Passenger in car struck by fleeing vehicle remains critical

  • Article by: MATT MCKINNEY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 10, 2013 - 8:55 PM

Charges are expected today against the driver of a car being pursued by the State Patrol.

The passenger of a vehicle hit early Monday by a car fleeing the State Patrol remained in critical condition Tuesday at the Hennepin County Medical Center.

Connor W. Macklin, 24, of Stillwater, was in the Oldsmobile sedan driven by Brody Sotona, 20, of Spring Valley, Wis., when fleeing driver Yia Her, 34, broadsided their car at high speed on the driver’s side. Sotona died at the scene.

The trooper stopped Her on suspicion of drunken driving. He is in the Hennepin County jail and is expected to be charged Wednesday.

A State Patrol accident reconstruction could take weeks as authorities review the crash, said a State Patrol spokesman. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is overseeing the investigation.

Her, who was driving on a suspended license, took off when a State Patrol trooper pulled him over and began walking toward his car on westbound Interstate 94 near the 11th St. exit. The trooper tried to force Her’s car off the road four times during the three-minute, 10-second chase through downtown Minneapolis. It ended when Her slammed into Sotona’s car at the intersection of SE. 4th Street and Central Av. SE.

Sotona’s family has criticized the trooper for pursuing Her’s car through downtown. The State Patrol defended the decision, saying the trooper wanted to get a potentially drunken driver off the streets.

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