MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Authorities say four women and a teenage girl were killed in a crash after a driver ran a red light while fleeing law enforcement Friday night.
According to law enforcement, just past 10 p.m., a parked state trooper watched as a car sped past northbound along I-35W towards the Lake Street transit center. That trooper started to drive after the car, but the suspect driver immediately veered off the highway, ran a red light and collided with another vehicle. The five people in the vehicle were pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver left the scene of the crash, but with the help of witnesses, Minneapolis police were able to track him down for an arrest soon after. Minneapolis police said the driver was not being pursued by police before the crash and that the state trooper never turned on their lights or sirens.
"We suspect that the driver may be impaired," Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara said later.
Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center Director Khalid Omar and board member Abdulahi Farah say all five women killed in the car were under the age of 20 years old. Farah and Omar described them as key members of the faith community who often volunteered and took care of the mosque.
"It’s a big loss for our community, you can only imagine one individual person passing away, but now we have five young women who were a part of our community who passed away," Omar told FOX 9 on Saturday. "These were our brightest individuals, our brightest young sisters."
The mosque is allowing space for members to grieve together this weekend. A fundraiser has been set up for the victim's families, which has raised over $177,000 as of Saturday evening. The fundraiser can be found here.