A Monticello man and his one-year-old son suffered serious injuries early Monday evening in a crash with a vehicle driven by an alleged armed robbery suspect who fled Big Lake police.
The Minnesota State Patrol reported Monday night that the crash happened at about 5:40 p.m. at Broadway Street and Fenning Avenue in Wright County.
According to the State Patrol, Big Lake police were in pursuit of a vehicle driven by 47-year-old Kevin Greene of Monticello.
The Chevy Suburban he was driving was heading east in the westbound lane of Broadway Street when it struck the second vehicle broadside at the intersection with County Road 39 in Monticello, the State Patrol reported.
The second vehicle involved in the accident was driven by 28-year-old Travis Kolles of Monticello, the State Patrol stated. His passenger was one-year-old Layton Kolles of Monticello. Both are in serious condition and were being treated Monday North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale, the Patrol reported.
The suspect, Kevin Greene, suffered non life-threatening injuries. According to the State Patrol, the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office and the Wright County Sheriff’s Office provided assistance during the chase.
Big Lake Police Chief Joel Scharf issued an updated news release Tuesday afternoon that contained additional details about the alleged robbery.
Big Lake Police Officers were dispatched to Tootsies Tavern at 110 Jefferson Boulevard around 5:30 p.m. Monday regarding an armed robbery call, he said.
Dispatchers told Big Lake police officers that a male suspect with a possible firearm was involved. There were no injuries at the scene of the robbery. A suspect and vehicle description were provided to officers, Scharf said.
A Big Lake officer observed a vehicle traveling southbound on Highway 25 towards Monticello that met the previously issued descriptions. A short time later, a Big Lake officer located the suspect stopped at a red light on Highway 25 at Broadway in Monticello. The officer kept at a distance, and was waiting for back up to arrive when the alleged robbery suspect made an abrupt left turn through traffic and rapidly accelerated eastbound on Broadway.
According to Scharf, the Big Lake officer activated his emergency lights and siren, and attempted to stop the suspect. The suspect continued to flee eastbound on Broadway, colliding with another vehicle a short time later.
“The Big Lake Police Department is currently interviewing several witnesses regarding the reported robbery at Tootsies Tavern, which lead to the pursuit and crash in the city of Monticello yesterday,” Scharf stated in an earlier email.
Capt. Greg Howell with the Wright County Sheriff’s Office confirmed his agency had posted an accident update Tuesday, adding the State Patrol was handling media inquiries. A news release posted on the sheriff’s office website stated the Big Lake Police Department asked for assistance around 5:30 p.m. and requested that sheriff’s deputies watch for a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban that was involved in a robbery that had just occurred in Big Lake.
A Big Lake police officer located the Suburban near the intersection of Broadway and Highway 25 in Monticello. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle but it continued eastbound, according to Howell.
According to Sgt. Jesse Grabow, State Patrol District 2600 media spokesperson, Greene was taken to the Wright County Jail and booked on criminal vehicular operation charges. “That’s where he will be charged since that is where the crash occurred,” Grabow stated in an email. Grabow said the crash remains under investigation. He did confirm that alcohol was detected on Green and a blood test was obtained. “We are awaiting results,” Grabow said.
Grabow reported the Minnesota State Patrol’s flight section was dispatched but not used during the pursuit. That unit was used for photographing the accident scene as well as crash reconstruction and mapping.
Monticello Fire Chief Steve Joerg provided additional details Tuesday morning regarding first responders’ efforts at the accident scene. “We were dispatched at 5:39 p.m.” Joerg said. “Capt. Don Anderson initially arrived on scene and reported there was a serious car crash with two victims in critical condition.”
Monticello’s first responders helped provide medical care inside ground ambulances at the scene.”It was a very active scene medically,” he said. “We have five emergency medical technicians (EMTs) on the department and four of them were inside one ambulance assisting CentraCare personnel,” he said.
Joerg said two air ambulances were requested: one from North Memorial Air Care and the other a LifeLink air ambulance from Allina Health. Both helicopters landed on East Broadway east of the accident. The Monticello Fire Department returned from the scene shortly before 10 p.m.
Wendy Jerde, North Memorial media representative, said Tuesday morning Travis and Layton Kolles remained in critical condition as a result of the accident. Joni Pawelk, director of marketing at CentraCare Health – Monticello, confirmed that Greene had been treated and released.
Greene is currently being held in the Wright County jail and is scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday morning.
The Monticello Times will update this story as details are released. Watch for updates.