Man Identified in Fatal Minnetonka Crash with Police Squad Car

The Minnetonka police cruiser was traveling westbound on Excelsior Blvd. on an emergency call, with lights and sirens activated, when a car was broadsided in the intersection of Woodland Road.

A Minnetonka man was killed Tuesday night when his car was struck by a police squad car on Woodland Road and Excelsior Blvd. in Minnetonka.

Sean Kian, 52, died at the scene of the crash.

Around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 4, Minnetonka Police Officer Daniel Aschenbrener, 28, also of Minnetonka, was traveling westbound on Excelsior Blvd. on an emergency call with lights and sirens activated, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

Kian was driving a 1988 BMW northbound on Woodland Road. The squad car broadsided the passenger side of Kian's sedan when it cut into the squad car's path.

Kian was not wearing a seat belt. It is unknown whether alcohol was involved.

"If he would have had his seat belt on, there is a high likelihood that he would have survived the crash," said Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske. "All the damage was on the passenger side. There was virtually no intrusion on the driver's side."

Officer Aschenbrener was treated for non-life threatening injuries. He was driving a Minnetonka Police car (a 2010 Ford Crown Victoria) at the time of the crash.

At a Wednesday afternoon news conference at Minnetonka City Hall with the Minnesota State Patrol and Minnetonka Police, Police Chief Mark Raquet said Officer Aschenbrener is on paid administrative leave while the crash is investigated by the State Patrol. He has been with the Minnetonka Police Department since September 2010 and has no driving violations in his file, according to Raquet.

Raquet said Aschenbrener was on his way to an emergency call regarding a 17-year-old who was threatening his family and searching for a weapon in the home with the intent to harm himself.

"The call was not compromised," Raquet said. "The call was handled in an appropriate time and manner that we normally do."

Raquet said state statutes and department protocol dictate the way officers drive when headed to emergencies. 

"There is a statute that gives us certain exemptions to traffic laws," he said. "But what the statute tells us is that we need to slow down through intersections and use due care before proceeding."

Roeske said it is too early to tell if "due care" was taken by Aschenbrener in this situation. 

"We have to look at the totality of the situation," he said. Roeske said he can't put a time frame on the accident reconstruction, but it is typically a long process.

• Click here to watch a video of the news conference.


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S.S Doe December 06, 2012 at 09:34 PM
I just found this, Court records show that Kian's Minnesota driving record includes numerous tickets dating to the 1990s and as recently as 2007, when he was cited for failing to yield to a motor vehicle. He also had been ticketed many times for speeding and failing to observe a traffic signal. The Officer in question has had NO other prior driving records
Ash December 07, 2012 at 02:11 AM
The citizens in Minnetonka are some of the best people in the world. I can assure you the police department is also one of the best in the State if not the Country when It comes to officer training, education, dedication, and pride for service. It is typical for 200-300 people to apply for 1 open position. Many of them have multiple years of service with other police departments wanting to leave their department and join Minnetonka Police Department. No officer ever wants this to happen. He was the first one to try and save this persons life after the accident. Imagine the pain he must have felt at that moment and from here on out while serving the citizens of Minnetonka he swore to protect. God bless the citizens of Minnetonka and the police officers.
Dave Timmons December 10, 2012 at 05:17 PM
While this is a tragic accident, it is important to point out that the Minnesota statute regarding emergency vehicles, requires emergency vehicles to proceed with due caution when going through a red light. In Minneapolis you will notice fire trucks going with red lights & siren almost stop at every red light/stop sign before going through. Certainly I don't know the circumstances that caused this accident. But this should be a reminder to all those that drive emergency vehicles to "look out for the other guy". Red lights & siren is NOT a license to violate traffic laws - you still must drive with due caution.
Dave Timmons December 10, 2012 at 05:18 PM
And your point is?
Jb December 13, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Your an idiot! You were NOT there there so don't judge!!!!!


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