MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 16-year-old boy died after being struck by a suspected drunk driver in an attempted hit-and-run in north Minneapolis Tuesday evening.
The Minneapolis Police Department say it happened at about 8:37 p.m. at the intersection of North 51st and Fremont avenues in the Lind-Bohanon neighborhood. Investigators say the driver struck the teenage boy, who is believed to have been on a skateboard at the time.
Neighbors say the driver continued along, hitting several parked cars before losing a tire and coming to a stop in a yard.
He then tried to flee on foot, and was arrested soon after. Police believe drugs or alcohol contributed to his deadly and destructive driving.
The victim was brought to North Memorial Health in Robbinsdale, where he later died.
The neighbors say the crash sounded like an explosion outside, and everyone came out of their homes.
“My wife and I actually were in our vehicle here that was struck. We parked, went inside, about five minutes later we heard a huge crash, we came out and just noticed that there was a lot of pandemonium to the south, we saw there was a body in the street, horrible scene. People were immediately rushing out of every house on the block trying to help out,” said Matthew Jensen.
“That’s what this neighborhood is. If you look at all the houses around here almost every house has kids in it. It’s a kid neighborhood, that’s why we have 20 miles an hour [signs] around here because you can’t be doing that stuff,” said neighbor John Ehlert.
Family of the victim later identified him as Dychaun Lavonte Chew. They say he was a “sweet, smart, shy kid” and that they are “deeply hurt and saddened” by his loss.
Some family members of the boy who died came to the crash site on Wednesday morning. They say he was an honor roll student at South High School and that he loved being outside on his skateboard. He had just finished school last week and was working on getting his driver’s permit.