MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KMSP) - Three people are dead after an SUV involved in a State Patrol chase crashed into another car early Sunday morning outside Matt's Bar in South Minneapolis.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a stolen Ford Escape was traveling east near the I-94 tunnel around 1:15 a.m. when a trooper began to follow it. The Escape exited onto south Highway 55 and then headed southbound on Cedar Avenue. On the Cedar on-ramp, two troopers attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled.
Troopers terminated the pursuit after four blocks when a lieutenant noted a State Patrol helicopter overhead.
The vehicle continued driving on Cedar and crashed moments later into a Dodge Ram at 35th Street and Cedar Ave.
The three adults in the Dodge died as a result of the crash, according to the State Patrol.
The deceased have been identified as a 64-year-old Kenneth Carpentier, 65-year-old Sheryl Carpentier - both from Bullhead City, Arizona - and 48-year-old Kimberly Marie Gunderson of Minneapolis.
Kenneth’s brother Tom is grief-stricken after the crash.
“I was really close with my brother. I’ve got four other brothers, too. Me and him were the closest.”
Tom said the group was on their way home from their yearly southside reunion at Schooner Bar when they were hit.
“My brother don’t drink no more. Him and his wife, as far as I know, they were taking a good friend of ours home when they got broadsided,” he said. “We were here having a good time. I left at 11. I get a call from my sister in Iowa. I said ‘no, it’s not true.'"
Cheryl Flatergraff also got a call Sunday morning.
“I talked to all of them last night, got hugs because I hadn’t been down there in a while,” she said. “It just goes to show that when you’re out having a good time you better just go out and have fun and do what you can do… because you just don’t know, and then something like this happens,” she said.
The driver of the Ford Escape has been identified as 18-year-old Dayquan Jayru Hodge. He suffered life-threatening injuries and is in police custody at Hennepin County Medical Center. Four passengers - ages 13 to 16 - were sent to HCMC with injuries, as well. Hodge was the only one wearing a seat belt.
It is not yet known if alcohol played a factor in the crash.
The family has set up a GoFundMe for funeral expenses, which you can find here.