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Police Still Searching for Car Involved in Fatal Hit and Run

Suspects give conflicting reports on what happened that night

Surveillance image of the vehicle that struck Jose Hernandez Solano
Saint Paul Police Department/Twitter

Sunday November 26 Jose Hernandez Solano was biking home after his shift at Brasa on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul. He was struck by a vehicle running a red light at 12:10 a.m. Surveillance footage shows a car believed to be a 2008 to 2010 platinum sage green Hyundai Santa Fe. He died December 7 at Regions Hospital after being taken off life support.

An anonymous tipster provided a license plate that was traced the vehicle to Abbey Hegner, 47, an employee of Keenan’s Bar, according to a report in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press. Four minutes after the crash, Hegner allegedly told her boss that she had a family emergency and needed to leave.

The report also alleges that Hegner said the next day that her son’s girlfriend was suicidal and in the hospital.

Hegner and her son Dustin Hegner-Royce, 28 were taken into custody, December 15 and 16 respectively, and later released. While in custody Hegner gave a different account, saying she left work early to help her granddaughter.

Further, court documents say she claimed to have sold the SUV in question to an ““unknown Mexican or Somali male” whom she had been unable to understand.

The Pioneer Press article states, “Police have been looking for the vehicle ever since evidence collected at the crash scene pointed to the involvement of a 2008 to 2010 platinum sage metallic Hyundai Sante Fe and an anonymous tipster reported that one matching that description was often seen at Keenan’s Bar.”

Keenan’s Bar is roughly half a mile west of the crash site.

Details given in a warrant application say a patron of Keenan’s witness Hegner-Royce arrive at the bar at approximately 12:14 a.m. the night of the incident and spoke with his mother who was smoking outside. The two spoke briefly before leaving together.

Surveillance video from a nearby Holiday gas station near the time of the accident reportedly shows the suspect vehicle as well as someone matching Hegner-Royce’s description.

Legal documents show that Hegner’s phone records were searched revealing multiple outgoing and incoming calls the night of November 26 beginning at 12:23 a.m. The phone was tracked traveling throughout Mendota Heights and South St. Paul during that time.

According to the Pioneer Press story, Abbey Hegner reportedly told someone in a recorded conversation that police didn’t have any evidence.

Neither Abbey Hegner or Dustin Hegner-Royce have been charged with a crime.

The Saint Paul police department urge anyone with information related to the accident to contact them at 651-266-5727.