Minneapolis Police Department

COMMITMENT, INTEGRITY & TRANSPARENCY

Media Release
Media Contact:
Cyndi Barrington 612-673-3524 cyndi.barrington@minneapolismn.gov @MPD_PIO

Chief Harteau presents facts of fatal traffic accident
November 14, 2013 (MINNEAPOLIS) This morning at City Hall, Chief Janeé Harteau presented the findings of the completed investigation into the fatal traffic accident that occurred on May 10, 2013 involving Officer Joshua Young and a motorcyclist, Ivan Romeras-Olivares. “I want to begin by reiterating that this incident was tragic for many. I would like to first express my sympathies to the Romero-Oliveras family for the untimely death of Ivan and to his girlfriend, Joselin Torrejon-Vilamil who was on the motorcycle that day and was also injured in the accident. This is not a case of a high speed response in which an officer ran through a red light as has been eluded to and reported. This is the case of an officer responding to a call for help, using caution traveling well below the posted speed, properly using red lights & siren and being struck by a motorcycle who had already lost control sliding into the rear of Officer Young squad car,” said Chief Harteau. The MN State Patrol conducted the accident reconstruction and determined the following:   The squad car was traveling at a speed under 16 miles per hour just before the crash and was traveling approximately 24 – 26 miles per hour near the point of impact. The motorcycle was determined to have been traveling between 32- 34 miles per hour at the start of the skid.

Evidence indicates that the motorcycle did not achieve maximum breaking. The rear tire locked and the driver attempted to steer to the right just prior to entering the intersection. Since the rear tire was locked, the motorcycle lost a significant portion of its stability, which caused the motorcycle to tip onto its right side and “slide out”. The investigator reviewed the driver’s license of Mr. Romero-Oliveras and determined that Mr. Romero-Oliveras did not have a motorcycle endorsement or permit which suggests that he may have been an inexperienced motorcyclist.

The MPD investigation determined that Mr. Romero-Oliveras did not have a valid driver’s license of any kind. In addition to exceeding the speed limit, Mr. Romero Oliveras failed to yield to an emergency vehicle as required by law. The investigator found no indication that Officer Young saw the motorcycle prior to the impact. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office reviewed this case for consideration of criminal charges and declined to issue any charges. The case was also reviewed for possible misdemeanor charges of reckless or careless driving and there was insufficient evidence that Officer Young acted in violation of either of the provisions. “I am not wearing my uniform purposely to remind everyone that behind our uniforms we are human beings who even when making good faith efforts and responding to calls for help, events such as this unfortunately can happen. This was a traffic accident, with a tragic outcome. We must also acknowledge that this negatively impacted Officer Young and his family as well. He is a family man, a new father, a son, a veteran on the MN Army National Guard and one of the responders to the infamous “Black Hawk Down” incident, a friend to many and a really good man,” said Chief Harteau. ###

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