The driver of a vehicle that went airborne and slammed into the side of a building in north Minneapolis, resulting in the death of a teenage passenger, was going 71 mph shortly before the incident and did not have a valid driver's license.
That's according to a criminal complaint filed against 18-year-old Markesha Jones in Hennepin County Tuesday. She's charged with two felonies related to the March 11 crash in north Minneapolis: criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation.
Jones suffered serious injuries in the wreck, as did another juvenile passenger in the back seat, according to the complaint. A second teenage passenger, Daviegh Lee, died of his injuries five days later.
Jones' injuries have left her paralyzed from the chest down.
According to the criminal complaint:
"Jones, from Brooklyn Center, was the driver of a Buick Regal that went airborne and slammed into the brick wall of a building on the 3700 block of Fremont Ave. N at 10:23 a.m. on March 11.
When first responders arrived on the scene, they found all three of the Regal's passengers trapped in the vehicle, and had to remove the roof to free them. Jones was in the driver's seat, not moving. She was taken to the hospital, where doctors said she was paralyzed from the chest down, and had suffered two collapsed lungs plus a laceration on her head.
The first victim in the front passenger seat was unresponsive, with a swollen face and head. He was taken to the hospital and died on March 16. A second passenger, found in the back seat, was conscious when first responders arrived, but in severe pain. They suffered a fractured patella, a left clavicle fracture, and multiple spinal fractures.
A witness to the wreck told investigators that prior to the crash, the Buick Regal was going a high rate of speed when it tried to pass him while heading northbound on Fremont Avenue North. He then saw the Regal go out of control, fly into the air and hit the wall.
Investigators reviewed footage from milestone city cameras and saw the Buick Regal traveling very fast. The driver appeared to lose control, causing the car to hit the curb and then a yard embankment, launching the car into the air. The Buick's edge caught the sidewalk, turning it sideways before it slammed through a tree, cutting the tree at its base. The vehicle then went through the intersection at 37th Avenue North and Fremont Avenue North before slamming into the brick wall.
The vehicle hit the wall roof-first, then fell back on to its wheel base.
Investigators pulled information from the vehicle's systems and found that Jones was driving 71 mph in the 25 mph zone.
Jones also did not have a valid driver's license.