Driver eluding Minneapolis police crashes into SUV, killing its driver


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TheeBadOne
July 12, 2003, 02:01 AM
http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/3984186.html
Driver eluding Minneapolis police crashes into SUV, killing its driver

A woman was killed early Friday evening when a driver trying to elude Minneapolis police officers crashed into her sport-utility vehicle, police said.

Officers working in the Phillips neighborhood spotted what they believed was a suspicious vehicle about 5:45 p.m. near the intersection of E. 26th St. and 12th Av. S. The officers were on a special patrol working an area known for drug trafficking and prostitution, spokesman Ron Reier said.

"With a car parked on the side of a street with one person standing outside of the vehicle and another in the driver's seat, the officers didn't know what was going on," he said.

Officers called into dispatch to report the suspicious car before questioning the men, Reier said. As they spoke to the man standing outside the car, they told the driver not to leave.

But the driver sped away southbound on 12th, before officers could pursue, Reier said. As he drove, he sped over speed bumps and past Anderson Open Elementary.

One officer stayed with the man who was being questioned, while the other officer got into his squad. Two blocks away and seconds later, before the officer could even turn on his emergency lights and siren, the car smashed into the woman's SUV, causing it to roll, Reier said.

The car's driver ran away on foot before police could catch him, Reier said.

Brenda Pike, 45, who lives in a duplex near the corner of 28th St. and 12 Av. S. where the crash happened, said she rushed to her window after hearing loud screeches and crashing metal.

Squad cars were already on the scene before Pike could call 911. As she watched the scene unfold, her attention became focused on one officer torn between his duties, she said.

"He didn't know whether to go to the SUV or go after the guy," Pike said, adding that the officer stayed with the woman. "You could tell by his body movement that he was really in a quandary."

Felicia Maxie, 32, and one of Pike's neighbors, said the SUV crashed into and flipped onto stoplights on the corner. The driver's side front door was crushed by a fire hydrant, she said.

The woman, whose identity was not released Friday, had been partially thrown from her vehicle, Pike said.

The man whom police were questioning when the driver sped away was detained, Reier said, but it was unclear how long he would be held. Scores of onlookers watched as police used canine units and a State Patrol helicopter to help search for the fleeing driver. But no arrests had been made as of late Friday.

Hours later the incident, Pike stood on her front steps facing the mangled stoplights. After viewing the wreckage, she said, she knew instantly that the woman had little chance of surviving.

"She didn't deserve to go out like that," Pike said. "Nobody could've survived that."

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Tamara
July 12, 2003, 02:06 AM
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