Victims of Minneapolis. stoplight ramming are identified

  • Article by: BILL MCAULIFFE
  • Updated: November 4, 2013 - 9:36 PM

The victims of a crash in which a speeding car rammed three others at a stoplight in Minneapolis Sunday morning have been identified as Brandy Banks-Sutta, 21 of Minneapolis, and Melvin Jones, 20, of St. Paul.

The collision occurred about 1:25 a.m. at the intersection of Olson Hwy. and Morgan Avenue N., according to the Minneapolis Police Department.

Three vehicles that were heading east on Olson Hwy. were stopped at the traffic light, when a white car rammed into the last vehicle from behind, killing its occupants, Banks-Sutta and Jones.

The two victims’ vehicle then crashed into the back of another vehicle, pushing it into the car closest to the stoplight.

Banks-Sutta and Jones died of blunt force injuries, according to the Hennepin County medical examiner. Police did not say whether those involved were wearing seat belts.

“It’s mind-boggling, to see they were not even driving when somebody else took their lives,” said Jaquila Marzette, 22, of Minneapolis, a friend of Banks-Sutta who saw her every day. “I think it’s selfish. It’s negligent.”

Banks-Sutta was an aspiring model who “was definitely going places,” Marzette said. “She was an amazing person. She always looked out for someone else.”

Jacob Melson of Minneapolis said he was driving east on Hwy. 55, also known as Olson Hwy., about 1:15 a.m. when the white car came from behind and swerved around him at a high speed. Melson said he was going 40 miles per hour, the speed limit.

The white car’s driver was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center and was in stable condition, according to police.

Four occupants from the other two vehicles also were taken to HCMC for noncritical injuries.

At this point, authorities have not arrested anyone, but excessive speed is suspected as a factor, said police spokeswoman Cyndi Barrington. She said it’s not known if alcohol was involved.

The Minneapolis Police Traffic Investigations unit will do a crash reconstruction. Barrington indicated it could be as long as a month before the investigation results get forwarded for possible prosecution.

Staff writers Jim Adams and Chris Havens contributed to this report. Bill McAuliffe • 612-673-7646

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