Alcohol a factor, State Patrol says

    A 23-year-old woman from Missouri suffered only minor injuries Sunday morning after allegedly stealing a University of North Dakota Police 2015 Ford Explorer and driving it east on U.S. Highway 2, where she left the roadway just northwest of Crookston and the vehicle flipped end-over-end numerous times.

    Kasandra Ellis of Colombia, Missouri was treated at RiverView Hospital and then taken to Northwest Regional Corrections Center in Crookston, where she faces possession of stolen property and DUI charges in Polk County, Minnesota. Potential charges in Grand Forks, North Dakota could be pending.

    The incident began around 8:40 a.m. Sunday when UND Police responded to a call regarding an intoxicated woman wandering around an apartment building. The officers got out of their cruiser and searched for the woman, and when they returned to where they’d parked, the SUV was gone.

    No high-speed pursuit was involved. Using a GPS device, authorities were able to determine the vehicle was heading east toward Crookston, where it eventually crashed with Ellis behind the wheel.

    Witnesses reported she was driving up to 80 miles per hour. Tire tracks through the tall grass in the median indicate that she left the eastbound lanes of Highway 2 around 200 feet from the crossroad, which she subsequently reached and went airborne, landing front first in the wide median and flipping end-over-end before the SUV came to rest on its passenger’s side.

    The Minnesota State Patrol states that alcohol was detected in Ellis. UND said in a release later on Sunday that she is not a UND student.