Driver in fatal van-bike collision charged; memorial for rider planned

John Iverson faces a felony charge of criminal vehicular homicide. Cyclists plan a memorial ride Feb. 8

Tire tracks remained on a Franklin Avenue boulevard the morning after a bicyclist was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver. Credit: Dylan Thomas

STEVENS SQUARE — The driver in a fatal van-bicycle collision was in Hennepin County jail Feb. 7 on a felony charge of criminal vehicular homicide while under the influence of alcohol.

Bail for John Iverson, 49, was set at $150,000. Iverson submitted to a breath test at the scene of the crash four days earlier and registered a 0.27 blood-alcohol content, more than three times the legal limit to drive of 0.08. Toxicology results from a blood test were still pending Friday.

Police said Iverson was westbound on Franklin Avenue near the Harriet Avenue intersection just before 10 p.m. Feb. 3 when the van he was driving swerved and struck 26-year-old Marcus Nalls, who was riding on the side of the street. According to the complaint filed Feb. 6, Nalls was run over and dragged by the van.

Witnesses saw Iverson’s 1994 Ford van then hit a parked vehicle and jump the curb, finally coming to a rest when it struck a metal garbage bin. Nalls was pinned under the vehicle and died at the scene.

He was wearing a helmet, and his bike had lights in both the front and rear. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner ruled Nalls died from blunt force injuries sustained in the crash.

Iverson told police who responded to the crash he’d had “too much” to drink, according to the complaint.

Cyclists are organizing a memorial ride for Nalls. Riders plan to meet 3 p.m. Saturday in Loring Park. Riders plan to meet 3 p.m. Saturday in Loring Park. A Facebook post on the event has more details.