Driver in fatal collision charged with seven counts
Dayquan Hodge was charged with three counts of criminal vehicular homicide for driving at least 80 miles per hour on Cedar Avenue and then slamming into a pick-up truck and killing all three people inside, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday.
Hodge, 18, of Minneapolis, also was charged with four counts of criminal vehicular operation in connection with the injuries suffered by the passengers in the sports utility vehicle he was driving. Specifically, the person sitting in the right rear seat is still intubated and in critical condition. The left rear seat passenger suffered two fractured legs requiring surgery. The rear middle passenger had facial trauma. The front seat passenger suffered minor injuries to his wrist and knee.
According to the criminal complaint, about 1:15 a.m. Sunday, a Minnesota State patrol Trooper saw a vehicle on Interstate 94 that had been reported stolen. The trooper followed the vehicle and waited for backup. Hodge took the Hiawatha Avenue exit and waited at the stoplight with Cedar Avenue South.
By then, another trooper had arrived and as soon as the light turned green and Hodge turned right onto Cedar Avenue, the troopers activated their emergency lights for Hodge to pull over, the complaint states. Instead, Hodge immediately sped away and kept accelerating until he was traveling an estimated 80 to 90 miles per hour. The troopers pursued the stolen vehicle momentarily, but Hodge was pulling away so they ended the chase. A State Patrol helicopter was overhead for the entire chase.
Hodge ran two red lights. After the chase was stopped, Hodge traveled five more blocks, passed multiple vehicles in the wrong lane of traffic, ran another red light and hit a pickup truck broadside at Cedar Avenue South and 35th Street East. The force of the collision wrapped the pickup around the semaphore and ripped the cab from the truck frame, according to the complaint.
Kimberly Gunderson , 48, of Minneapolis and Kenneth Carpentier, 64, and Sheryl Carpentier, 65, of Bullhead City were pronounced dead at the scene.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office also will seek a higher sentence based on the fact that Hodge’s conduct was substantially more serious than most of these types of offenses, he nearly struck other vehicles, he did not have a valid license or insurance and he fled in a stolen vehicle.
Criminal Complaint (PDF)