New Hope Couple Dies In I-694 Crash, 2-Year-Old Child Survives
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A man and woman are dead after their car slammed into the back of a semi-truck on Interstate 694 in Fridley, Minn. Friday night.
The crash happened around 8:15 p.m. near the intersection of Matterhorn Drive.
Witnesses said the car was going 100 to 120 miles an hour when it crashed into the back of the semi-truck.
Family members identified the victims as Patrice Hooks, 31, of New Hope and her husband Wilbur.
The couple’s two-year-old son Bishop, who was in the backseat, miraculously survived the collision.
Family members said they had not heard from the couple since early Friday evening.
“Last time we heard from her was about 7:00 p.m. last night,” Patrice’s stepfather Tommy Jackson said.
Jackson said Patrice, her husband Wilbur and their son had been living with him and his wife for a few months.
The three left last night to go visit a friend but never came back.
Until Saturday afternoon their family had no idea they were the victims of a deadly crash.
“Her mother been up all night worrying about where they at and why they haven’t called. We been trying to call their phone numbers and they wouldn’t answer their phones,” Jackson said.
The State Patrol said the car was traveling eastbound on I-694 at speeds of more than 100 miles an hour.
The car likely hit the back of the semi without braking, killing Patrice and Wilbur instantly.
“It was torn up. And like you can see…from the photo itself it was crumpled front to back. I’m still just shocked that the child survived that at all,” witness Ian Yankton said.
Yankton was driving home Friday night when he came upon the crash.
He said as he got closer to the car he realized just how devastating it was.
“I would say it’s one of the worst scenes I’ve ever, uh, come across,” Yankton said.
Jackson said the couple was expecting their second child in a few months.
He said the not-knowing Friday night was hard, but the news that the couple was killed is devastating.
The couple’s son had non life-threatening injuries and spent Friday night in the care of social services.
The semi-truck driver, 68-year-old Steve Pothen of Wadena, was wearing his seatbelt and was not hurt.