MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Police are continuing to investigate after a SUV ran into a Minneapolis bus stop and left one person dead Monday evening.
Billie Weaver, 45, was killed as she waited for her son to pick her up from McDonald’s Monday evening. She was a mother of four and grandmother to 15.
It happened just after 5 p.m. at the intersection of 45th Avenue and Lyndale Avenue North.
Police say a woman driving an SUV that was parked in the lot began to accelerate in reverse.
The car hit another car, a tree and then went through the bus shelter, striking Weaver and killing her.
The victim’s son, Terrance Weaver, says words can’t express the pain he feels. He was at the scene just minutes after she was killed.
“I just don’t believe it, just don’t believe it at all,” Weaver said. “They ran over three things before they ran over my Mom and then the car stopped right after that, so, I mean, I don’t see how the car stops right after they hit my Mom, you know? I mean, it’s just hard to believe.”
Minneapolis Police told WCCO Monday night they questioned the woman who was driving the SUV, and her boyfriend, who was a passenger.
They each offered an explanation about what happened and were then released.
Police say this is a case that will take quite some time to investigate. This is in part because one of the things they are looking into is whether the SUV malfunctioned.
Police describe the crime scene as gruesome and heartbreaking.
On Tuesday, the smashed bus shelter was gone, and in its place was a modest memorial and small pieces of shattered glass.
“What we found out was that the driver was valid. The driver did not appear to be under any influence of alcohol or drugs through testing done at the scene,” Officer John Elder said.
Police say they are looking into whether there was a mechanical problem with the SUV.
“But, we are looking into that. We are looking into everything. We have a fair amount of videotape of it as well,” Elder said.
Witnesses described the terrifying scene.
“I tried to scream. I was screaming for the car to stop and it wouldn’t stop,” Delena Walker, who witnessed the accident, said.
Others say they saw the driver fighting with her passenger just before the SUV took off.
“Some lady was arguing with her boyfriend, fighting with her boyfriend. She smacks a car, then smacks a tree and then the bus stop,” Victoria Riley, who was at the scene, said.
Police are still investigating, but have a lot to consider.
“What I can tell you is that I’ve heard many of the same things. Unfortunately, in speaking with the different witnesses, we have a lot of different accounts of what happened before and during the crash,” Elder said.
“Anybody who knows my mom knows she is a good person. She didn’t deserve to die. And the people who ran over my mom are responsible for her death,” Terrance Beauchamp Weaver, Weaver’s son, said.
As previously stated, investigators are looking into the possibility that there was a problem with 2003 Mercury Mountaineer the woman was driving.
WCCO looked into the performance history of the SUV involved in this. It was discovered that there have been acceleration problems with that vehicle, including a class action lawsuit involving acceleration issues with several Ford vehicles made between 2002 and 2010.
The lawsuit was filed last year on behalf of customers in 14 states.
The company wants the case dismissed, and says some of the people involved never had any issues with their cars.