For the first time since their loved ones were taken from them, the families of five girls killed in a tragic car accident spoke at a press conference.
The five girls, Siham Adan Odhowa, 19, Sahra Liban Gesaade, 20, Sabirin Mohamoud Ali, 17, Sagal Burhaan Herso, 19, and Salma Mohamed Abidkadir, 20, were killed when Derrick Thompson, 27, crashed into them while fleeing from police. They were preparing for a friend's wedding when the crash occurred.
“My heart aches with an unbearable sorrow. The void left in my life by your passing is immeasurable, and the pain of your absence is a constant reminder of how precious our time together was,” Sabarin Ali’s older sister Sundus Ali said tearfully.
The families reminisced on the lost lives, spoke on how bright the girls were, and how they brought joy to their families. Siblings shared how the girls would inspire them going forward.
“The loss of my sister left my family heartbroken. She was someone who brought laughter and love wherever she went,” Sahra Gesaada’s younger sister Rukia Gesaada said.“I carry your legacy with pride and I strive to make you proud. I love you, Sahra Gesaada.”
Thompson is charged with ten counts of vehicular homicide, and the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office is concluding its toxicology report. Police say they found a pistol with an extended magazine and a significant amount of Fentanyl in Thompson’s vehicle.
CAIR-MN and the families are calling for an independent investigation into the crash, saying that information that has come out since the crash conflicts with other reports. They also believe that the city should step back due to the involvement of a state trooper.
“That is why we believe it is important at this moment to ask for an outside, independent investigation into this case. That will help us answer many of the questions that the family, and as a community, we have,” CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein said.
CAIR-MN is calling for a ban on high-speed police chases, and urged the state to look for alternative methods to avoid chases, which Hussein says are dangerous to other members of the community. A USA Today analysis of federal reports from 1979 to 2013 found that one-third of all police chases ended in crashes, resulting in more than 11,000 deaths nationwide.