Double Fatal Burnsville Crash Followed Police Pursuit

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two people were killed in a fiery crash following a police pursuit in the south Twin Cities metro area.

Apple Valley police initiated the chase at about 8:20 p.m. Monday, just 10 minutes after the driver sped from the scene of a Savage hit-and-run accident.

Burnsville police officers quickly joined in as the Chevy Astro van approached County Highway 5 and 131st Street, where the still-unidentified woman was turning from the southbound lane and was hit at a high rate of speed.

“This driver demonstrated complete disregard for the safety of others,” Minnesota State Patrol Chief Col. Matt Langer said. “The preliminary information is that [officers] were quite a distance behind, and in fact we don’t know that they actually witnessed the collision itself.”

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The van slammed into a woman who was driving an SUV. The mother of five was just 100 yards from her home and was killed instantly.

The fleeing driver tore down power lines that ignited him in a ball of fire.

Jessica Udlinek had just pulled off the same highway and into her driveway when she heard all the sirens.

“It’s super sad, you know, it’s so close to home. We were just on the road, you know, 30 seconds before this … traveling down the same route the guy was going down, so it’s just really scary,” Udlinek said.

Police have strict guidelines on chases and when to call them off, but Apple Valley Police Chief John Rechtzigel says the officers were within policy.

“Law enforcement frequently will back off, they’ll gain ground when there’s clear roadways. But they’re always trying to show due regard, in the intersections they just don’t blast through them,” Rechtzigel said.

Col. Langer says the crash was avoidable.

“All it took was for the driver of that Chevy van to stop,” he said.

Xcel Energy reported the damaged power poles caused electricity to be cut to more than 300 customers in the area, which was restored shortly thereafter.

More from Bill Hudson

One Comment

  1. kyle says:

    not to big of a fan that our police are having a high speed chase down small streets in Burnsville. that has to at least account to the death of the other vehicle.

    1. Brandt Holte says:

      It wasn’t a small street, it was Co. Rd. 5. The particular location is just over a rise and is downhill. It’s not the first fatality there. Taking a left at 131st while driving south on 5 is dangerous because you can’t see over the rise – it’s less than a block past the rise at Vista View Elementary and you can’t see oncoming traffic until it’s almost on top of you.

      The police are not at fault on this one. The cops at the scene were quite upset about the accident. This maniac was driving dangerously and it was the driver’s decision to endanger everyone around them. I can’t blame the cops for this and it’s unfair to do so. They were trying to protect the public from this menace and unfortunately, they are not always successful. I thank the cops for the job they did last night and am saddened that this POS took someone with them.

    2. Devon'Tae Washington says:

      Dear Kyle-the-Millennial,

      Dakota County Rd. 5 is a 4-lane divided highway with turn lanes. Not a “small street”. Better luck next time.

  2. Michele says:

    What are the police supposed to do? Just let a criminal go? It’s sad, very sad, but they can’t simply just let criminals go because there might be a danger to others. It’s just a shame he had to take someone else out in his stupidity.

Comments are closed.

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