16-Year-Old Girl Also Seriously Injured

NASHWAUK, Minn. (AP/WCCO) — The Minnesota State Patrol says a 2-year-old boy in a stroller was killed and a teenager pushing him was injured when a pickup truck veered onto the shoulder of a highway in northeastern Minnesota and struck them and then fled.

The 16-year-old girl was pushing the stroller along Highway 65 in Itasca County Thursday afternoon when they were struck north of Nashwauk. The toddler died at the scene. The girl was taken to a Duluth hospital and has significant injuries.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a helicopter pilot from Wilson Construction Helicopter Service was in the area, helped locate the suspect, called law enforcement, and followed the driver until he could be arrested.

The patrol says the 38-year-old driver, identified as Jake Michael Place of Nashwauk, was arrested near Nashwauk. Police say he has a history of controlled substance abuse and appeared impaired when arrested.

While being arrested, Place admitted to being involved in a crash prior to being stopped. He said he was driving southbound on Highway 65 when he struck a deer or something, police said.

Place has an extensive criminal history, including convictions of controlled substance possession, sale of controlled substances, driving while under the influence of controlled substances.

According to the Itasca County Attorney’s Office, Place is charged with two felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide, four felony counts of criminal vehicular operation, and one gross misdemeanor count of failing to stop for collision.

Place made his first court appearance in court Friday where bail was set at $400,000 without conditions and $200,000 with conditions. His next court appearance was set for Aug. 12, 2019.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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