Mother, 2 Sons Killed In Overnight Hit-And-Run Crash

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Three people were killed when a stolen vehicle, being chased by the Minnesota State Patrol, hit their vehicle.

The accident happened just after midnight Sunday. Police say 29-year-old Rufus Onel Victor was being pursued after he was seen driving erratically exiting on Dowling Avenue from Interstate 94 in Minneapolis.

rufus onel victor, hit and run, minneapolis, three killed

Rufus Victor. (credit: Hennepin County Sheriff's Department)

Lt. Eric Roeske said Victor hit two vehicles, one unoccupied and the other with a woman and her two children inside.

Twenty-nine-year-old Amanda Jean Thomas, of Fridley, her 12-year-old son, André, and 3-month-old boy Akeron were all killed in the crash. Thomas and the 12-year-old died at the scene and the baby was taken to the hospital, where he later died.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Bruce Hagevik Reports

“She loved both her kids. She was a great mom, great person and she was just beginning her life with her family,” said Mary Svoboda, a friend of Thomas.

By Sunday afternoon, friends put up a memorial of balloons, candles and stuffed animals at the crash site.

Less than 24 hours ago it was the scene of an accident that destroyed an entire family.

“This car came out from nowhere. He was doing about 80-90 miles an hour and slammed into the side of her car,” said witness Cynthia Haynes.

Haynes was in the left lane. Thomas’ car was right next to her and both were heading east on Broadway when Thomas’ car was hit.

“It turned around in a few circles and came up on the curb and I seen the young, apparently it was her oldest son, I seen him fly out of the car, “Haynes said.

Haynes got out to help but there was nothing she could do. She did lead police to the man they were trying to stop.

“The guy who caused this accident, he took off running, staggering. I told them where he went. He went into the scrap yard over there,” said Haynes.

The State Patrol said the vehicle being pursued had been reported stolen and the chase had been going on for about a minute when the crash occurred.

Police say the vehicle Victor was driving was far ahead of the state trooper when it hit Thomas and her children.

Victor eventually fled on foot, but was caught after a brief search.

“I’m mad at the person that hit and killed her, because there’s no reason for it, whatsoever,” Svoboda said. “He needs to know he took her life and cut her life so short, and left everyone else sad and upset about this.”

“I just talked to her hours ago, I just talked to her last night,” said friend Tanaya Adams.

Adams could not believe the news. She had to come to the scene of the accident to see for herself.

Thomas’ cousin Patty Sherburne said Andre was a gentle soul.

“He was sweet, very sweet but quiet,” said Sherburne, who had not yet met AJ. They were to meet Christmas Eve at Sherburne’s home where the family always gathered.

Roeske said a blood sample was taken from Victor on the scene, but the results are still being processed. However, it is believed he was driving impaired.

Victor had minor injuries and was taken to Hennepin County Jail, where he is currently in custody. He has a number of prior offenses in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, including assault, theft and burglary.

WCCO-TV’s Reg Chapman Reports

  • Police Investigate Triple Fatal Hit-And-Run Crash | PubSub Hub

    […] CBS Minnesota – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic, and the Best of Minnesota Free Short URL Service – Get TLD30 Short […]

  • OMG

    ** Prayers for the family who lost soo much**

  • PatP

    Indeed it is – ashes to ashes and toast to toast.
    Gas chamber though – no flopping around. That seems somewhat creepy

  • Shane G

    So three people had to die because this person is so frickin greedy that they had to still this big chunk of metal with wheels. They are so lazy and don’t want to work to buy their own car. Then they have the nerve to run off. If I was a police officer, I’d just run him over on the street.

    • p

      What do you mean they?

      • S

        I am sure he meant people who would rather steal other peoples hard earned items. Really not the time to get politically correct, three people were killed tragically.

  • Very Sad

    I’m sure that the Trooper involved is devastated. Troop just know that you were just doing your job and the crook is to blame. There will be those who are critical of police chases, and irresponsibly focus blame on the wrong target. We pay these police to to do the things and see the things we would rather not. Thanks for your service and I will keep you in my prayers as I do the victims that died. – -Very sad.

    • Jacy

      Wow your ignorant, the Trooper was doing his job. Its not his fault, he had no way of knowing what was going to happen, you call yourself an ex cop, i think you mean ex mall security, dont ever blame the officer when its the suspects clear and present fault, your a disgrace.

