Renville Co. man dies after stolen van collides with squad, catches fire


A west-central Minnesota man was killed in a fiery crash after fleeing from police and eventually colliding with a sheriff's squad.

WCCO reports 22-year-old Cody Kirgiss of Hector was behind the wheel of a stolen van and was driving recklessly along Hwy 212 in Olivia Saturday night before getting the attention of police.

An officer flipped on his sirens when he noticed the van was driving with a flat tire, but Kirgiss refused to stop.

When a Renville County sheriff's deputy attempted to lay down "stop sticks" further down the road, the van crossed the highway's center line into oncoming traffic, slammed into the unoccupied squad head-on, rolled and caught fire.

Kirgiss died Monday at North Memorial Medical Center, according to the Star Tribune.

The Minnesota State Patrol tells the newspaper that there was evidence at the scene that Kirgiss had been drinking.

Two officers were treated at a local hospital for smoke and fire extinguisher chemical inhalation.

Since 2009, Kirgiss’ criminal history includes convictions for fleeing police, aiding and abetting robbery, check forgery, theft and drug possession.

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