By Jeff Wagner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As the lunch hour approached outside Matt’s Bar Sunday, workers swept the sidewalk out front, clearing it of broken glass. The sharp and sad was a reminder of the loss AnnDee and Natasha Gunderson feel as they placed flowers at the spot where their cousin lost her life.

“There’s no reason why this had to happen,” said AnnDee.” Very sad day.”

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Their cousin, Kimberly Gunderson, was riding in a truck with her two friends Kenneth and Sheryl Carpentier. The trio had just left south side reunion party around 1 a.m. when investigators say a man driving a stolen SUV rammed into them. All three died at the scene.

“It could be anybody at that intersection. Just unfortunately it was them,” said Robert Goodsell, Sheryl’s brother.

Investigators said Minnesota state troopers were tailing the stolen SUV along I-94. When the driver, 18-year-old Dayqyan Jayru Hodge, turned onto Highway 55 and exited on Cedar Avenue, the troopers tried to pull the SUV over. Investigators said Hodge sped off.

After four blocks, investigators said the troopers stopped their pursuit because they learned a State Patrol helicopter was following the SUV from above. Hodge would soon crash into Kenneth’s truck, sending the vehicles onto the sidewalk outside Matt’s Bar.

“I mean just stop. Pull over for the police,” said Goodsell. “How many times do you see this? You’re gonna be under arrest, you’re gonna be caught, why impact other people’s lives?”

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(credit: Carpentier Family)

Goodsell said he’ll remember his sister, Sheryl, and brother-in-law, Kenneth, as good-hearted, loving people who cherished their south side friendships, especially with Gunderson.

“Everybody loved her,” Natasha said of Gunderson. “She was a joy of life. She’s fun to be with. Everybody loved to hang out with her.”

Bonds built in the very neighborhood where all three of their lives suddenly ended.

“Don’t take any days for granted. In a blink of an eye someone can be removed from this Earth,” said Goodsell.

The Carpentier’s leave behind three children, as well as one more child each from previous relationships.

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A GoFundMe has been created to help both families with funeral expenses.

Jeff Wagner