MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WCCO) — Outside Holy Cross Catholic Church in Minneapolis, a quiet holiday ended in a violent thud. That’s when a noontime collision sent debris flying and six people to the hospital.
Ken Harrington was nearby and saw paramedics treating the injured motorists.
“They took 15 to 20 minutes while I was here to put neck braces on them and just get them into the ambulance,” Harrington said.
Two men traveling east on 17th Avenue were the most seriously hurt. Their green Honda Element was broadsided at the intersection of University Avenue by a maroon Crown Victoria traveling southbound.
Only minutes earlier the vehicle’s driver had sped away from police officers who had attempted a routine traffic stop.
Police spokesman John Elder said, “Officers observed the vehicle driving erratically, carelessly, actually recklessly. So they attempted the traffic stop and the driver chose to not yield, but flee.”
Sensing a threat to public safety officers, they called off their pursuit. However, the suspect’s vehicle continued to drive erratically and at a high rate of speed on residential streets.
“Speeds approximately 50 miles per hour,” Elder said.
A third vehicle, a Chevrolet pickup, was also struck in the collision. The driver of that vehicle was also transported to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
After crashing into both vehicles, the suspect, bleeding from the violent collision, got out of his vehicle and tried to flee on foot.
“The person in the maroon car actually got out and started to run away and the police were here fast enough and able to get him,” Harrington said.
Officers examining the wreckage would later discover methamphetamine in the suspect’s vehicle. A discovery that may explain the driver’s flight — but not a disregard for the safety of innocent motorists.