MPD says crash that killed two was not a police chase

Two others hurt following collision in northside alleyway

June 16, 2018 - 7:17 am

Two are dead and two others were hurt after a speeding van crashed into a parked car Friday night in a north Minneapolis alley.  

MPD officials say the crash in the alley between Queen and Penn Avenues was not the result of a police chase.

"The officer was never even close enough," said MPD spokesman John Elder. "You look at the amount of time that elapsed, there's no way that officer could have been anywhere close enough to even remotely consider this a pursuit."

It happened at 7:52 p.m.after police in an unmarked squad car were responding to a hit-and-run call when two vehicles drove by at a high rate of speed.

One car was pulled over in the area of 27th Street and Russell Avenue, and the driver told police the van that was ahead of him had just run into his vehicle.

Following the traffic stop, officers found out that the van went down the alley, hit two telephone poles and crashed in the parked car as one person was getting out of it.  

The driver of the van was taken into custody. A passenger in the van was killed while the other victim was in the driver's seat of the parked car.

 "The first vehicle blew by (the officer) at a high rate of speed," said Elder. "We don't have any reason to believe that car slowed down at all as a result of the second vehicle being stopped."

Both victims died at the scene, and the two who were hurt were taken to North Memorial Hospital.

All four people involved in the crash were adults.

Names of the victims are not released.

The crash comes less than a week after a police chase ended with a car traveling in excess 80 miles per hour crashing into a northside neighborhood playground, hitting several young children. 

Hennepin County attorney Mike Freeman said police should discourage high-speed pursuits in residential areas.