A 30-year-old Minneapolis man had been drinking heavily before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle that crashed violently in Brooklyn Center, killing a 15-year-old boy who was a passenger, charges against him state.
The crash happened around 1:20 a.m. Sunday in the parking lot of a business located at 5920 Brooklyn Blvd., with police arriving at the scene to find only the passenger – 15-year-old Keyaries Devont'e Benford, of Robbinsdale – partially ejected from the rear window of the vehicle that was flipped on its side.
Benford, a sophomore at Minneapolis North High School, died at the scene.
The driver and another adult who were in the vehicle at the time of the crash fled the scene before police and paramedics arrived, charges state. Investigators learned that the vehicle is owned by Demetreious A. Baldwin, 30, of Minneapolis.
Baldwin was located at a local hospital where he admitted to crashing due to alcohol consumption, though he couldn't recall why he left the scene, according to a criminal complaint.
The other person in the vehicle was an adult relative of Baldwin. Officers found him at his residence in an "extremely intoxicated" condition while presenting with injuries consistent with being in a motor vehicle crash, the complaint says. He, too, confirmed that he and Baldwin were drinking heavily prior to the crash.
Police believe Baldwin left the roadway multiple times before the vehicle went airborne and crashed into a parking lot and came to a rest on its side. Benford was found partially ejected from the rear window and was not breathing when police arrived.
Baldwin has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a collision. He'll be transported to jail once he is released from the hospital.
"I’ve been told that more serious charges might be filed in the future once additional processing is done of various evidence that has been collected," a spokesperson from Brooklyn Center Police Department said in an email.
Minneapolis North High School posted the following note about Benford to its Facebook page:
"Keys would have been 16 years old on the 30th of this month. This was his sophomore year and second year at North High. We cherish his memory, mourn with his family and covet your thoughts as many of our students and staff feel like we’re facing down death all around us."