One Dead, One Seriously Injured in Drunk Driving Police Chase

One Dead, One Seriously Injured in Drunk Driving Police Chase | Pintas & Mullins Law Firm

Auto accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report that one has been killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota and one is in critical condition after a drunk driver, engaged in a police chase through downtown, crashed into a car.

The crash occurred just before 1 a.m. on Central Avenue and 4th Street SE in downtown. Minnesota State Patrol stopped a white 1997 Nissan Maxima for speeding, however, after the trooper approached the car the 34-year-old driver, Yia Her, quickly sped away.

The trooper ran back into his vehicle and chased the man for about three minutes, attempting four pit maneuvers to stop him. Ultimately, however, the chase ended when Her crashed into a 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue, killing the 20-year-old driver, Brody Sonata, and critically injuring the passenger, 24-year-old Connor Macklin. Her sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Macklin is currently at Hennepin County Medical Center in an induced coma while physicians wait for his brain to stop swelling. They are unsure when or if Macklin will make a fully recovery. Sonata and Macklin moved to Minneapolis to study, play music and be with friends and family. Sonata’s family told CBS that they would like to know why the Minnesota State Trooper engaged in a high-speed chase with a driver who was suspected to be drunk, despite knowing his license plate number, name and address.

It is not yet known how fast Her was driving when he crashed into the two young men, however the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the incident, and the trooper involved in the chase is on paid leave.

In related news out of Minnesota, a 40-year-old man in Forest Lake passed away recently after crashing his motorcycle into a car at an intersection. The accident occurred just after 5 p.m. in Anoka County. The man died at the scene, however no one else was seriously injured.

Toyota also recently initiated a recall of more than 780,000 vehicles due to issues with the suspension. According to filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the suspension components can become loose and break off, which could alter the vehicle’s alignment.

This is actually the second time Toyota has recalled these Lexus and RAV4 models for loose suspension parts (affected vehicles include the 2010 Lexus HS 250h and 2006-2011 RAV4). The automaker first recalled the cars about a year ago, in August 2012, after an NHTSA investigation uncovered at least 470 complaints about suspension failure.

At that time there were at least nine crashes and three serious injuries related to the suspension issues. The federal agency stated that the 2012 recall and consequent repair attempts were inadequate. In order to correct the suspension parts Toyota dealers will replace the lower arms and seal them with epoxy, which will permanently readjust the alignment. During the first repair process mechanics simply tightened the bolts and attached labels to suspension components to alert future technicians.

Toyota states that repair shops nationwide are to blame for this improper repair process and that all bolts will be correctly tightened and sealed at Toyota factories. Some dealerships, however, will not be able to complete repairs until February 2014 due to limited parts. Owners can visit or 1.800.331.4331 and or 1.800.255.3987 for more information. 

Just a few days ago Toyota recalled nearly 370,000 other Lexus and Highlander Hybrids due to problems with transmissions. The defects can cause transmissions in these vehicles to overheat, triggering alerts in the vehicles and potentially making them to stop while in operation.

Auto accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm have decades of experience advocating on behalf of those seriously injured in car, bus, truck and motorcycle crashes. Those injured in accidents caused by the negligence of another may be entitled to significant compensation for medical bills, lost wages and property damage, and should contact a skilled attorney as soon as possible.