Two people in a stopped vehicle on a highway in Brooklyn Park were hit from behind and killed by a pickup truck driver with a suspended license, officials said.
The fiery collision occurred about 11:30 a.m. Monday on northbound Hwy. 169 near 109th Avenue, police said.
Traffic was slowing to a stop near the 109th Avenue exit in both directions when 55-year-old Juan Jose Gonzalez, of Maple Grove, crashed into the back of an SUV, the State Patrol said. The SUV then hit another SUV in front.
The state Department of Public Safety said Tuesday that Gonzalez was driving while his license was suspended.
Gonzalez hit the SUV "at highway speeds," Police Inspector Elliot Faust said. The impact ignited a fire that sent thick, black smoke skyward.
A male driving the SUV and his female passenger died at the scene, the patrol said. The agency has yet to release their names, ages or where they lived.
Gonzalez was taken by emergency responders to North Memorial Health Hospital with noncritical injuries, according to the patrol. The driver of the other SUV, 78-year-old Judith M. Grace, of Andover, was not hurt.