The deaths of two young women who drowned in a Chaska pond last October were the result of a car crash, police said Monday.
The car with occupants Zeynab “Hapsa” Abdalla and Bushra Abdi, both 19 and from Shakopee, went into a pond at the intersection of Hwy. 41 and White Oak Drive in the early morning hours of Oct. 13 after the driver took the curve too quickly, according to a Police Department news release.
Abdalla was likely driving the Chevrolet Impala, though it’s uncertain because there were no witnesses, police said. Abdalla didn’t have a driver’s license or a permit. Abdi had her driver’s permit.
A reconstruction of the crash by the State Patrol showed the vehicle was going 44 miles per hour, and “that speed was too great to successfully make the turn at that corner,” the release said.
The women’s bodies were found outside of the vehicle in the pond, which was 9 feet deep, the release said. Their deaths were ruled accidental drownings.
The fate of the two cousins was a mystery for the day and a half from when they left their jobs on a break just before 3 a.m. and when their car was found. The tragedy left the Twin Cities Somali-American community reeling.
Friends and family believed that the women’s early-morning plea for help via a cryptic 911 call warranted more urgency than they thought police initially showed. Police from Chaska and Shakopee said they took the case seriously from the start.
Chaska Police Chief Scott Knight said the investigation took longer than normal while they waited for the cellphone recovered from the scene to dry out. Authorities determined that it didn’t hold any data that would suggest a cause for the crash.
“It’s a very sad, tragic event,” Knight said. “The resolution doesn’t ease the pain, I’m sure, but at least it’s no longer an unknown.”