HINCKLEY, Minn. (KMSP) - The Pine County sheriff says a severe thunderstorm may have actually saved lives this time. According to the sheriff, a drunk driver smashed through tents at the St. Croix State Park campground Sunday afternoon, then ran into the woods on foot. The sheriff said campers who would have been in tents that were run over by the SUV had sought shelter in their cars during the storm.
Multiple people called 911 to report the incident at about 3 p.m. Sunday. The callers said a man in a white SUV had driven through the campsites, smashing into pop-up campers and driving over tents. The driver reportedly fled into the woods with a child.
Deputies found the SUV smashed into a tree in the campground area. Directed by a witness, they located Lonnie Jones, 38, of St. Paul, Minn. and took him into custody. Deputies found multiple campsites with damage from the incident.
The child Jones had reportedly fled with was found safe with her mother at Jones’ campsite. Jones is being charged with a DWI and failing to give police information about the crash.