A high-speed police chase roared for miles through several north and west metro suburbs at the tail end of Thursday evening’s commute, ending after the suspects’ sport-utility vehicle struck three vehicles and rolled on Interstate 494 in Plymouth.
The fleeing vehicle rolled violently enough to pitch its contents of illicit drugs and stolen merchandise onto the highway.
The passenger abandoned the trapped driver, popped out of the sun roof and made a run for it, but was caught within seconds. The crash left the unidentified duo with noncritical injuries and many drivers caught in a mess of a traffic jam until the lanes reopened about 90 minutes later.
No one else was injured.
While crews were clearing the area, a driver with a 4-month-old in the back seat tried to skirt the backup by driving on the shoulder, but she was stopped by police. A preliminary breath test at the scene measured her blood-alcohol content at 0.24 percent, police said. That’s three times the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.
According to Jeff Beahen, police chief in Rogers, here’s where events unfolded:
At 6:01 p.m., Rogers police received a report of two men attempting to break into a home on Jodis Drive, boarded up from frequent criminal activity. The suspects fled in a white Suzuki Grand Vitara.
Police soon spotted the SUV and attempted to pull it over, but the driver, topping 100 miles per hour at times, zipped south on Hwy. 101 and east on I-94 through Dayton and Maple Grove before reaching southbound I-494.
The suspects threw narcotics out the window throughout the pursuit before their SUV crashed into three vehicles in Plymouth between Rockford Road and Bass Lake Road. The SUV rolled numerous times.
Police believe the driver swallowed a large amount of drugs, possibly methamphetamine, during the pursuit.
During the crash, “cartloads” of stolen goods were flung from the SUV.
“All three lanes were full of credit cards, cellphones, electronics and tools,” Beahen said. Police confiscated 30 to 40 phones, some still in boxes, and dozens of credit cards.
The driver, who is from Wisconsin, had warrants for his arrest stemming from vehicle theft and fleeing police.
Liz Sawyer • 952-746-3282