Suspect charged in crash that killed St. Thomas student

MINNEAPOLIS - A 21-year-old man has been charged in connection with a crash that killed a St. Thomas University student early Sunday. 

Michael Campbell, of Minneapolis, is jailed on two Criminal Vehicular Homicide charges.

Police believe Campbell was behind the wheel of a car he crashed into a stoplight pole near the intersection of Stinson Boulevard Northeast and Ridgeway Parkway around 3:50 a.m. His passenger, 20-year-old Ria Patel, had to be pulled from the vehicle. Despite lifesaving efforts, she died at the scene.

RELATED: Prayers held up for St. Thomas student killed in crash

According to the charges, a witness says Campbell, following the crash, ran to a nearby McDonald's then returned to the car to dig something on the driver's side of the car. He then told the witness to call 911 and ran off, leaving Patel behind.

The complaint states Campbell left his wallet at the scene. Police went to his house but were unable to find him there. Friends there said they didn't know he'd left the house, but one described him as "super drunk" earlier in the morning. On Sept. 19, police found Campbell at a home in Wright County.

In a post-Miranda interview, the charges state Campbell admitted to drinking alcohol prior to driving and admitted to running from the scene because he was traumatized by seeing the state of Patel after the crash.

Campbell has an extensive record of moving violations and convictions that includes running stop lights and signs, speeding, careless driving and most recently, a hit-and-run property damage conviction in November. He also has convictions for drug possession and consumption of alcohol by a minor.

Campbell remains in jail.

A  prayer vigil planned by students will be held at the Arches on Thursday, Sept. 21, from 8:30-10 p.m. The entire University of St. Thomas community is welcome to attend. Participants are asked to gather on the Summit Avenue side of the Arches.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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