Reckless driver charged with killing pedestrian


A Minneapolis man has been charged with two crimes for striking and killing a pedestrian with his car and more charges are possible, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday.

Howard William Amos, 36, was charged with simple robbery and fleeing police in a motor vehicle resulting in a death. Because he was speeding and did not keep control of his sports utility vehicle last weekend, he struck and killed Diana I. Garcia-Alvarado, 16, of Phoenix, Az.

“This case is so sad because police were trying to pull Mr. Amos over because they knew his speeding in a residential area could cause just this kind of tragedy,” Freeman said. “Worse, Ms. Garcia-Alvarado had reached the safety of the other curb, but Mr. Amos’ inability to control his vehicle pushed the SUV into that normally safe area, taking a young life.”

According to the criminal complaint, at about 9:55 p.m. Sept.2, a Minneapolis police squad saw Amos’ black SUV speeding and run over the center median at 33rd Avenue North. He then continued at high speed north on Emerson Avenue North. The police officers turned on their lights and sirens to get him to pull over. Instead, Amos accelerated to at least 55 miles per hour and ran through a stop sign at 34th Avenue.

Garcia-Alvarado’s boyfriend told police that the couple had walked to a store for milk and were heading home when they heard the sirens and saw a vehicle with its lights off coming toward them as they stood on the grassy median of the roundabout at 36th and Emerson. Garcia-Alvarado panicked and ran across the street and made it to the far curb. However, Amos’ SUV hit the roundabout and bounced the vehicle over to the curb where Garcia-Alvarado was standing, the complaint states.

The SUV also smashed into parked cars. Amos got out of the car and ran toward Fremont Avenue with an officer in pursuit. The officer caught up to Amos as he was inside a car with three women and two children, trying to drive the car away in an apparent carjacking. Police eventually were able to pull him out of the car and arrest him.

Garcia-Alvarado was taken to the hospital, where she died a short time later. Doctors also reported that she was about 12 weeks pregnant, according to the complaint.

Police also took a blood sample from Amos and the results are pending. Police recovered a handgun from Amos’ SUV and DNA testing is underway to determine if it is his. He is prohibited from possessing a gun, according to the complaint.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)