BURNSVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) — The family of a woman killed in a fiery crash following a police chase is speaking out.
Leticia Ocampo was hit by a car that police were chasing near her Burnsville home.
Family and friends are looking for help to send her back to her native Honduras for burial.
“A very happy and beautiful lady. She was always smiling, never a grumpy person at all,” said Marcos Martinez.
Family friend Marcos Martinez says 39-year-old Leticia Ocampo was one part of a dynamic duo.
She and her husband Ocatavio were raising five children together and having fun along the way.
“They had a beautiful summer. They went many places, really enjoyed the outdoors, doing a bunch of stuff together and now this happens,” Martinez said.
Ocampo was on her way to work, she was just 100 feet from her home, turning from the southbound lane of County Highway 5 when she was hit by a speeding van driven by a man trying to get away from police.
She was killed instantly.
Martinez says four children — David, 13, Cynthia, 12, Ocatavio, 7, and Lupita, 1, — were at home when the accident happened.
“The children didn’t want to believe it. It was the next morning that they finally got it that their mom was gone. They thought they were going to go the hospital and see their mom but no,” Martinez said.
The driver of the van, 22-year-old Matthew Vogel, was also killed.
Police say his van matched the description of a vehicle involved in a hit and run crash in Savage.
After hitting Ocampo, the van tore down power lines that set his van on fire.
Police say Ocampo was an innocent driver and her death could have been avoided if the van in question would have just stopped.
Police do have strict guidelines on chases and when to call them off, Apple Valley Police Chief says the officers involved in the chases were within policy.
A GoFundMe page has been set-up to raise money to bring Ocampo back to Honduras.