Search warrant: Driver using phone during fatal pedestrian crash

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Documents filed by St. Paul Police investigators suggest the suspect in a fatal crash was on his cell phone at the time of the accident. 

The 60-year-old man, who has not yet been charged in the case, is accused of striking a runner at the intersection of Dayton Avenue and West Mississippi River Boulevard about 6:15 p.m. on Feb. 22. The victim, 35-year-old Scott Spoo of Woodbury, died from his injuries at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Responding officers originally thought the driver was impaired, but tests showed no alcohol in his system. An application for search warrants to access data from the suspect's Facebook account indicates that the man checked himself into a hospital for suspected brain tumors days after the fatal crash, and that he had been involved in another fender bender just minutes before the collision with the runner.

In the warrant a witness to the fatal accident says he saw the driver looking down at his phone as he swerved down Mississippi River Boulevard, and that the man actually forced an oncoming vehicle to veer onto the shoulder to avoid a collision. A report from AT&T acquired via a separate search warrant showed an active data session was being utilized from 4:03:30 p.m. to 4:26:09 p.m., with the fatal collision occurring within that time window at 4:22:00 p.m. local Ramsey County ECC dispatch time.

Investigators say the suspect was a very active Facebook user, with numerous public posts and mobile check ins. 

A decision on whether to charge the driver will be made by prosecutors in Hennepin County, due to political connections the suspect has in Ramsey County.   

© 2017 KARE-TV


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