A 52-year-old motorist was high on cocaine when she sped through a Minneapolis interstate median during the afternoon commute, sending her SUV airborne and killing the driver of a car who was a noted community advocate and artist, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday.
Nancy A. Scott was charged in Hennepin County District Court with criminal vehicular homicide in the April 4 crash. Scott, whose last known address is in Michigan City, Ind., was charged by warrant.
Kirk Washington Jr., 41, of Minneapolis, was dead at the scene, on eastbound Interstate 94 near Hwy. 280.
Cocaine was detected in Scott's system after a blood sample was taken during the critically injured woman's hospitalization and analyzed by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Multiple messages were left for Scott on Thursday seeking her reaction to the allegations.
The complaint said Scott's vehicle was traveling 60 miles per hour and "showed no signs of braking or swerving before going airborne" and hitting Washington's station wagon. His vehicle then struck a Metro Transit bus. Four passengers on the bus suffered noncritical injuries.
In 2011, a concrete barrier near the crash site was shortened to improve sightlines for eastbound traffic, according the Minnesota Department of Transportation. After a fatal crash there in March 2015, the barrier was restored last October.
As a teenager, Washington expressed himself through graffiti and then turned to the written word, seeking ways to bring north Minneapolis and the rest of his community together to talk about issues sometimes swept under the rug — racism, housing inequities, police brutality, politics.
In a Facebook post the day after Washington's death, Mayor Betsy Hodges said the city suffered the loss of a great talent. Washington was among several poets who wrote a stanza for the poem "One Minneapolis: A City in Verse" for Hodges' 2014 inauguration.
In a post about his work, Washington said one of his goals as an artist was to foster social change: "I hope to achieve a counternarrative to the preexisting single story about African-Americans with my work."