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Driver dies in two-vehicle crash near Kasson

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Crash photo

NEAR KASSON, Minn. (KTTC) -- A driver was killed in a two-vehicle crash on Wednesday near Kasson.

"I'm worked up just thinking about it. It was real intense and to think that could have been my grandmother, niece or daughter," said witness Jeremiah Meyer.

It all started with a Rochester police investigation earlier in the day.

"This morning, Rochester police investigative unit developed probable cause to arrest the deceased from the gray car for criminal sexual conduct," said Captain Scott Behrns of the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office.

Police say the driver sent what is being called "a disturbing photo" to the lead investigator.

"It then became a person in crisis call," Behrns said. "His cell phone was pinged to the west side of Oxbow Park in Olmsted County. Our deputies began an immediate search."

The vehicle was spotted speeding in Byron but deputies decided it was not safe to pursue. An officer spotted the car a bit later in Kasson running a stop sign.

"As soon as our officer was turning around to stop the suspect vehicle, they took off at a high rate of speed," said Chief Josh Hanson of the Kasson Police Department.

The driver then decided to do something drastic.

"The vehicle was traveling northbound on Highway 57 and intentionally drove head-on into the pickup that was veering off into the shoulder to avoid the crash," said Sgt. Troy Christianson of Minnesota State Patrol.

The driver of the pickup was taken to Mayo Clinic Saint Marys hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

"Right and left went together. Boom. Car spun around to the east. The sheriff just veered," recalls Meyer. "They didn't even have time to stop, just spun around the silver car. Now someone's not here."

Meyer witnessed both the crash and aftermath.

"First thing I said to my family was 'Keep the kids in the house.' It was that bad," Meyer said.

Officials are also concerned about the first victim in the case, the victim of sexual assault.

"This is a very strong suspect in a sex case," Behrns said. "There's a victim out here that's hurting."

This situation is still under investigation. This story will be updated as new information is released.


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