Law school dean hired by St. Paul to lead investigation into fatal landslide


The dean of the Hamline University School of Law has been hired by the city of St. Paul to lead an independent investigation into the landslide that killed two fourth-grade boys at Lilydale Regional Park last month, the Pioneer Press reports.

The city says Donald M. Lewis, who is also the co-founder of Minneapolis law firm Nilan Johnson Lewis, is conducting the review.

The city previously hired Northern Technologies Inc. -- a geo-technical engineering firm with expertise in collapses -- to determine the cause of the tragedy.

The boys -- Haysem Sani, 9, and Zack Mohamed Fofana, 10 -- died during a fossil-gathering field trip from Peter Hobart Elementary School in St. Louis Park when the landslide sent them into a pit, trapping them under 4-5 feet of of soil and rock that fell on top them.

Two other boys were injured in the mishap.

The city said Lewis will begin his investigation Monday,with findings expected within several weeks.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said a statement that the city "is committed to getting to the bottom of what happened on that tragic day," and he has "full faith" that Lewis "will conduct this independent investigation in a robust and thorough manner."

Coleman has closed down the area of the park were the landslide happened indefinitely until a cause of the landslide can be determined.

Next Up

Joe Ryan

Joe Ryan continues his dominant September

The right-hander struck out 11 batters in a victory over the Cubs.

Mounds view 9 - crime scene

Man who allegedly shot at police dies after being struck by squad vehicle

The unidentified individual fired shots at police following an alleged domestic disturbance, police say.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns reacts to Gersson Rosas firing: 'WTF'

The Timberwolves star was just as surprised as everyone else

Mounds View shooting incident 1 - county sheriff - crop

Deputy uses squad car to ram armed assault suspect, sheriff's office says

The man had fired multiple shots at officers, striking two of their vehicles, authorities said.

Daniel Carlson

Ex-Viking Daniel Carlson has become one of the NFL's best kickers

Carlson has been automatic since joining the Raiders.

Dustin Sundin crop

'Vulnerable' adult missing after leaving with family member's dog, phone

Authorities found footprints in a creek bed, but haven't been able to locate the man.

Mounds view 7 - crime scene

Police 'use of force' incident reported in Mounds View

The Minnesota BCA is investigating, with more details expected soon.

vaccine, covid

The 8 Minnesota counties still below a 50% vaccination rate

Fewer than half of all vaccine-eligible individuals in these areas have received at least one shot.

Dave Simonett Trampled by Turtles

Trampled By Turtles singer responds to complaints about concert vax requirements

Some of TBT's recent appearances have required proof of vaccine/negative test.

BMTN - Target drive up bag booze

The 5 cent charge for carryout bags is coming back in Minneapolis

The ordinance was suspended at the start of the pandemic.