MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 22-year-old man from Hector, Minn., died over the weekend after he stole a van, fled pursuing police and crashed head-on into a squad car, police said.
The Renville County Sheriff’s Office said it received 911 reports Saturday evening saying a suspect – later identified as Cody A. Kirgiss – stole a van and was driving it recklessly in Olivia, Minn., near 9th Street and Circle Drive.
An officer quickly found Kirgiss and saw that the van he was driving had a flat tire. The officer flipped on his sirens, but Kirgiss refused to stop and drove onto Highway 212, heading west.
In an attempt to stop Kirgiss, a Renville County deputy parked his squad car on the eastbound-side shoulder of the highway, got out of his car and tried to lay down a tire-deflation device. But before the device could be deployed, Kirgiss crossed the highway’s center line, drove into on-coming traffic and slammed into the unoccupied squad car.
The van which Kirgiss was driving rolled and started on fire.
Officers ran to the van and tried to aid Kirgiss. Bystanders attempted to put out the fire.
Eventually, Kirgiss was airlifted to North Memorial Medical Center, where he died, the sheriff’s office said.
An officer from Olivia and a Renville County deputy were treated at the Renville County Hospital and Clinics for smoke and fire extinguisher chemical inhalation. Both were released.