A repeat drunken driver with no driver’s license has been charged with fleeing police in Roseville and barreling broadside into a car in St. Paul, igniting a fiery crash that left the other driver hospitalized with serious burns over much of her body and broken vertebrae.
Florencio R. Cordero, 33, of St. Paul, was charged Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court with fleeing police in a vehicle and causing substantial bodily harm. Cordero, in fair condition Tuesday at Regions Hospital for his injuries in the collision early Saturday at Dale Street and Minnehaha Avenue, was charged by warrant. Bail was set at $100,000.
The woman in the other car, identified by family as Yvonne McIntosh, 28, of St. Paul, was pulled from the fiery vehicle by police and had burns on her back, the top of her head, a hand and a foot, the complaint continued.
She also suffered a concussion and numerous fractures in the lower portion of her spine.
McIntosh is home now from Regions Hospital and “can barely move around with a cane,” said her husband, Brian McIntosh, who is taking time off work to care for the couple’s 8-month-old daughter. “Her burns are pretty bad.”
Yvonne McIntosh, a social worker with a master’s degree from Augsburg College, was heading home after seeing a movie with her sisters, Brian McIntosh said.
Her husband praised the officers who came to her rescue and pulled her to safety through the driver’s-side window, the car ablaze “right away, before it even came to a stop,” he said.
“She was already being burned and inhaling smoke; she was dazed and confused,” he said. “Ten to 15 seconds after [being removed from the car], it pretty much exploded.”
Back home and facing the prospect of surgery and a skin graft for a burn on her back, Yvonne McIntosh is “in good spirits and counting her blessings,” her husband said. “She’s thankful that it wasn’t worse.”
The complaint against Cordero noted that 10 mini-bottles of vodka were found in his car as well as more than $8,000. He submitted to a blood-alcohol test but denied that he had been drinking, police said. Those test results are pending.
Cordero’s criminal history in Minnesota includes drunken-driving convictions in Ramsey County in 2010 and Dakota County in 2007.
Cordero said he fled from police because he didn’t have a driver’s license, the complaint read. At one point, authorities allege, Cordero was fleeing at up to 90 miles per hour.
According to the complaint:
Police saw a broken tail light on Cordero’s car on Hwy. 36 near Victoria Street and attempted to stop him.
Cordero slowed down but then took the Dale Street exit south toward St. Paul.
By the time Cordero reached St. Paul, he was driving 70 mph and reached 90 mph moments later.
As he reached Dale and Minnehaha, Cordero was going 67 mph, went through a red light and struck McIntosh’s eastbound car on the driver’s side.
One officer sprayed the woman’s car with a fire extinguisher while another pulled her from the burning vehicle, her hair and clothing on fire.
Cordero, his feet pinned between his seat and car’s center console, was removed from his car and also taken to Regions.