MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota State Patrol says a crash that killed two people was caused by a man who had a history of drinking and driving.
The accident happened on Highway 100 and 57th Avenue North in Brooklyn Center just before 10:30 Saturday night.
Witnesses said they saw a speeding car blow through a red light and hit the other car broadside.
Jessica Vallis, 21, of Minneapolis was driving that car and George Kaffey, 22, of Bloomington was her passenger. Both died at the scene.
The State Patrol says 21-year-old Yeng Vue of Minneapolis was behind the wheel of the car that crashed into them. Vue and his passenger were not seriously hurt.
Authorities said Vue was allegedly impaired by alcohol and his passenger, 28-year-old Choua Yang, of Brooklyn Center, also was suspected of being impaired. Both were arrested at the scene.
The witnesses of this deadly crash say when they close their eyes they see the accident happening over and over again.
For the families of the two who lost their lives, there are no words to give them comfort. They had to come back to where their nightmare began.
For Meyer Warren, Sr. and Nancy Athanasselis, they say what they saw at the intersection of Highway 100 and 57th Avenue North will forever be a part of them.
“It looks a lot different in the daylight … but I can still see it happening,” said Athanasselis.
They were waiting for the light to change at that intersection when they saw a car come speeding through the light, broadsiding another car.
“Before you could even blink your eye, that car came through that intersection so fast,” Meyer said.
The impact sent the cars into the median, sparking fire under the hood of both cars.
“I ducked down because the debris flew right up into the front of my van,” said Meyer.
Athanasselis got out of the van and ran to help the two men in the car.
“I opened the door and I pulled the driver out and I asked the passenger to help me get him out and he was kind of stunned,” said Athanasselis.
Meyer tried to help the young man and woman who were hit.
“The girl and the guy were just laying there. The guy had his mouth open and the girl was propped up against the door,” said Meyer.
The victims, Vallis and Kaffey, died at the scene.
“We did the only thing we could do after that, you know, we said a prayer for them,” Meyer said.
The driver of the car that hit them, Vue, should not have been behind the wheel of a car, because his license was revoking and there was a warrant out for his arrest. He also had a previous drunken driving conviction.
Vue is being held in the Hennepin County Jail on probable cause criminal vehicular operation and three previous warrants. Yang was released from the jail.
The grieving families believe this tragedy could have been avoided if Vue had just not driven that night.
NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Bruce Hagevik Reports