Family recovers after Minneapolis playground crash

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minneapolis family is recovering after a high-speed police chase ended with a vehicle crashing into a playground where a father and his children were playing.
Nicolle and Kyle Peltier had three of their children sustain serious injuries from the June 11 crash.
Our job as parents is to protect our children,” Nicolle Peltier told the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “And I feel like we couldn’t protect them.”
The six-minute pursuit started when state troopers attempted to pull over Kabaar Powell for driving over the speed limit. Kyle Peltier witnessed Powell barreling into the playground at Jenny Lind Elementary School, hitting his three young children.
Kyle Peltier pushed his 8-month-old, who was seated in a stroller, out of the way of the oncoming car. But he was too late to protect his 2-year-old Kayden, 3-year-old Konnor and 4-year-old Lillie. Konnor was fastened to a toddler swing when the car struck into the swing set, launching him into the air.
He recovered, as did Lillie, whose legs were run over by the car’s tires, causing her forehead to slam against the concrete. She suffered from bleeding between her brain and the tissue covering her brain.
Kayden suffered neck and hip fractures, as well as internal bleeding. He needed immediate surgery to stabilize his neck and protect his spinal cord. His chances for survival were slim.
But Children’s Hospital-Minneapolis doctors took two of Kayden’s bottom ribs and fastened them to the base of his skull, creating a built-in neck brace. The ribs will permanently protect his spinal cord from impact and movement.
Powell pleaded guilty to two counts of fleeing a peace officer resulting in bodily harm. He was sentenced Aug. 16 to 33 months in prison.
The Peltiers plan to sue the state. Their attorney, James Schwebel, said the chase went against the state patrol’s training and put the public in danger.
Schwebel has filed a notice of claim, which warns the government that a wrongful injury or death has occurred and that a lawsuit is in order. He said he will file the lawsuit when he obtains more evidence from the state patrol.
The Peltiers also said they’re looking into additional legal action against Powell.
“(Powell) used our children as a decoy,” Nicolle Peltier said. “He will be held responsible.”
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Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com

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