Reporting Bill Hudson
SHAKOPEE, Minn. (WCCO) — Debris scattered on the pond and ground is chilling evidence of a violent impact. Around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, a Ford Expedition sports utility vehicle spun out of control and off Highway 101, north of Shakopee.
No sooner had salvage crews loaded the vehicle onto a flatbed truck and hauled it from the scene when investigators began the work to reconstruct the accident.
They are trying to determine what caused the SUV’s driver, 21-year-old James Washington to lose control and drive down a steep embankment, crashing into some trees. The force of the crash ejected a small boy, who along with his mother, was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center.
“We have marks on the road to show it over corrected near the centerline and went into the right ditch. In that area, it’s a steep ditch, some trees and a pond right there,” said Minnesota State Patrol spokesman Lt. Jason Bartell.
When first responders arrived at the scene they discovered that a small child had been thrown from the vehicle and onto the ice. The little boy and his mother, 26-year-old Ashley Scott, are each listed in serious condition at HCMC.
Investigators say it is still unclear if the child was properly restrained in a car seat.
“There was some car seats involved but we don’t know where the child was sitting with that particular child,” said Lt. Bartell.
Investigators were also told by a crash witness that it appeared a wheel came off the vehicle, possibly sending the SUV out of control. But the patrol’s accident reconstruction team has found no evidence of that.
It’s likely that the wheel was dislodged by the force of the crash into the trees.
Washington and two other children were transported by ambulance to St. Francis Medical Center in Shakopee where they were treated and released.