A driver believed to be impaired by alcohol drove the wrong way on Interstate 94 in north Minneapolis early Tuesday and struck another vehicle head-on, killing two teenage occupants in the vehicle he hit, the State Patrol said.
The 26-year-old male driver, identified by the patrol as Quoc Thanh Tran, was traveling west in the eastbound lanes when he hit a Toyota Camry between Lowry and 26th avenues N. about 1:35 a.m.
Tran had to be extricated from his BMW and was taken to North Memorial Medical Center with critical injuries, said Lt. Tiffani Nielson.
A blood sample was taken at the hospital, Nielson said, but the results were not immediately available. “We believe he was impaired by alcohol,” Nielson said.
An 18-year-old girl from Minneapolis, identified as Diana Rojas Martinez, who was driving the Camry, and her 19-year-old male passenger, Christopher Jahmar Bunay, were killed.
The wrong-way driver could face two felony charges of vehicular homicide, Nielson said on Tuesday.
Investigators hope to get a statement from Tran to learn where he was and where he got onto I-94. Police expect to make an arrest and book him into jail when he is released from the hospital.
The eastbound lanes of I-94 were shut down for about four hours following the crash. Drivers were forced to exit the freeway at Dowling Avenue while authorities reconstructed the crash and cleared the debris.
The freeway reopened about 5:45 a.m.