Fridley Woman, 2 Children Killed By Driver In High Speed Chase
Three people were killed when a stolen vehicle, being chased by the Minnesota State Patrol, hit their vehicle over the weekend.
The accident happened just after midnight Sunday (Dec. 5). Police say 29-year-old Rufus Onel Victor was being pursued after he was seen driving erratically exiting on Dowling Avenue from Interstate 94 in Minneapolis.
Police say Victor hit two vehicles, one unoccupied and the other with a woman and her two children inside.
Twenty-nine-year-old Amanda Jean Thomas, of Fridley, her 12-year-old son, André, and 3-month-old boy Akeron were all killed in the crash. Thomas and the 12-year-old died at the scene and the baby was taken to the hospital, where WCCO reports, he later died.
“This car came out from nowhere. He was doing about 80-90 miles an hour and slammed into the side of her car,” witness Cynthia Haynes told WCCO.
Haynes was in the left lane. Thomas’ car was right next to her and both were heading east on Broadway when Thomas’ car was hit.
“It turned around in a few circles and came up on the curb and I seen the young, apparently it was her oldest son, I seen him fly out of the car, “Haynes said.
The State Patrol said the vehicle being pursued had been reported stolen and the chase had been going on for about a minute when the crash occurred.
Victor eventually fled on foot, but was caught after a brief search.
Police took a blood sample from Victor on the scene, but the results are still being processed. WCCO reports that it is believed Victor was driving impaired.
Victor had minor injuries and was taken to Hennepin County Jail, where he is currently in custody. He has a number of prior offenses in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, including assault, theft and burglary.
(Picture from Hennepin Co. Sheriff’s Dept.)