ambulance : getty images
The driver got off an exit before a state trooper could pull the car over, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said. Representation Image. Randy Faris/Gettyimages

A devastating accident occurred on Friday, as a speeding SUV collided violently with a car carrying five young women and teens from Minnesota. According to authorities and community leaders, the group had been preparing for a friend's wedding scheduled for the next day.

Reports indicate that the fatal crash took place while the five victims were on their way home from the mall that evening. Sadly, all five individuals were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

The identities of the victims, Sabiriin Ali (17), Sahra Gesaade (20), Salma Abdikadir (20), Sagal Hersi (19), and Siham Adam (19), were released on Sunday.

The young women had been engaged in activities such as getting henna applied and shopping in preparation for their friend's wedding, as reported by Star Tribune.

"They weren't doing anything wrong," Khalid Omar, who leads the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center where the five attended, told the newspaper.

"They were just getting ready for their friend's wedding."

Three of the women were said to be cousins, while another was an extended family member, according to reports.

Among the victims, one had recently graduated from high school, while the remaining four were college students.

All five of these young women were residents of Minnesota, calling the state their home.

According to authorities, the driver of the SUV was reportedly traveling at a speed exceeding 40 mph above the posted limit of 55 mph on the highway, shortly after 10 p.m.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety stated that the driver exited the highway before a state trooper could initiate a traffic stop, as reported by the Star Tribune.

State police further revealed that the driver disregarded a red light and collided with the vehicle carrying the five women.

In speaking to the newspaper, Minneapolis City Council Member Jamal Osman described the crash's impact as so intense that it propelled the women's car a distance of 50 feet.

"It's heartbreaking," he said. "These girls had a lot of life ahead of them."

The driver involved in the crash, reportedly identified as 27-year-old Derrick John Thompson according to sources cited by the Star Tribune, sustained injuries in the accident. After the collision, he attempted to escape on foot but was eventually apprehended.

Thompson, who is the son of former state representative John Thompson, did not respond to requests for comment from the news outlet.

Following the incident, the driver was transported to the hospital and underwent testing for the presence of drugs and alcohol. He is currently still receiving medical treatment, New York Post reported.

According to police records mentioned in the Star Tribune, Thompson had his license reinstated in March 2023, just a few months prior to the crash.

Previously, he had faced multiple convictions for driving with a revoked or suspended license.

An online fundraising campaign has raised over $300,000 to support the victims' family.

"These are pearls of our community. They leave a big void," Omar reportedly said. "All five of them had bright futures."

© 2023 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.