Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

On Interstate 35: The closest I ever want to come to a high speed chase February 7, 2016

Traffic backs up in the southbound lane of Interstate 35 around 10:30 a.m. Saturday following the end of a high speed chase.

Traffic backs up in the southbound lane of Interstate 35 south of Lakeville around 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

IF YOU WERE TRAVELING Interstate 35 to or from the Twin Cities metro mid-morning Saturday, you may have encountered a massive police presence south of Lakeville. And if you initially thought a serious accident had occurred, like my husband and I, you would have been wrong.

Lakeville police joined numerous Minnesota State Highway Patrol officers on the scene.

Lakeville police joined numerous Minnesota State Highway Patrol officers on the scene.

Rather, we happened upon the aftermath of a high speed chase which started in Bloomington and continued through Burnsville, Lakeville and into Scott County. Traffic backed up to a standstill in the southbound lane of I-35 as about a dozen police vehicles converged on the area.

Law enforcement were checking near mile marker 78 for something tossed out the window.

Law enforcement were checking near mile marker 78 for something (possibly a weapon) tossed out the window.

We were tipped off to the nature of the incident when we failed to notice crashed vehicles but rather spotted law enforcement officers walking along the shoulder of the Interstate. They appeared to be searching for something. And they were. According to a nearly 12-minute audio on mnpoliceclips.com, they were scanning the area around mile marker 78 for a possible weapon tossed out the passenger side window of a U-Haul pick-up truck.

The driver of this U-Haul pick-up led police on a high speed chase Saturday morning in the southern Twin Cities metro.

The driver of this U-Haul pick-up led police on a high speed chase Saturday morning in the southern Twin Cities metro.

It was that vehicle which led police on a chase along Highway 13, County Road 5 and Interstate 35 at speeds topping more than 90 mph. The pick-up, at one point driving on a rim with a blown right front tire, sped southbound in the northbound lane of CR 5, nearly hitting a car head-on.

Here are some snippets from the audio:

hit a car on Parkway

a dangerous pursuit here, be careful

on the shoulder and all over the road

Rice County monitoring

reaching into glovebox and tossing stuff out the window

one in custody

two weapons laying on the freeway

What’s the full story here? I wish I could tell you. But I don’t know. I do know, however, that I am thankful no one was injured or killed. Pursuits like this can quickly turn tragic—for both the general public and for law enforcement—when someone, for whatever reason, chooses to disregard the lives of others. For this suspect, the high speed chase meant what, 12 additional minutes of freedom?

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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12 Responses to “On Interstate 35: The closest I ever want to come to a high speed chase”

  1. You can’t outrun the radio! Haven’t these people learned that from TV at least?

  2. Gunny Says:

    Rare are there situations that would allow an individual to actually effect escape from a pursuing police officer. I just finished a ride in a police vehicle while the police officer calmly talked to us as he demonstrated his driving skills down cone allies, coned streets and through a water skid pad, all the while calmly talking to us as if over coffee as the scenery out the windshield changed micro-second by micro-second as we slide across parking lots. I though we had to be going in a flurry of traffic cones, but once he stopped and we got out, of the hundreds of cones, not a cone had been touched. Best training one can get is to take a Concealed Carry Course to find out what Concealed Carry students learn to do during a traffic stop. Might surprise you. Better yet, it will probably make the police officer doing the stop feel a whole lot better! Drive safe out there!

  3. Littlesundog Says:

    I often wonder at the mindset of criminals… as you said, was a few minutes in escape mode worth the outcome? I really do not think they think about anyone but themselves when they’re on the run. I’m glad this did not turn out tragic.

  4. No regard to the safety of others….

    • That’s correct. While in the metro, we encountered numerous drivers with disregard for other motorists. We always see at least one. But on this Saturday, we spotted more than normal, including one who nearly side-swiped our van by racing around to our right as the lane narrowed. Luckily my husband saw him barreling down on us. I don’t understand the hurry that causes some drivers to slice across four lanes of traffic to exit, who weave in and out, who ride bumpers, who drive like maniacs…

  5. Jackie Says:

    Interesting….Rick and I were traveling on I 35, Saturday. We were coming home from the Apple Valley area and we went right by this area, only it was around 4:40 pm…. glad we missed it, and like you I’m glad no one was injured!

    • Yeah, and had we chosen to drive home from the north metro through St. Paul rather than Minneapolis, we would have happened upon the incident involving a recliner tumbling off a vehicle and a person struck and seriously injured. We drove through St. Paul on the way to our daughter and son-in-law’s house but opted for the Minneapolis route on the way home.

  6. Dan Says:

    Yeah ours was the car along with prob others they nearly hit head on. Myself, wife and two kids…5 year old daughter and 3 year old son on our way to Costco at hwy 5 and southcross. Never even seen it coming. Luckily were in the far right lane traveling northbound on 5. They were in the left northbound lane traveling south. Would love to hear what came of this but haven’t seen any news stories of it. So thankful my wife and kids were not hurt. My daughter now makes me lock the car doors and gets nervous about seeing cars coming our way.

    • Dan, you have now put a face to this near-tragedy. Your family. I am thankful your car was not hit. Yet, as you write, this horrible experience now troubles your 5-year-old daughter and the rest of your family. You are victims of this crime. My heart goes out to you and I hope that time will help you all heal.

      I, too, have been waiting for some news coverage of this high-speed chase. I’ve seen or read nothing and I consider it a pretty major deal considering the distance covered, the high potential for tragedy, the number of law enforcement personnel involved and the weapons. Please comment again if you find any media coverage.


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