Crash with squad car brings DWI charge

  • Article by: PAM LOUWAGIE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 14, 2010 - 8:35 PM

The State Patrol car was enroute to help Minneapolis police when the collision occurred early Sunday.

A woman was arrested and accused of drunken driving early Sunday after her vehicle and a State Patrol car on its way to an emergency collided, a patrol spokesman said.

The trooper had activated his car's lights and siren after being called to assist Minneapolis police responding to a fight just before 2 a.m., State Patrol Capt. Matt Langer said.

Trooper Daniel H. Dixon, 33, was driving south on Stinson Boulevard. He slowed before proceeding through the Interstate 35W frontage road intersection, Langer said. The arrested driver, Keena M. Wells, 37, was eastbound on the frontage road and the two collided. Neither was injured. A passenger in Wells' vehicle was treated for minor injuries, Langer said.

"Who specifically is at fault in the crash ... is yet to be determined," Langer said. "Every driver of an emergency vehicle ... has the burden of driving with reasonable and due care. And other drivers also have the burden of driving with reasonable and due care and yielding to emergency vehicles."

Wells was booked on charges of drunken driving and having no proof of insurance, Langer said. He said she was cited because of behavior that indicated intoxication and because another trooper who responded to the crash smelled alcohol.

The collision happened less than 24 hours after two Minneapolis police officers received minor injuries when their squad car was struck from behind by an alleged drunk driver. The crash was on Interstate 35W, near 38th Street.

Langer said it's not unusual for law enforcement vehicles to get hit by drivers who have been drinking.

Pam Louwagie • 612-673-7102

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