MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Family members are demanding answers after three people were killed moments after the Minnesota State Patrol called off a high-speed chase early Sunday in Minneapolis.
The trooper was chasing a stolen car driven by a teenager.
The stolen Ford Escape exited off Interstate 94 East onto Hiawatha Avenue and then turned onto Cedar Avenue. It slammed into a pickup truck at 35th and Cedar, crashing right in front of a famous Twin Cities burger restaurant.
Minnesota State Patrol is not commenting on the chase or the crash.
The stolen car was driven by an 18-year-old man of Minneapolis, who suffered life-threatening injuries. There were also four teenage passengers inside the stolen car who were injured.
Pictures show the horrifying crash, both the stolen Ford Escape and the pickup truck crushed by the impact. The three people killed were husband and wife Kenneth and Cheryl Carpentier and their friend Kim Gunderson — driving home from a neighborhood reunion.
Kim Gunderson’s aunt, Paula Gunderson, and Kim’s former boyfriend, Dave Opsahl, came to see the memorial in front of Matt’s Bar.
“They were just so loving,” Opsahl said.
“Kim was always laughing and smiling,” Paula Gunderson added.
According to the written statement from the Minnesota State Patrol, the crash happened moments after troopers called of the high-speed chase.
Kim Gunderson’s cousin, Natasha Gunderson, questions why the chase was not called off earlier.
“They need to stop, something has to be done, something has to be changed,” Natasha Gunderson said.
Gunderson lives within blocks of the north Minneapolis playground where in June three children were injured by a speeding SUV following another high-speed chase by the Minnesota State Patrol.
“There are too many lives being taken, there’s little kids being hurt, there’s innocent lives,” Natasha Gunderson said.
After that crash, family members and even the Hennepin County Attorney raised questions. Mike Freeman said in June of the playground crash:
“I would rather see someone get away many times than cause this kind of injury,” Freeman said. “Residential streets are just not make for people driving 80 miles an hour.”
There is no update on the condition of the 18-year-old driver of the stolen car or the four teenage passengers who are 16, 16, 14 and 13. A GoFundMe to help the three people who were killed has been created.