Family: Toddler who survived Fridley crash to live with grandmother


The cause of a high-speed crash that killed a toddler's parents is still under investigation, and the boy who survived the crash will live with his grandmother, according to media reports.

Officials said the driver of the car that rear-ended a semitrailer on Interstate 694 Friday night was traveling at least 100 mph before the crash. Witnesses told the Minnesota State Patrol the car was weaving through traffic and made no attempt to stop before hitting the semi, according to reports.

"Our family is absolutely devastated,” the toddler's great aunt, Brenda Hunter, told the Star Tribune. “We are puzzled and confused as to why he would be driving at such a high rate of speed ... He loved to drive fast, that was an issue. They just bought the car a few weeks ago.”

The boy’s pregnant mother, Patrice L. Hooks, 31, of Hopkins, was the passenger. Media outlets, citing family sources, have widely reported that the boy's father, Wilbur Hooks, was driving. Officials were expected to confirm the driver's identity at 6 p.m. Monday, according to the State Patrol incident report.

Lt. Eric Roeske of the Minnesota State Patrol said the child was buckled into a car seat and didn't have any apparent injuries, according to the Pioneer Press. Hunter identified the child as Bishop Hooks, according to the Star Tribune. The newspaper notes the boy's age as 2, while other media outlets have stated he is 1 year old.

Hunter said the couple and their son had visited two relatives that evening. She said Patrice Hooks was a cautious driver, but was worried about her ­husband’s fast driving, the Star Tribune says. Hunter added that Patrice Hooks was very excited about their second child, which she was expected to have in September.

Hunter told the Star Tribune that the toddler will live with his grandmother, Patricia Jackson, in her Crystal apartment. The couple and the boy had recently moved into the apartment with Jackson.

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