Uber driver seriously injured in North Minneapolis crash

UPDATE: The Uber driver has died of his injuries, police announced Monday.

An Uber driver is in critical condition after he was struck by the driver of an SUV while on a fare Friday night, according to police.

Uber driver Abdishakur Sandiko, 48, had a passenger in his car Friday night while driving down Plymouth Avenue in Minneapolis when he was hit by a man speeding southbound on Lyndale Avenue in an SUV. 

Emery Winford, 42, ran a red light and struck Sandiko’s back seat. All three people were injured. 

“This was a person who was just out working, a person that was just out doing a job, this was a crash that didn’t have to happen,” said John Elder with the Minneapolis Police. “It’s tragic, it truly is tragic.”

The fierce collision collapsed the entire driver’s side of Sandiko’s car. The impact from the crash was so intense that his vehicle was forced off the roadway and onto an electrical box.

Fortunately, Minneapolis fire crews arrived within minutes to ensure Sandiko and his passenger received prompt and safe aid.

Sunday, however, the force of the impact was still evident as traffic lights at the intersection remain without power. Temporary stop signs now direct the four-way traffic.

“It was a very substantial impact,” Elder said.  “Very serious injuries and we’re keeping a great thought that he’ll be able to survive this crash.”

Sandiko remained in critical condition Sunday night. The Uber passenger, Christopher Patrick, was treated and released. Patrick tells Fox 9 he visited his Uber driver Saturday in the intensive care unit. During the visit, Patrick also met with Sandiko’s family and learned the Uber driver is a father of five.

“My thoughts and prayers are with them,” Patrick said.

Patrick himself spent Sunday recovering at home from a puncture wound to his right leg, cuts and bruises. He also says his entire left side was in a great deal of pain. 

“I wouldn’t say major,” Patrick said of his injuries, “but I wouldn’t say minor either.”

At Lyndale and Plymouth Ave. N. the speed limit is 30 mph. Witnesses told investigators Winford was driving twice that speed. The suspect now sits in the Hennepin County Jail. 

Police say three mitigating factors on Windford’s end led up to the crash: speed, failure to yield, and alcohol.

Investigators cite a preliminary “indication” Winford ingested alcohol prior to the crash.

“Had any of those three things not been a factor, the crash likely wouldn’t have happened,” Elder added.

“With the amount of public transportation that there is now, there’s no reason people should be drinking and driving now,” Elder continued. “There’s no reason.”

At minimum, Winford faces a criminal vehicular operation charge.