospital with broken vertebrae, a bruised lung, a collapsed lung, broken ribs and possibly a broken leg.
Stumme said the victim’s condition was still “touch and go” Tuesday afternoon.
Duluth police crash investigator Ryan Morris said the investigation into any potential contributing factors to the accident is continuing.
According to the criminal complaint:
Police were dispatched to the 1200 block of Superior Street about 9:10 a.m. Saturday on a report that a pedestrian had been hit by a car that had left the scene. The vehicle was described as a small black Honda that was smoking, and the driver continued heading east on Superior Street after hitting the woman.
An officer saw Buehlman running toward him around the 1900 block of the Lakewalk. He questioned Buehlman and reported that he said he had just “freaked out.” He asked the officer if the woman was OK. Two other officers brought two witnesses to Buehlman, and they identified him as the driver of the vehicle that hit Diehl.
Buehlman told police he didn’t know where he was because he’s not from the area. He said he was coming from the area of the Fond-du-Luth Casino and was talking to a passenger in his car. He said there were vehicles stopped in front of him, and when he hit his brakes they must have failed. He said he swerved up onto the sidewalk. When asked by an officer if he drove through a red light, he said that he could have, the complaint alleges.
Buehlman said that he walked up to where the woman was lying, but admitted that he didn’t attempt to render any aid or make a phone call for help.
One witness told police that he saw the woman and a child walking down 12th Avenue East toward Superior Street. He said he saw the woman cross Superior Street and then saw a black Honda strike her, causing her to fly through the air and land on the sidewalk.
Buehlman’s passenger told police that he had fallen asleep at the wheel.
According to Wisconsin court records, Buehlman pleaded “no contest” in June after being cited for driving after his license was revoked. The restriction came after he was found guilty of having drug paraphernalia in his car.