The driver of a BMW, fleeing a deputy, died after crashing into several cars at the Highway 212/41 intersection in Chaska on Tuesday, July 30.

James Charles Erickson, 40, of St. Paul, has been identified by the Minnesota State Patrol as the man who died in a Tuesday afternoon crash after fleeing from authorities.

Other drivers who suffered non-life-threatening injuries included Douglas Owen Vincent, 52 of Chaska; Holly Ann Romenesko, 45, of Chaska; Brenna Maraya Garens, 27, of Brooklyn Park; Jade Sylvia Stankey, 29, of Chaska; and Beverly Susan Reiten, 58, of Mound.

Erickson, the driver of a 2008 BMW, was the only one not wearing a seat belt, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash.

At about 5:32 p.m., deputies received a driving complaint on Highway 212 at County Road 51, according to a press release from Carver County Sheriff Jason Kamerud.

"The complainant reported an eastbound motorist was weaving, crossing the center and fog lines, and fluctuating speeds," according to the release.

Deputies located the vehicle at Highway 212 and County Road 53 in Cologne at 5:35 p.m. "The deputy followed the vehicle and attempted to stop the motorist. The motorist accelerated, attempting to flee from the deputy," according to the Sheriff's Office.

The motorist continued eastbound on Highway 212 at a "high rate of speed," then exited the highway at Highway 41 and crashed into several other vehicles at the intersection, according to authorities.

"The fleeing motorist was severely injured in the crash and died as a result of his injuries. He was pronounced deceased at the scene, while several others were transported by Ridgeview Ambulance to area hospitals to be treated for injuries sustained in the crash," the release stated.

The Minnesota State Patrol (MSP) is investigating the crash.

Chaska Police Department and Chaska Fire Department, along with personnel from Chanhassen Fire and Eden Prairie Police assisted. A medical examiner from Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office responded to the scene.

Carver County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a driving complaint about a BMW which then fled from them eastbound on Highway 212. As the BMW exited to Highway 41 it crashed into multiple vehicles in the intersection. The driver of the BMW died from their injuries. The occupants of the other vehicles were transported to the hospital. The State Patrol was not involved in the pursuit but did assist with the crash investigation and reconstruction.

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.


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