A man driving drunk and with a suspended license killed his 1-year-old son who was one of several children in a speeding SUV that veered off an overpass and onto the interstate below in Brooklyn Center, according to charges filed Tuesday.
Hakeem O. Miller, 25, of Brooklyn Center, was charged in Hennepin County District Court with two counts each of criminal vehicular homicide and child endangerment in the crash about 2:30 a.m. Sunday that killed a 1-year-old boy and injured Miller, a woman and four other children.
The 1-year-old, identified by family members on social media as Kareem Miller, was one of two children sitting on the laps of older children in the back seat, according to the criminal complaint. None of the children, ranging in age from 1 to 9, was in the required restraint devices, the charges added. A loaded handgun was under the driver's seat, the complaint read.
Miller remains jailed in lieu of $200,000 bail ahead of a court appearance Wednesday. Court records do not list an attorney for him.
A preliminary breath test administered by the State Patrol soon after the crash put Miller's blood alcohol content at 0.09%, above the legal limit for driving in Minnesota, the criminal complaint read.
Miller was driving while his license was suspended, the state Department of Public Safety said Tuesday.
Surveillance video captured the SUV speeding on N. Dupont Avenue before it went over a barricade, through a chain-link fence and down to Interstate 94, where it came to a rest on its roof, the charges read.
According to the complaint:
Troopers questioned Miller at the scene and noticed he smelled of alcohol and that his one eye was bloodshot and watery. His other eye was missing because of a previous injury. Miller admitted that he had been drinking but claimed it was just one beer. Paramedics provided cardiopulmonary resuscitation to the 1-year-old before he was taken to a hospital, where he was declared dead.
Miller "was very upset following the crash as he is the father of the child that was not responsive," the complaint reads. "Troopers were unable to conduct standardized field sobriety tests due to Miller's emotional state as well as paramedics' insistence that defendant be brought to a hospital and evaluated as soon as possible."
The other children suffered bruises, scrapes and cuts. The woman in the car, Sharonda D. McMorris, 25, of Minneapolis, had injuries that were not life threatening, the patrol said.
A driver on I-94 told the patrol that he saw the SUV being restrained by the fence for a moment before it fell from the overpass and landed on its roof.
The driver helped passengers get out of the SUV and saw that one child was on top of the unresponsive 1-year-old.
The children who survived spoke with troopers at North Memorial Health Hospital and said the SUV was speeding. One child said the vehicle " 'was going as fast as it would go,' " the complaint read.
"The children then described the vehicle as moving from the left to the right, then back again to the left," the charges continued.
A child then used an object to show how the vehicle moved. "The movement that the child made with the object suggested that the wheels were coming up off the pavement as the vehicle swerved from side to side," the complaint read.
At the time of the crash, a warrant was active for Miller's arrest in connection with charges filed last year out of Freeborn County that he possessed a gun while under the influence of alcohol and recklessly handled a weapon.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482