    • Frank

      S’pose you’d simply rather let him get away with his crime. Maybe, we should eliminate the police as a law enforcement tool, and just let people do what they want. That way, police could not be responsible for harm that come to victims of crime. Criminals would be to blame, and there would be a lot more of them. This would quickly turn to a lawless society where criminals prey on people, because there’s no punishment, so no fear of getting caught.

    • Tally2010

      Like the trooper knew this jerk was gonna take off and speed away the way he did….the person you should blame is the idiot who stole a car and fled from police, ran a stoplight, and killed 3 people, then again fled on foot and hid from the cops!!!!!

    • Denny

      If the person would not have broken the law the trooper would not have attempted to stop him. If the person didnt decide to run from the trooper the Trooper would not have pursued and the crash would not have occcured. It is 100% the suspects fault. the trooper is in NO way to blame.

    • PezzedOff

      So is mine EX-whatever. Difference is I want to ensure my family is always safe and this type of slimey scum is off the streets.
      The officer was doing his job, what 99.9% of us want and expect of him.
      Catch the scum and get them OFF the streets.
      Sadly this occured…very very sadly. But it at times does. Don’t blame the system – blame the trash that did it. Amen

    • RMC

      Hey – un-called for. The story said the chase had been on only a minute. So basically, the cop just turned on his lights to pull the guy over and he sped off and hit somebody. So cops should just not pull anyone over for fear that they might speed off and kill someone? Less than a minute and the guy was way ahead of the cop. Not exactly a high-speed chase with the cop in close pursuit. Who is to say that the criminal wouldn’t have hit someone anyway driving impaired like that?

  • Tom

    torture would be the best way..something out of the movie he endures pain instead of having it end quickly

  • Icecold

    Better way to torture would be to leave the person outside on a nice January night with just a light coat on.

  • EX-COP

    Cops in Minnesota only care about their quotas and catching the bad guy at any cost. A familie’s life is not worth a stolen carI would grab my AK to protect my family than to depend on the inept cops in this state any day. Once more they prove my point.

    • Mark Elder

      Your an idiot,probably fired from the force!!,for being an idiot. But then you can’t help it..

    • Jannyb.

      Then move! Heh, go to S. Central LA!!!! Enjoy yourself there!

    • getridofem

      I can see why you are an ex-cop—if that is even true I am not so sure but you do not deserve to be a cop anywhere or at anytime—what a piece of garbage–

    • w

      I am a real ex cop and in MN police don’t have quotas. its the law, NO QUOTAS.

    • Logical Thinker

      Glad you are “ex-cop”. You aren’t needed on the street. Stay at home and grind your axe.

      • PezzedOff

        He’s an “EX-COP” if you believe that Hiltler was a Jew.
        He made a typo – he meant EX-CON

    • Bruiser

      You smokin’ crack right now EX-CON??? sounds like it

    • CW

      Really? Because in the agency that I work for CURRENTLY, we don’t have quotas. In fact, the Minnesota Supreme court ruled long ago that “quotas” are illegal in MN. Nice try though. And if a cop could foresee the end of a pursuit, by that logic, they could see the events preceeding it, and stop crime before it ever occured. Again, nice try. And I may be an inept MN cop, but I’ll bet that I can spell FAMILY’S LIFE correctly. I realize this happened in december, but your comment pissed me off enough to let you know how incorrect you are

  • Mahad Osman

    three died no reason, very sad

  • dealwiththerealissue

    the obvious problem here is meth.

    • Abagail Virgin

      hell, meth, acid, booze, all are “obvious” problems but until a tox report is in I sure wouldn’t jump to certainties.
      Can I take a shot at the SOB with the rest of you here?

      • p

        Something tells me acid was not the problem. Just saying.

    • BettyBoob

      based on ????
      why isn’t the real problem simply the person. The individual person.

      • dealwiththerealissue

        based on my experience.
        unfortunately, this isnt an isolated incident. people on meth crashing stolen cars happens unbelievably often, just do a google search if you want to see for yourself.

  • Shane G

    @EX-COP AK’s are illegal, so you sound like a criminal too! If someone robs a bank and takes off, the police are not going to watch him leave with thousands of dollars. They are going to pursuit him. Sadly, this ended with tragedy. You got to understand that anybody would be able to do whatever they pleased if all it took was to outrun cops and the cops just sat back and watched out of fear of an accident.

