Driver, 21, sentenced to more than four years for fatal St. Paul crash

  • Updated: February 4, 2010 - 7:55 PM

When Moussa Ould Maayif was killed last summer when another motorist sped through a stoplight in St. Paul, it was more than just a heartbreaking loss for his family, his ex-wife, Shahidah Siraaj, said Thursday at a sentencing hearing for Jacqueline M. Wagner.

It also was an economic loss, as Maayif was sending money to his native Mauritania to help support his mother, father and 11 brothers and sisters.

Wagner pleaded guilty in December to criminal vehicular operation. District Judge William Leary III noted that an accident reconstructionist estimated Wagner was traveling 66 miles per hour in a 30-mph zone when she hit Maayif. The judge sentenced Wagner to four years and eight months. She must spend at least two-thirds of that time in prison and one-third on supervised release. She also was ordered to pay restitution.

Wagner, 21, of New Brighton, was one of several hundred people watching drag racing near University Avenue and Transfer Street on Aug. 23. When police arrived about 12:15 a.m. to clear a parking lot, she sped off at more than 60 miles per hour, passing vehicles and driving in the wrong lane.

She appeared to pull over when an officer activated his lights and siren, but then sped off, again driving in the wrong lane. She ran a red light at University and Vandalia Street, hitting Maayif's car and sending it careering into a utility pole.

Maayif had received his undergraduate degree in the United States, then returned to Africa. He came back to Minnesota to study for his MBA at the University of St. Thomas and was working at Boston Scientific.

"We will always miss him. ... May God rest his soul," Siraaj said.

PAT PHEIFER

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