Police chase leads to fatal crash in Minneapolis

8:18 PM, Sep 9, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - Investigators are on the scene of a fatal car crash that began with a police pursuit in Minneapolis overnight and ended with the death of an innocent man.

The Minnesota State Patrol says it started in Minneapolis with a traffic stop for speed and suspected drunk driving. The 34-year-old male driver initially pulled over on I-94 westbound near the 11th Street exit but soon sped off, leading police on a chase.

The chase ended when the suspect, behind the wheel of a 1997 Nissan Maxima crashed into another car near 4th St. Southeast and Central Avenue shortly before 1 a.m. Monday. State Patrol spokesman Lt. Eric Roeske says the state trooper involved in the crash attempted a PIT move at least four times in an attempt to disable the fleeing motorist. A PIT move is where a trooper uses a front quarterpanel of his squad car to spin a suspect out.

He says the chase lasted approximately three minutes and 10 seconds before the suspect car struck another vehicle directly on the driver's side door.

The State Patrol confirms that 20-year-old Brody Sontona from Spring Valley, Wisconsin, the driver of the vehicle that was struck by the fleeing car, was killed in the crash and his passenger, 24-year-old Connor Macklin of Stillwater, is reported in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center. 

Sotona was a 2011 graduate of Spring Valley High School, where his principal says he was well liked. He played baseball, football and golf.

Roeske says the suspect has had his driving privileges suspended due to multiple convictions but did not offer details.

The suspect, from St. Paul, suffered non life-threatening injuries when his car careened into a building. Criminal charges against him are likely.

The trooper involved in the chase is on leave, a routine move following what the State Patrol calls a "critical incident" in which someone is killed. Roeske also says investigators will look into the chase itself and the way it was conducted, also routine in a situation such as this.

Investigators and cleanup crews got the intersection open before 7 a.m., meaning that the busy intersection was open for the majority of morning rush hour.


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