Fatal Accident in Beltrami County
On Saturday morning, May 7, 2011, at approximately 4:45 AM, a Beltrami County Deputy Sheriff had stopped a car in Bemidji and while the driver was out of the vehicle being investigated for DWI the 16-year-old male passenger in the vehicle slipped behind the wheel and drove off, northbound on Bemidji Avenue. A second Deputy and two Bemidji Police Officers began pursuing the vehicle as it fled from the scene.
The driver of the vehicle continued north on Bemidji Rd at speeds of approximately 100 miles per hour and was swerving from lane to lane as he fled from officers. The driver continued through Turtle River at high speeds and lost control in the curve north of Turtle River causing the vehicle to leave the roadway and roll into the trees. The driver was ejected from the vehicle. Officers arriving on the scene began to render first aid and determined the driver had been the lone occupant of the vehicle. Bemidji Ambulance Service and the North Memorial Air Care helicopter responded to the scene. The driver was airlifted to Fargo where he later died from injuries received in the crash.
The incident remains under investigation by the Minnesota State Patrol and Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office. The identities of those involved are being withheld at this time.
Sheriff Phil Hodapp
Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office