A rollover crash that claimed three lives on Interstate 94 in Minneapolis likely would have had a different outcome if the victims would have used their seat belts properly, the Minnesota State Patrol said Monday.
Lt. Eric Roeske said four of the eight people riding in the minivan when it crashed Sunday were either not wearing their seat belts or were not using them properly. He urged motorists to buckle up, drive at safe speeds and pay attention on the roads.
Sunday's crash contributed to what the State Patrol called the deadliest weekend on Minnesota roads in 2013. At least eight people died in crashes throughout the state.
Roeske said authorities were still investigating, but it seemed that the I-94 accident happened when some minor contact between three vehicles caused the minivan's driver to lose control and rollover. Five others in the minivan were injured, but are expected to survive.
The names of the victims have not been released, but authorities say they are an 80-year-old woman, a 44-year-old woman and a 16-year-old male.
The driver, 51-year-old Akinbowale Barbington, survived. The other survivors include Oluremi Ogundare, 61; Fisayo Barbington, 15; Faith Barbington, 12; and Tobi Barbington, 5.
Roeske said alcohol and drugs are not believed to be a factor.
Five others died in crashes over the weekend, including a motorcyclist. Tyron Somaiah, 23, of Crystal was killed when he ran a red light and struck a car. The Star Tribune reported that Somaiah first led police on a chase on area highways at speeds of up to 130 mph.
Another of the fatal accidents included a 55-year-old woman hit while walking Sunday afternoon in Shoreview.