  • EX-COP

    Rufus onel victor

  • Bruiser

    yep — you smokin’ junk as you type. What a foolish sounding moron



  • Linda

    How very sad for this family, especially this time of year. Of course, the drunk driver is not hurt. Ex-cop obviously has a bad attitude because he couldn’t make it as one of our cities finest in uniform. Lucky for us.

  • Ben B.

    EX-thing is in junior high Linda. Caught up in the system as they say. 19 and still remains in 8th grade so he’s having a hard time of it I imagine. Likely the next car jacker or auto theft trainee sadly

  • Maria

    Beyond sad …. my heart goes out the the family of the 3 who are no longer with us.
    As far as the punk who did this to them – show NO mercy in any manner. Beginning now – it is time for Capital Punishment to rear it’s ugly head. Being “understanding” has netted us zero.

  • ldentz

    ya but they still sit in jail for 20 yrs before

  • Adam D

    Very sad story indeed. I hope this perp is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The Trooper did a fine job in his part to apprehend this criminal.

    On another note, EX-COP is a moron, and obviously has no idea of what it means to be a police officer. I can also say with certainty that he has never been an officer of the law. AK’s are illegal, and probably has no idea what the acronym AK means.

    • JamieinMN

      Agreed. And like I said below if it hadn’t had been that family, it would’ve been someone else. Regardless f they were in pursuit or not.

  • Alyssa

    I’m disturbed that more people are not outraged that 3 people including two children died so that a loser who stole a car was caught! This is acceptable? This happens year after year and I am sickened to hear another story about innocent people losing there lives in this way. The officer was not chasing Ossama Bin Laden. Was this really justified people?

    • Ugh

      How would the officer know if the guy only stole a car before the chase?? He could have killed someone and then stole the car… You don’t know the situation and it’s not about a stolen car the officer was trying to get a erratic driver off the road so he wouldn’t hurt others which he could have. If something happened to one of your family members would u not want the police to chase them and let them get away??? Probably not.

  • Billy

    I agree with ex-cop.

    “Doing their job? Killing a family just to get a car back? Yeah, good job trooper, you sure did your job. Give him a medal too for doing his job. Dont know about you, but my family is worth more that a stolen car.”

    If I was that trooper chasing that stolen vehicle that was involved that crash killing that family I could never live with myself again.
    Good job trooper, I bet your very proud of yourself

    • Frank

      Lucky for all of us then that you are not a trooper, but rather a loser.

    • MJ

      The reason he was being pursued was that the vehicle was driving erratically, meaning he was probably impaired. So I suppose all of you who are blaming the trooper for pursuing the car would also blame him if the suspect wasn’t pursued and later crashed into someone else. What a bunch of jerks all of you are!!!

      • JamieinMN

        Yup. They’re all hypocrites contradicting themselves. Ridonkulous.

  • Sparky

    I agree! My friend told me about this as she was working right where this happened and said the helicopters and tons of cops were chasing him and looking for him on foot. This guy should be brutally killed as he took those lives.

  • JamieinMN

    FYI, Cops DO NOT have quotas to meet. Anyone of you, including “EX-COP” (I highly doubt you are a former police officer) who think this are mis-informed. I feel horrible that these people were taken from their families, but regardless of police in pursuit, he would’ve taken somebody else’s life.

  • J.D.

    You people are all ignorant idiots. Let’s blame the cop for doing his job, as opposed to the drunken criminal who decided to steal a car and run. Makes me weep for society. Weep. Hope you all never need help from the police, since you are basically calling them murderers. God help us.

  • cjane1953

    The State of Minnesota needs to enact state-wide pursuit legislation; otherwise, individual jurisdictions adopt some version of this senseless catch-at-any-cost policy. Once again, police have chased a stolen vehicle when the driver’s only known offense is driving this vehicle while committing other traffic infractions. And once again, innocent people have lost their lives.

    When a cop stops a stolen vehicle and arrests the driver, the charge is likely to be Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. That’s it! Unless police can prove it, the driver can’t even be charged with stealing the car. Yeah, the driver might get cited for the driving violations he committed prior to the stop, but they are usually dismissed in exchange for a guilty plea to the most serious offense.

    These pursuit policies are insane, archaic and deadly.

    How many more 12-year-old children and 3-month-old infants have to die before law enforcement gets the message?

blog comments powered by Disqus
Thursday Night Football

Listen Live