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Joseph Lindberg and Elizabeth Mohr, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Published February 07 2014

UPDATED: Two dead after high-speed chase; Highway 212 in Eden Prairie remains closed

What began as a hit-and-run in the west metro city of Chaska on Friday morning turned into a 20-mile high-speed chase on U.S. 212 that ended with a man and a woman dead.

Four officers are on leave after firing their guns.

Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske offered few additional details during an afternoon news conference at Eden Prairie City Hall.

Citing an ongoing investigation, Roeske said the relationship between the man and woman was unknown. He also could not confirm whether it was a hostage scenario, who was driving the suspect vehicle, or whether either of the vehicle’s occupants had a weapon.

The names of the deceased will be released pending autopsies by the Hennepin County medical examiner, Roeske said.

The four officers – a State Patrol trooper, two Chaska police officers and a Carver County sheriff’s deputy – have been placed on administrative leave, which is common when a law enforcement officer fires his or her weapon. Their names have not been released.

The incident began with a report of a hit-and-run accident in Carver County near U.S. 212 and County Road 43 in Chaska about 7:30 a.m. There were subsequent reports of a red Saab driving erratically on the highway near County Road 51.

Officers located the Saab traveling east on U.S. 212, and a chase began, hitting speeds of up to 90 mph, police reported.

For a portion of the chase, the Saab’s hood was popped open and leaning against the windshield.

Traffic camera footage shows the Saab driving down the highway with multiple law enforcement vehicles in pursuit. The suspect vehicle hit spike strips and nearly struck a squad car, but continued on.

The chase ended just before 8 a.m., when the Saab veered to the right shoulder and struck a retaining wall near Dell Road in Eden Prairie.

Both the driver and the passenger got out of the car, according to police, but what led to the two deaths is unclear.

Roeske could not say whether it was police fire that killed them both.

U.S. 212 remained closed in both directions Friday afternoon. Drivers were encouraged to check the state’s 511mn.org website to see when the highway was reopened to traffic.


The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service.