MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A multiple-car crash on Interstate 94 at 49th Avenue in Minneapolis has killed three people and injured five others, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. The accident has also blocked traffic on I-94.
The crash, which occurred at 1 p.m. Sunday, shut down the westbound lanes of I-94 until around 5:15 p.m. State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske said all the victims were in a minivan that rolled several times, and that several occupants of the van were thrown from the vehicle.
The five injured victims are expected to survive and the occupants of the other two vehicles were not injured, according to Roeske.
WCCO Radio host Steve Thomson was on his way to work when he came across the accident.
A lot of cars stopped to help after the crash. Thomson was on the first people on the scene.
“It was a minivan,” Thomson said. “A couple of people who had been ejected from the vehicle were still alive, but at least three were dead. The woman I covered with a tarp was clearly dead.”
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For 15 years, Thomson has traveled from his home in Anoka County to the 830 AM studios in downtown Minneapolis, but never before has he seen such an accident.
“By the time I had pulled over and walked back to where the accident was, I got a sense at how bad it was,” Thomson said. “This entire van full of people was laid out on the interstate.”
Dozens lined the frontage road wanting to help, but were dazed at what others who were there before them were doing.
“People were pulling their blankets out of the car and covering them up and trying to do CPR and you know was really trying to help them,” Annie Bracey, a witness, said.
Many did what they could to help.
“I just kind of went, grabbed my tarp out of the back of my pickup and another guy helped my cover up one woman that was gone,” said Thomson.
Thomson said his heart goes out to the family. He added that he and the others who tried to help just wish they could have prevented such a tragedy from happening.
Investigators have reconstructed the accident and the State Patrol is expected to give more information Monday morning.