Authorities said Tuesday they have spotted the SUV whose driver is suspected of causing a deadly hit-and-run crash near Mankato on Monday, and they are turning to social media in an effort to find the vehicle and the motorist.
The encounter and subsequent rollover crash occurred about 4:40 p.m. Monday on Hwy. 60 west of Lake Crystal and roughly 15 miles southwest of Mankato, the State Patrol said.
Jalynn R. Williams, 20, of Mankato, was thrown from the vehicle driven by her boyfriend, and died at a Rochester hospital. Her boyfriend, Dennis R. Egge, 26, also of Mankato, was hospitalized with noncritical injuries and later released.
Egge told the Star Tribune on Tuesday that Williams waved at the other driver “just to be nice, and he flipped us off and [messed] with us for a few miles.” Egge said it’s his belief that the two SUVs touched slightly at one point before his vehicle went off the highway.
In releasing the photo on Facebook of a dark-colored Ford appearing to exit a gas station, the patrol for the first time classified the incident as a hit-and-run, indicating that the mystery motorist knowingly fled the scene.
The image, the patrol said on Facebook, “was captured on a police dashcam around the time of the deadly crash.”
The patrol said nothing more about the vehicle, including where the photo was taken.
“OK people, let’s get this out there,” Williams’ stepfather, Mason Schau, commented on Facebook. “If you see this [man], call 911 asap. Or me, I’m happy to help.”
The patrol asks anyone who may have information about the crash to call its Mankato district office at 1-507-344-2750.
Earlier that morning, the couple had left Williams’ hometown in central Nebraska, where she was celebrating friends’ high school graduations. They were minutes away from finishing the 450-mile return trip to Minnesota when the crash occurred.