MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two children are fighting for their lives Monday night after a State Patrol chase ended in a north Minneapolis playground.
It happened at Bohanan Park around 9:30 a.m. Monday Troopers tried pulling over an SUV on Interstate 94 and 53rd street.
They say Kabaar Powell refused to stop, left the highway and ended up crashing into three siblings at the park.
Monday night, two of the kids are at North Memorial Hospital with life-threatening injuries. We spoke with an aunt of the three children. She says the entire family is in shock right now.
They’re trying to understand how a morning at the park turned into a life-threatening situation.
“My first words to Dan were ‘I hope none of the kids got hurt,’” Barbara Bush, a neighbor who lives near the park, said.
It was the first thing that came to mind for witnesses and neighbors. Some saw the end of the crash as the SUV ended up in a swing set. Others were just feet away and were impacted in more ways than one.
“My sister’s husband was there and watched his children get run over by a car. I can’t imagine. I can’t even fathom how I would feel,” Devin Brinkley, the aunt of the three kids, said.
Devin Brinkley says her sister, Nicolle Peltier, was taking a test inside the school while her husband, Kyle, watched the couple’s children play outside. Brinkley says the SUV then crashed through a tennis court and onto the playground, hitting her niece and nephews.
“He had no remorse whatsoever. And apparently got out of the car and continued to run,” Brinkley said.
State troopers eventually caught and arrested the driver, 27-year-old Kabaar Powell. They also say they found a gun in the SUV he was driving. Brinkley says her 2-year-old nephew, Kayden, is in critical condition with a broken neck and hips. She says her 4-year-old niece, Lillianna, has bleeding on her brain, but is in stable condition.
“It’s pretty ridiculous when you are being stopped and you just don’t pull over. And recklessly drive through innocent children and innocent people. It’s ridiculous,” Brinkley said.
Brinkley says her 3-year-old nephew, Konnor, was also there and is traumatized by what happened, but has minor injuries.
Powell was driving with a revoked license.
The State Patrol says when it comes to a decision on when to pursue a suspect and when not to, every situation is different. And it’s up to the trooper and a supervisor to make the call they feel is safest.