WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 07, 2011, 05:17 PM

Moorhead Police release more details on fatal crash

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - Moorhead Police have issued a release and dashcam video detailing the pursuit of Russell Thompson

By: WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

The investigation resulting from the discovery of the deceased, Russell Dean Thompson III (19-year- old from Moorhead), in a stolen vehicle on July 5th has been ongoing. As of this time, the police lead investigator has communicated with Mr. Thompson’s immediate family and advised that we would be releasing information obtained through the investigation.

Shortly after 2:00 a.m. on July 5th, the Dilworth Police Department reported a gold colored 4 door Nissan maxima stolen from a residence. At approximately 2:22 a.m. a Moorhead Officer was Northbound on 34th Street South when he observed a vehicle traveling Southbound toward him in the wrong driving lane. The officer pulled to the side of the roadway and observed that as the vehicle got closer, it changed back into the correct lane at the 24th Avenue intersection. The vehicle was identified as a gold colored 4 door sedan. The officer activated his overhead emergency lights and made a U-turn with the intent to conduct a traffic stop. The suspect vehicle accelerated rapidly and continued Southbound on 34th Street. The officer’s car immediately began to have a mechanical failure, later identified to be fuel pump failure, which prohibited him from initiating a pursuit. The officer last saw the suspect vehicle going over the crest of the I94 bridge on 34th Street . Information about the suspect vehicle was broadcasted via police radio to other units to assist with attempting to locate the suspect vehicle leaving the area. Several officers checked the area without success of locating the suspect vehicle. While checking the area for the suspect vehicle, dispatch reported an attempted burglary in progress at 1801 29th Street Circle South. The homeowner’s description of the suspect and his vehicle leaving Eastbound toward 34th Street are consistent with Mr. Thompson and the stolen gold colored 4 door passenger car from Dilworth. It was later determined that there was a slight time delay between the attempted burglary and the actual call to police dispatch.

At approximately 1:10 p.m. on July 5th employees of a business in the Moorhead industrial park found Mr. Thompson deceased inside the stolen vehicle approximately 60 yards South of the 30th Avenue intersection visually hidden from sight by tree branches and tall grass.

An initial Provisional Medical Report provided by the Ramsey County Medical Examiners office indicates that Mr. Thompson died as a result of multiple traumatic injuries due to a motor vehicle collision. Alcohol is a factor, specific levels pending toxicology results.

The Minnesota State Patrol has processed the accident scene and has indicated that excessive speed was a factor in the crash. The investigation and accident reconstruction will continue.