Truck driver

Tow truck driver charged with death of woman in south Minneapolis

Authorities charged a tow truck driver with the hit-and-run death of a woman who got out of her moving van in southern Minneapolis in August.

Jordan A. Jewell, 26, of Arden Hills, was indicted last week by Hennepin County District Court with vehicle-driven homicide in connection with the death of Stacy A. Morrison, 42, of St. Paul, August 21.

Jewell was jailed on September 1 and remains in detention in lieu of $ 150,000 bail before a court appearance on September 20.

Jewell worked for a few weeks at Cedar Towing and was a probation employee until he was terminated “immediately when [the company] became aware of its violation of the existing [workplace] protocols, ”said company spokeswoman Amy Koch, who added that Jewell was not in contact with Morrison for towing services.

“Mr. Jewell… was trained in Cedar Towing’s strict policy that no passengers are allowed in trucks,” Koch said.

According to the criminal complaint:

Police and paramedics were dispatched to Bloomington Avenue S. and E. Lake Street, where Morrison was on the street and was promptly pronounced dead.

Surveillance video showed a Cedar Towing truck heading south over Bloomington toward the lake shortly after 1 a.m. on August 21, when the passenger door opened and Morrison “exited the tow truck in movement and was then struck by the rear tires, ”the complaint read.

Jewell left but returned “a few minutes later” to a block from the incident to leave, the complaint continued.

Police contacted Jewell’s employer, Cedar Towing, and confirmed the identity of the driver. A tow dispatcher said Jewell had returned to the business and mentioned that a woman jumped into her truck.

Jewell told police he picked up Morrison and she quickly got out as he continued to drive. He denied knowing he had run over her.

Asked about his return to the scene, Jewell said he saw people gathering there but didn’t know why.

Court records show Jewell has numerous convictions in Minnesota for theft and drug-related offenses. His driving history also includes convictions for failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, riding a motorcycle without a proper license and driving with a suspended license. Jewell’s license was valid at the time of the alleged hit-and-run.

Explaining why Cedar Towing decided to hire Jewell, Koch said Jewell had a non-violent criminal history and “was allowed to participate in an immersion program to stabilize himself and re-enter the community.”

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482