Nearly 3 years in prison for driver in north Minneapolis playground crash

A Hennepin County judge sentenced the driver who crashed into a playground in north Minneapolis while fleeing from state troopers, injuring three children, to nearly three years in prison Thursday. 

Last month, Kabaar Powell, 27, pleaded guilty to two felonies for fleeing an officer. He was sentenced to 33 months and one day in prison, two-thirds of which he will spend in custody and the remaining third on supervised release. Restitution is expected to be determined in the coming days. 

On June 11 , Minnesota State Patrol troopers tried to pull him over for speeding on Interstate 94, but Powell tried to outrun them, running through nearly two dozen stop signs while speeding through a north Minneapolis neighborhood. He eventually crashed into the playground at Bohannon Park, where the Peltier family was enjoying the first day of summer vacation. 

Powell ran over three of the Peltier children. Two-year-old Kayden suffered the worst injuries, including broken bones, a traumatic brain injury and a nearly severed spinal cord. Doctors said it is a miracle he survived. Lillie, 4, and Konnor, 3, were also injured. 

In addition to the physical injuries, the children’s mother said they now suffer from night terrors and emotional setbacks. 

“It’s almost like they can’t be kids anymore,” Nicolle Peltier said. “They feel like they have to take on worries they shouldn’t have to.” 

After surgery and two months in the hospital, Kayden finally returned home last week. The family said they will be at Thursday’s sentencing hearing to tell the judge how their lives have been changed by Powell’s actions. 

Powell has not had a valid driver’s license since 2014.