EXCLUSIVE: Surveillance video captures fatal chase crash - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

EXCLUSIVE: Surveillance video captures fatal chase crash

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Charges were filed Wednesday against the man who fled a state trooper and crashed in downtown Minneapolis, killing an innocent driver -- the same day FOX 9 obtained exclusive footage of the scene.

The surveillance video captured by a nearby business shows the disturbing aftermath and gives an idea of the speed and force of the crash.

At about 1 a.m. on Monday morning, a state trooper was pursuing a suspected drunk driver who was pulled over on Interstate 94 and then took off, driving into the heart of Minneapolis despite four separate PIT maneuvers that attempted to stop him.

The driver, Yia Her, ran a red light at 4th Street and Central Avenue and broadsided the car driven by 20-year-old Brody Sotona, pushing it half a block down the street. Sotona was killed in the crash. His passenger, Connor Macklin, is still in critical condition.

Seconds after the crash and before police even get a chance to check on the victims, a man then walks up to the driver's window on Sotona's car with his cell phone. The man contacted FOX 9 to say he was trying to check on the condition of the driver and used his phone as a flashlight.

The bystander immediately saw how badly the two occupants were injured, and he went to warn his friends who were walking to the area. By the time he got back to see if he could help, police told him to stay back.

Her had a BAC of .16 -- twice the legal limit -- at the time of the crash, and his driver's license was suspended. He has been charged with fleeing an officer resulting in death and could face 14 years in prison. If Macklin does not survive, his potential sentence could be doubled.

After the fatal crash, Sotona's family members issued a statement questioning why the Minnesota State Patrol continued the pursuit. FOX 9 News took a close look at pursuits and found troopers are performing dramatically less. So far this year, troopers have conducted 60 chases. In 2005, there are 163.

Neil Melton, director of the Police Officer Standards and Training Board, told FOX 9 News many departments are becoming more conservative when it comes to pursuits.

"I guarantee you, there isn't a chief around who hasn't been discussing this over a cup of coffee," he assured.

Statistics from the Minnesota State Patrol show troopers have called off four chases so and supervisors have called off another four so far this year. During the Monday morning chase, however, there was no supervisor on duty.

FOX 9 News also looked into police pursuits across the state -- why they happen, who calls the shots, and how often suspects are caught.

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