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Driver fleeing police dies after hitting a tree

The driver fled a traffic stop.

A driver died after fleeing police and crashing into a tree Sunday evening.

The St. Anthony Police Department says one of its officers stopped a vehicle near Hamline Avenue and Hoyt Avenue in the City of Falcon Heights around 8 p.m. Sunday, but when the officer approached the vehicle on foot, it sped off at a "high rate of speed."

The officer got back in his squad car and pursued the vehicle. About a minute later, the vehicle left the road and hit a tree near Hamline Avenue and Wynne Avenue in St. Paul.

The driver – identified as 32-year-old Ryan James Reeves of White Bear Lake – was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in the vehicle, identified as Erica Alana Wood, 24, of St. Paul, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

St. Anthony police say Reeves had an outstanding warrant out of Ramsey County for fleeing police in a motor vehicle, as well as an outstanding warrant for controlled substance possession out of Scott County. Reeves also has a history of being convicted of fleeing police in a motor vehicle, motor vehicle theft, forgery, possession of a firearm by a felon, drug possession, criminal damage to property, and domestic assault-strangulation, police said.

St. Anthony police and the Minnesota State Patrol continue to investigation the incident.

According to the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety, there have been 82 fatalities on Minnesota roads so far this year. Last year at this time there were 94.

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