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Fatal Squad Car Crash: #5 Minnetonka Patch Story of 2012

We're counting down the most popular, inspiring, interesting and tragic stories of the year.

Tuesday, Dec. 4 was a sad day in Minnetonka when a 52-year-old resident, Sean Kian, died in a crash involving a Minnetonka Police car.

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 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, and wearing one would most likely have saved his life, the State Patrol said.

Officer Aschenbrener was put 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. 

Readers flocked to Man Identified in Fatal Minnetonka Crash with Police Squad Car to find out the latest details, but also to grieve for Sean Kian and voice concerns about the speeds of emergency vehicles.

Comments such as these were submitted to the article:

WR: I live a few houses from the intersection. I work at home. I watch police and citizens speeding in the area every day. I listen to sirens all day long. I witness the excessive speed at which nearly everyone travels in this area. Every day I think that the excessive speeds are going to kill someone. Last night I heard the sirens and within seconds I heard the "thunk" that ended in a man's death. The were no screeching brakes, just "thunk." There clearly was not even time for anyone to react. I watched as this heinous scene unfolded in my neighbor's front yard through the night. It's time to start issuing speeding tickets and it's time for the police to slow down.

dave jordan: One disability Sean had was that he is hard of hearing. Sean is from Iran, he was a tank driver in the Iran/Iraq war. He personally told me of his hearing problems, and what particular sounds hurt his ears. I am not making judgements, just acknowledging that there were variables that may have contributed to this tragety. Sean is a good man and will be missed.

debber: Before people start pointing the finger on who was in the wrong maybe we should say a little prayer for the life that was lost, his family and the police officer involved in this tragic accident.

More on this topic:

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

• Hennepin County Examiner Releases Info on Crash Victim

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