2 pedestrians killed by driver while crossing Larpenteur Avenue

A man and a woman, both from Roseville, were killed the evening of Jan. 3 after they were hit by a man in a truck while crossing Larpenteur Avenue in Roseville.

The two were given medical treatment at the scene, but both were pronounced dead, according to a press release from the Roseville Police Department.

Those who died were identified as 47-year-old Robert Blake Buxton and 45-year-old Meridith Nypree Aikens.

They were hit on Roseville’s side of the city’s border with St. Paul — Larpenteur divides the two — near Woodbridge Court, a block from the avenue’s intersection with Rice Street.

The driver of the truck was identified as 72-year-old John Michael Rickey, of St. Paul. 

Police said that just after 5:30 p.m., Rickey turned from southbound Rice Street onto westbound Larpenteur driving a dark blue GMC Sierra pickup truck, hitting Buxton and Aikens moments later.

He stayed at the scene and cooperated with police and was not arrested. According to Roseville police Lt. Erika Scheider, Rickey admitted to having a drink or two at dinner prior to the crash though he did not appear impaired after it.

Police obtained a warrant to draw blood from Rickey and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will test it to determine if alcohol was a factor in the crash. Scheider said it could take weeks to get results.

Police also got warrants to search Rickey’s vehicle as well as its sensing diagnostic module, which is akin to an airplane’s black box. Court records show since 2010 Rickey has gotten a handful of parking tickets.

Police obtained security footage from a business located at the Rice and Larpenteur intersection, and though it doesn’t show the crash itself, it recorded the moments just prior to it, showing Rickey’s vehicle headed westbound on Larpenteur along with three other vehicles.

Roseville police want to speak to the drivers of the other three vehicles: a white SUV that drove through the area just before the crash that turned from southbound Rice Street; a white or silver sedan that turned left from Rice to Larpenteur and would have driven through the area just after the crash; and another white or silver sedan that drove just behind the other sedan through the area following the crash.

Scheider said the other drivers aren’t suspects, but that police believe they would be able to help investigators piece together what happened.

“The police department is thinking about the families of the victims and this is a horrible tragedy for everybody involved,” she said.

Roseville police are also seeking the help of anybody else who may have been in the area around the time of the crash. This includes a man in a green jacket who spoke to a St. Paul police officer but left the area before the officer could identify him or take a statement.

You can contact the Roseville Police Department at 651-767-0640 and online tips can be submitted at www.cityofroseville.com/3194/Crime-Tips.


—Mike Munzenrider

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