(KMSP) - A St. Paul, Minnesota, man was charged Wednesday in the crash that killed Uber driver Abdishakur Sandiko last month in Minneapolis.
Emery Winford, 42, now faces two counts of criminal vehicular homicide and two counts of criminal vehicular operation for the crash that killed the 48-year-old and injured his passenger, though much to the chagrin of Sandiko's family Winford was set free a short time after the incident.
He was ultimately arrested later Wednesday night in Brooklyn Park, welcome news to Sandiko's wife, Arwah Farah, and their five children just three weeks after they laid him to rest.
"They ask me all the time, 'When is he coming back?'" she said. "I don't think he's coming back."
According to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, blood taken from Winford when he was treated at the hospital revealed he had a blood alcohol reading of just under .17, double the legal limit. He was subsequently arrested, though he was later released pending blood sample results after he denied the allegations--something Farah says should never have happened.
Winford blamed the breath test on adrenaline from the impact, though the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's blood test found his BAC was 0.169 within two hours of the crash.
Nonetheless, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office worked overtime to find and arrest Winford.
"He’s a menace to public safety," Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said. "We're clear on that."
Around 9:25 p.m. on March 16, Sandiko was driving his black Chrysler sedan as an Uber east on Plymouth Avenue North in Minneapolis when Winford, driving a Chevy Tahoe southbound on Lyndale Avenue North, smashed into the driver’s side of the Chrysler. Sandiko's car crashed into an electrical box at the southeast corner of the intersection.
A witness said she was driving east on Plymouth, just in front of Sandiko. She had the green light and turned left onto Lyndale. Almost immediately she saw the Tahoe driving erratically south on Lyndale at speeds approaching 80 mph, the charges said, so she pulled over to the side and saw Winford smash into the Chrysler.
Sandiko was unconscious and bleeding when police arrived and died from his injuries three days later. The passenger suffered injuries to his ribs and needed five stitches to close a wound to his left leg.