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.