Wrong-way driver fleeing cops caused head-on crash that closed I-35W Sunday

The crash happened on the northbound lanes of I-35W near 82nd Street.
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The crash on Interstate 35W that closed a section of the freeway just six blocks south of I-494 on Sunday evening was caused by a driver who fled authorities. 

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, a state trooper made a traffic stop on I-35 in Rice County, with the driver – a 27-year-old New Hope man – initially stopping only to then flee the trooper. 

Troopers gave pursuit before backing off, followed by "other law enforcement agencies" continuing the pursuit after spotting the suspect vehicle.  

The fleeing driver then crashed near I-35W and 82nd Street. Views from the scene of the crash show a white car and a white SUV, both significantly damaged. 

According dispatch audio obtained by MN Crime, the suspect vehicle was going southbound in the northbound lanes of I-35W when the crash occurred. 

"If we get a chance to end it we have to, he's going to kill somebody," a pursuing officer said just seconds before the crash. "Approaching 82nd, head-on with a truck, head-on. Car's on fire." 

A spokesperson from the DPS said injuries "appear to be non-life threatening." 

More info from the Rice County Sheriff's Office

"The MN State Patrol initialed a traffic stop of a stolen vehicle out of Owatonna on n/b I-35 at MM 64 in Rice County. The vehicle then fled n/b on I-35. Deputies assisted MSP at MM 72 and took over the pursuit at MM 80 in Lakeville. Deputies terminated the pursuit at 102nd Street in Bloomington after the vehicle entered the interstate n/b in the s/b lane.

"A short time later, Bloomington PD and MSP received a report of a crash at 82nd Street involving the vehicle that was fleeing from law enforcement. Deputies responded to the area and rendered first aid until Bloomington Fire/Rescue and ambulance arrived on scene.

"Criminal charges pending out of Steele, Rice and Hennepin County in regards to this incident."

Note: The details provided in this story are based on the police’s latest version of events, and may be subject to change.

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