FARGO — Authorities have identified a sexual assault suspect who died after he swerved his vehicle into a bridge pillar of an overpass crossing Interstate 29 in Fargo.
The crash happened Tuesday, Dec. 15, at 6:51 p.m. after North Dakota Highway Patrol troopers attempted to stop a northbound vehicle on I-29 between 32nd Avenue and I-94 in Fargo, according to a news release. The vehicle's driver was wanted by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office for first-degree sexual assault in Minnesota.
Highway Patrol troopers had located the suspect vehicle, a 2007 Dodge Durango SUV, in Fargo and were attempting to stop it on I-29. Seconds after they activated their emergency lights, the vehicle accelerated away from them, swerved to the right and struck a bridge pillar on the I-94 overpass, according to the patrol. The SUV struck the bridge pillar head-on and came to rest against the bridge pillar.
The driver, identified by authorities as 47-year-old Glyndon, Minn., man Jason Simeon, who was the only person in the vehicle, was pronounced dead on scene. The Highway Patrol said his name will be released Wednesday afternoon.
The crash remains under investigation, but it won’t be investigated for officer conduct, Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind said. Officers had every right to stop Simeon, and the crash happened so quickly that the patrol wouldn’t consider it a pursuit, Niewind said.
The crash Tuesday night is the second time this month an attempted law enforcement stop on an interstate in the Fargo-Moorhead metro has resulted in a serious crash. Two people were thrown from a car after crashing while fleeing police on I-94 in Moorhead on Dec. 6.
The early December crash, which left one of the people ejected from the vehicle with life-threatening injuries, is under investigation by the Minnesota State Patrol and the North Dakota Highway Patrol.