A man who nearly hit a Minneapolis police squad car head-on and then sped away as officers tried to stop him died early Wednesday when he crashed into a building and was ejected from his vehicle.
The fleeing driver also hit a minivan that was waiting to turn at Penn Avenue N. and West Broadway before slamming into a vacant building around 2:10 a.m., said police spokesman John Elder.
Authorities had the intersection blocked off for about four hours as the Minneapolis Police Traffic Unit and the State Patrol investigated. It reopened around 6:30 a.m., just ahead of the peak of the morning commute.
Police were driving north on Penn Avenue when they were forced to take evasive action to avoid being hit head-on by a southbound driver near 36th Avenue N. Officers turned around and made a traffic stop a block away at 35th Avenue.
As an officer walked up to the vehicle, the man refused to roll down his window or acknowledge the officer’s presence. Officers knocked on the window to gain the driver’s attention but the man sped off, Elder said.
Officers tried to catch the vehicle, but “they never got all that close,” Elder said.
Just a few blocks away at Penn and Broadway, the fleeing driver clipped a minivan that was waiting to make a left turn, then crashed into a building. The name of the man, who was the one occupant of the fleeing vehicle, has not been released.
The driver of the minivan refused medical attention and “gave us a good statement,” Elder said.