St. Paul man charged in collision, death of Uber driver


A St. Paul man was charged with criminal vehicular homicide and other crimes in connection with the death of an Uber driver, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday.


Emery Winford, 42, was charged with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide and two counts of criminal vehicular operation for the crash that killed 48-year-old Abdishakur Sandiko and injured his passenger. 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. The criminal complaint was issued as a warrant and police are looking for Winford.


Around 9:25 p.m. on March 16, Sandiko was driving his black Chrysler sedan as an Uber driver, according to the criminal complaint. He was driving his passenger 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, sending it into an electrical box at the southeast corner of the intersection.


A witness said she was driving east on Plymouth, just ahead of Sandiko’s car. She had the green light and turned left onto Lyndale. Almost immediately, she saw the Tahoe driving erratically south on Lyndale and well above the speed limit, so she pulled over to the side and saw Winford smash into the Chrysler, the complaint states.


Sandiko’s passenger said he was looking at his phone at the time of the accident, but Sandiko had been driving fine before that. The passenger suffered injuries to his ribs and needed five stitches to close a wound to his left leg. Sandiko was unconscious and bleeding when police arrived. He died from his injuries three days later.


Criminal Complaint (PDF)