A Minnesota man is facing criminal vehicular homicide charges after he reportedly crashed his car while drinking and driving on Sunday, then fled the scene on foot, leaving his girlfriend to die.
ABC5 reports that Michael Laurence Campbell, 21 of Minneapolis, allegedly crashed his red Ford Focus on early Sunday morning around 3.40 a.m., after leaving a party with his girlfriend, 20-year-old girl Ria Patel. The incident happened at Stinson Boulevard Northeast and Ridgeway Parkway, near the westbound Interstate 35W exit ramp.
Minneapolis police announce arrest of driver who ran after crash that killed St. Thomas student Ria Patel https://t.co/Fw2CUgAnMD
— FOX 9 (@FOX9) September 19, 2017
According to witnesses, Campbell smashed into a semaphore post after speeding through a red light. One witness claimed he got out of his car and ran towards a McDonald’s, then returned to his car to look for his cellphone. He reportedly never bothered to assist his girlfriend, who was stuck inside the vehicle. A police reported noted that entire passenger side of the Focus, where Ria was slumped over, was crushed.
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“The entire passenger side of the car was crushed. … There were no visible skid marks,” the police report read.
Paramedics tried to save Ria, but she passed away from her injuries.
The Star Tribune reports that authorities identified the suspect after he left his wallet in the car. They found him at a residence in Wright County a few days later when he failed to return calls to police after they left a few voicemail messages. When they questioned Campbell, he said he couldn’t stand the site of girlfriend hurt and became “traumatized” at the site of her, and fled the scene quickly. He admitted he’d been drinking at a party he attended with Ria prior to the accident.
The criminal complaint against Campbell states that this isn’t the first time he’s been in legal trouble involving driving. He’s was previously caught with marijuana in his vehicle and convicted for a hit-and-run accident in January.
Authorities charged Campbell with “criminal vehicular homicide (operating motor vehicle in grossly negligent manner) and criminal vehicular homicide (leaving scene of collision).” He’s currently at the Hennepin County jail on $250,000 bail.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
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