Driver Fleeing Police Accused of Causing Fatal Robbinsdale Crash
Charges Pending for 20-Year-Old Minneapolis Man After Fatal Robbinsdale Crash
One woman was killed and her husband critically injured after a car crash in Robbinsdale on Saturday night.
According to Robbinsdale Police Capt. John Elder, a police officer was doing routine patrols around 8:15 p.m. on 42nd Avenue when he saw a Tesla drive past at nearly twice the speed limit.
“The vehicle was occupied by one male wearing a ninja-style face mask,” Elder said.
The officer began to follow the vehicle along side streets.
“This in our minds certainly appeared to be that this person was attempting to elude the officer,” Elder said.
The suspect vehicle ducked down an alley near Orchard and Perry avenues. The officer attempted to intercept the vehicle at the end of the alley and the suspect drove onto Orchard, police said.
As the officer turned on his lights and sirens, police say the suspect fled rapidly down Orchard Avenue.
“The officer estimated the speed of the suspect vehicle as it was pulling away from him to be between 70 and 90 miles an hour,” Elder said.
The suspect later crashed into a minivan at 36th Avenue.
“He didn’t even appear to hit his breaks,” Elder said.
34-Year-Old Woman Killed in Crash
The crash killed a 34-year-old woman and left her husband in a medically-induced coma.
According to a GoFundMe page for the family, the victims were Emily and John Gerding.
The pair have two children, a 6-year-old and a 2-year-old, who were not in the vehicle at the time of the crash.
As of Monday afternoon, the fundraiser had collected more than $49,000 for the family.
“John and Emily (née Darmer) worked as special education teachers at a local middle school,” the GoFundMe page reads. “They were about to celebrate their 7th wedding anniversary in August. Emily would have celebrated her 35th birthday later this month. She was busy planning the party for [their daughter’s] upcoming 3rd birthday this month as well.”
The suspect, a 20-year-old Minneapolis man, sustained minor injuries and was treated at a local hospital. He remains in police custody facing criminal vehicular operation charges.
As of Monday, charges in the case were pending.
“A working theory on this is he may have been doing about 100 miles an hour when he struck that vehicle,” Elder said.
The police department supports the decision to end the pursuit.
“It’s just a very, incredibly hectic time and officers are always given the discretion of when to discontinue,” Elder said.
Meanwhile, the crash comes as driver speeds are becoming increasingly dangerous.
“I will tell you that since COVID, we have seen speeds increase on our roadways,” Elder said. “And it’s not just Robbinsdale, it’s literally across the state of Minnesota. We’re seeing more stops that are happening with people in double and triple digits.”