Minneapolis firefighter SUV rolls over, person responsible takes off

Police are still looking for the driver responsible for hitting a Minneapolis firefighter last week, causing his SUV to roll over. The vehicle was crumpled and shattered with all four tires blown out.

Minneapolis Fire Capt. Sean Thomas luckily walked away with just a scratch to his hand. He had a few days off after and was pretty shaken, but he is back to work. Through all this he gained a unique perspective, suddenly the people he helps train for the Minneapolis Fire Department were responding to help him.

“Looking back at it I was very fortunate,” Thomas said. “If you see the scene, somehow I came out of that thing alive, I don't know.”

Thomas crawled out of the vehicle last Wednesday afternoon, while the driver who caused it took off. He was headed back toward the training facility north on Marshall Street NE, and doing the 35 mph speed limit. He said a car was stopped to make a left turn at St. Anthony Parkway when another driver made a quick maneuver to go around, right in front of him.

“As I was approaching the vehicle I was thinking I hope he doesn’t pull out, I hope he doesn't pull out,” he said.  “As I got just about parallel he must have looked in his rear view mirror. He or she didn't see me and must have accelerated to go around, the car stopped going left.”

The vehicle plowed right into Thomas. His SUV followed a narrow path, grazing a light pole, hitting an electrical tower, and then rolled plowing over a pole before finally stopping feet before hitting a gas line.

Several other drivers stopped to help Thomas and have also been helping investigators search for the driver of the 2000-2003 silver or pewter color suburban that caused the crash.

“I just think it's irresponsibility, it's your responsibility to own up to it,” he said.

Minneapolis is handling the investigation, while reviewing leads, video evidence, and physical evidence from the scene. Anyone with information is asked to give them a call.