The name of the man killed early Sunday when he was fleeing law enforcers and crashed into the rear of a Woodbury police officer's vehicle won't likely be released until Wednesday, the State Patrol said Monday.
The 19-year-old Maple Grove man was going more than 100 miles per hour when he hit officer Scott Melander's sport-utility vehicle, which was parked on the shoulder off Interstate 494 in Woodbury with its emergency lights flashing. Melander had just placed spiked stop sticks on the highway to puncture the tires of the fleeing vehicle. The officer had moved to the center median to avoid being hit.
The incident began shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday when a state trooper tried to stop the driver on I-494 near Dodd Road in Mendota Heights after he was clocked going about 20 mph over the speed limit, the State Patrol said. The driver sped north across the Wakota Bridge into Woodbury.
The State Patrol said it's unclear whether the driver deliberately hit the police vehicle. A State Patrol report on the incident said alcohol was not detected on the driver.
Lt. Mark Peterson wouldn't comment on the driver's criminal history. He said the delay in releasing the name was because the driver has some family members out of town who need to be notified.
A similar crash occurred in Woodbury three years ago. On Jan. 26, 2005, a 19-year-old man died after he crashed into a Woodbury police car at I-494 and Valley Creek Road. The officer was putting stop sticks on the road and was not hurt.
On Sept. 6, 2005, Lino Lakes police officer Shawn Silvera was killed as he placed stop sticks on Interstate 35W in Lino Lakes. The fleeing driver swerved and hit Silvera.