A man who led authorities on a 14-mile, high-speed chase through Carver County late Tuesday afternoon died when he crashed his BMW on Hwy. 41 in Chaska and triggered a multicar pileup that left five others injured.
James Charles Erickson, 40, of St. Paul, had exited eastbound Hwy. 212 at Hwy. 41 about 5:38 p.m. when he collided with five other vehicles at the intersection. He was pronounced dead at the scene, the Minnesota State Patrol said.
Events unfolded when a Carver County Sheriff's Office deputy spotted Erickson after somebody had called to report a BMW weaving, crossing the center and fog lines, while driving east on Hwy. 212 at fluctuating speeds. The deputy attempted to stop Erickson near County Road 53 in Cologne, but Erickson did not stop, the sheriff's office said in a news release.
He exited the highway at Hwy. 41 and struck five other vehicles. The drivers of those vehicles were injured and taken to hospitals. Douglas Vincent, 52, of Chaska; Holly Romenesko, 45, of Chaska; Brenna Garens, 27, of Brooklyn Park; Jade Stankey, 29, of Chaska; and Beverly Reiten, 58, of Mound, all were wearing seat belts and suffered noncritical injuries, the State Patrol said.
Erickson, who died in the wreck, was not wearing a seat belt, the patrol said.
This was not the first time Erickson tried to evade police. He was convicted of felony fleeing of police in a motor vehicle in August 2018, court records show. Erickson also has convictions for motor vehicle theft, domestic assault, obstructing the legal process and providing false information to police, court records show.