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Mother, unborn baby killed in wrong-way crash in Minneapolis; driver charged, allegedly consumed PCP

Updated: October 18, 2019 10:08 PM

Charges have been filed against the wrong-way driver in a double-fatal crash police are describing as a "catastrophic crash" in Minneapolis, and a criminal complaint states the man admitted to consuming PCP before the crash.

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According to police, the incident happened just before 11 p.m. Thursday along Newton Avenue North near 14th Avenue North.

Investigators said a woman in her 30s identified as who was eight months pregnant was trapped in a rolled-over minivan at the site of the crash. She and her unborn baby died at the scene. 

The woman was identified to KSTP as Ubah Hussen.

"Despite valiant efforts by Minneapolis police officers and then Minneapolis firefighters, who worked for almost 45 minutes to try to extricate her, she passed and the unborn baby died at the scene," Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder said.

Three other people were hospitalized with injuries that were not considered to be life-threatening.

The family of the deceased pregnant woman told KSTP that she is the mother of 10 children. 

Greta Geren lives down the street from where the crash happened. She was one of the first neighbors at the scene.

"It was a mangled mess so I just ran out there and started screaming at my girls, call 911," she said.

Geren found the man and woman trapped inside the van. She reached her hand through broken glass to hold onto them. She said she prayed with them and waited for police.

"The guy in the car just kept saying 'help us, help me, help her, help the baby,'" Geren said. "I was holding onto his hand and she reached up her hand."

Police said the incident started with the driver of a SUV going the wrong way.

Investigators said several vehicles crashed into each other after the driver, speeding in the wrong direction along Newton Avenue, crashed into the vehicles.

Police said they took the suspect and another person into custody as rescue efforts took place.

They said they believe the driver was on drugs when the crash happened.

"Very sadly, oftentimes the people that are killed are people that were doing nothing wrong and that certainly appears to be in this case," Elder said.

The driver of the minivan and two people in the suspect's car were all taken to the hospital with injuries not considered to be life-threatening.

MPD said Friday that the Hennepin County Attorney's Office filed several charges against the wrong-way driver, 36-year-old Mark Franklin Jr., including:

  • Criminal Vehicular Homicide – Operate Vehicle Any Amount Schedule 1 or 2 Controlled Substance
  • Criminal Vehicular Operation – Death Unborn Child - Any Amount Schedule 1 or 2 Controlled 
  • Criminal Vehicular Operation – Substantial Bodily Harm - Any Amount Schedule 1 or 2 Controlled Substance
  • Criminal Vehicular Operation –Bodily Harm - Any Amount Schedule 1 or 2 Controlled Substance

A criminal complaint states Franklin admitted to an EMS crew that he'd used PCP before driving. Officers couldn't conduct field sobriety tests with him because he was receiving medical attention, but a search warrant allowed them to take a blood sample to be tested.

In a statement to police, Franklin allegedly said he had picked up another person in Champlin and drove to North Minneapolis to buy PCP. The complaint states Franklin admitted to consuming PCP, and that he didn't remember striking any vehicles but woke up after the collision and saw the damage.

His bail has been set at $1 million.

His first court appearance is set for Monday.

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