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"The bright stars of our community": 5 friends killed in south Minneapolis crash caused by speeding driver

Community mourns five friends killed in high-speed Minneapolis crash
Community mourns five friends killed in high-speed Minneapolis crash 02:02

MINNEAPOLIS -- A community is grieving after a speeding driver hit another vehicle in south Minneapolis Friday night, killing four women and one teenage girl.

UPDATE: Community prepares to lay 5 young women killed in south Minneapolis crash to rest

According to Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O'Hara, a state trooper saw a speeding driver on Interstate 35W around 10:15 p.m. Before the trooper could stop the vehicle, the driver exited onto Second Avenue and ran a red light, hitting another vehicle at the Lake Street intersection.

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"These were individuals who had a bright future," said Dar Al Farooq Center's Mosque Director Khalid Omar. "We're talking about the pearls. We're talking about the bright stars of our community."

"We haven't seen a tragedy of five young individuals who passed away at the scene at an incident like this," Omar added. "We've never seen something like that before."

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The speeding driver ran off, but was caught by police. Police believe the driver may have been impaired.

The Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center identified the victims as Sabiriin Ali, Sahra Gesaade, Salma Abdikadir, Sagal Hersi and Siham Adam. A fundraiser has been started for their families, the center said. 

From left to right: Sahra Gesaade, 20, Salma Abdikadir, 20, Sagal Hersi, 19, Siham Adam, 19, Sabiriin Ali, 17 Dar Al Farooq Center

Ali had just graduated from Edina High School and was planning to attend the University of Minnesota. Gesaade, 20, was about to start her junior year at the U of M Rochester. Abdikadir, 20, attended Normandale College. Adam, 19, attended the U of M. Hersi, 19, attended Minneapolis College.

The five were inseparable and were out together Friday night preparing for a friend's wedding slated for Saturday.

A small memorial grew at the scene on Saturday morning.

"Losing anyone, that's a tragedy. But losing five young people at the same time, is something that is very hard to process," said Omar.

City Councilmember Jamal Osman said he is frustrated and hurt that the driver of the other car tried to run before he was arrested.

"This kind of reckless behavior from an individual - who survived. Who took five girls who had their future away. We want justice for these girls," he said.

An online fundraiser for the families of the women had raised more than $300,000 as of Sunday afternoon.

Police have yet to name the person responsible. The crash remains under investigation.  

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