MAPLE GROVE, Minn. (WCCO) — Two people are dead after a man fled the scene of a traffic stop overnight in Maple Grove.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the man was pulled over by a Hennepin County Deputy on suspicion of drunk driving. It happened around 1:15 a.m. Sunday near 694 and County Road 81.
Officials said shortly after leaving the scene, the man ran a red light before hitting and killing a 29-year old female driver on 93rd Avenue North and County Road 81.
The Minnesota State Patrol has yet to release the name of the victim. WCCO has learned she was 29-years old from Buffalo.
On Friday, a motorcyclist fled the scene and later crashed to his death on 494. The State Patrol said it is trying to get the word out loud and clear that fleeing the scene puts yourself and the public in great danger.
“These are very preventable. A squad car turns its lights on. All you need to do is pull over,” said Lt. Eric Roeske with the Minnesota State Patrol.
In just one weekend’s time, the decision to not pull over has ended lives.
“It’s incredibly frustrating and heartbreaking to think that three lives have been lost over the course of three days because drivers decide to flee from the police,” Roeske said.
Officials said in virtually all pursuit situations, the reality is there is simply no way to guarantee a safe outcome.
“It runs a full gamut of anger over the person fleeing to concern over danger that they’re putting the public in,” Roseke said.
WCCO is learning more about the driver responsible for fleeing Sunday morning’s scene.
Jeramiah Wall, 34 of Albertville, has a criminal history that includes fleeing the scene and a previous DWI. Investigators are looking into alcohol also being involved in Sunday morning’s incident.
“The deputy who stopped the driver suspected that the driver was impaired,” Roeske said.
While it’s still unclear if the deputy chased Wall, witnesses told the State Patrol he ran a red light and struck the passenger vehicle on the driver’s side door. Both drivers were declared dead at the scene.
“The consequences of just pulling over and dealing with whatever that problem is are going to be far less than losing your life over making such a foolish and irresponsible decision by fleeing the police,” Roeske said.
Authorities said it’s too soon to be able to tell if Wall’s blood alcohol level was beyond the legal limit. As for as charges, Roeske said typically when dealing with deceased parties, there are no charges filed.
The Minnesota State Patrol said it has had a difficult time getting in touch with the victim’s family and will likely release the victim’s name Monday.