A driver heading the wrong way on a divided St. Paul highway late at night collided with another vehicle, fled the scene on foot and was found dead many hours later after jumping over a guardrail and falling, authorities said Monday.
Five other people in the two cars were injured in the head-on collision about 2:20 a.m. Sunday on Hwy. 280 at University Avenue, according to the State Patrol.
The wayward motorist was a 30-year-old St. Paul man, and the patrol said it suspects he had been drinking. His identity has yet to be released.
According to the State Patrol:
The St. Paul man, with two passengers, was heading south on northbound Hwy. 280 and struck a car traveling the other way.
The driver heading the wrong way fled before law enforcement arrived and was found dead by St. Paul police about eight hours later roughly a quarter-mile away.
“It is believed the driver jumped a guardrail and fell approximately 40 feet” to his death, said State Patrol Lt. Tiffani Nielson.
Nielson added that “alcohol [use] was suspected … based upon circumstances of the crash, alcohol in the vehicle, and [the] intoxication of passengers.”
Two people in the man’s car, Addisu F. Belihu, 41, of St. Paul, and Aster W. Tagen, 42, of Minneapolis, were hospitalized with noncritical injuries.
The other driver, Hor M. El, 35, of New Brighton, was hospitalized with serious injuries. His passengers Mohammed Khallouk, 30, of New Brighton, and Abou B. Addoun, 24, of Minneapolis, were hospitalized with noncritical injuries.