The two people killed in a collision with a felon being chased by Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office deputies have been identified as a husband and wife in their early 70s.
Police said the couple who died from the crash Friday in downtown Fergus Falls were Diane L. Christianson, 71, and Steven J. Christianson, 72.
The man being pursued by police Friday was identified as Cody J. Freitag, 30, of Fergus Falls. Freitag survived the collision and was taken to a Fargo hospital for treatment as he awaits charges.
Freitag fled when deputies tried to arrest him on outstanding warrants about 6:40 p.m. Friday after they posed as an acquaintance on social media and arranged a meeting at a convenience store, police said.
Freitag fled in a minivan upon meeting the deputies, who chased him into downtown Fergus Falls, where he ran a stop sign and hit a car occupied by the couple from Fergus Falls, according to police.
The impact of the crash sent Freitag’s vehicle into a light pole and the other vehicle into a nearby parking lot, police said.
The deputies were trying to arrest Freitag on warrants for felony drug crimes, felony theft, felony fleeing law enforcement, domestic assault and obstructing the legal process.
Freitag’s criminal history spans nearly all of his adult life and includes two convictions for theft, two for drug crimes, and one each for property damage and drunken driving.
At the time of last week’s crash, Freitag was driving after having his license revoked, a state Department of Public Safety spokeswoman said Tuesday. State court records show he’s been convicted twice previously for driving on a suspended license.
The pursuit and crash was one of three in the state in recent days, with the other two occurring in Minneapolis.
Three young teenagers were killed early Monday when the carjacked vehicle they were riding in slammed into a tree after a police pursuit through north Minneapolis.
Sunday evening, a driver fleeing a state trooper crashed into a North Side apartment building and ruptured a natural gas line. The 25-year-old driver was unhurt, while a 29-year-old St. Paul woman with him was taken to HCMC with noncritical injuries, authorities said.