Family member describes injuries of children struck by car in Mpls. playground

Two of them have life-threatening injuries; suspect in custody

Susie Jones
June 11, 2018 - 11:17 am
KIds hit following police chase

Susie Jones

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Three children were struck by a moving car following a high-speed state patrol chase that entered a north Minneapolis playground Monday morning.

Authorities say 3-year-old Lillianna Lee Peltier and 2-year-old Kayden Jay Peltier suffered life-threatening injuries when the SUV smashed into a swing-set. Konnor Jace Peltier, 3, suffered more minor injuries.

A relative of the three siblings says Lilliana has bleeding on the brain, and Kayden is suffering from a broken neck.

"My sister's husband was there and watched his children get run over by a car," the children's aunt told WCCO television. "I can't even fathom how I would feel."

The driver of the vehicle, 27-year-old Kabaar Wahleen Powell of Richfield, remains in custody, and is expected to be charged sometime Tuesday.

Bail was not set for Powell, who's being held on suspicion of criminal vehicle operation, bodily harm, and feeling from officers.

The playground at Bohanon Park adjacent to Jenny Lind Elementary School, near the intersection of 50th and Dupont Ave. North.

The State Patrol reported the incident started on Interstate 94, when a trooper tried to pull over the driver of an SUV.

"The suspect refused to stop and exited the freeway at 53rd Street," said Captain Jason Bartell, who added that the trooper followed protocol when pursuing the suspect. 

The chase continued and the suspect ran into the park breaking down tennis court nets before smashing into the swing set. 

Raymond Campbell brought his three grandchildren to play at the park and was shocked to see the scene.

"They were chasing him too far, "Cambell said. "They should have stopped once they got off the highway."

Witnesses say the children were hit by the black SUV that was being pursued by officers and slammed into a swingset.

The metal poles of the swingset were mangled by the impact, and dozens of squad cars were at the scene.

"They went in the ambulance, I pray that they're okay. They were doctoring up the guy in the squad car," Bobby Jo Aman told WCCO's Susie Jones at the scene.

"It's really sad that someone would drive though a park where there are kids to try to get away from cops," she said. "They should never do that."