Eastern Wisconsin cab driver in critical condition after crash, passenger in custody - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Eastern Wisconsin cab driver in critical condition after crash, passenger in custody

Greenfield Elementary School, Baldwin (WQOW) - A taxi driver is in critical condition and his passenger is in custody. The cab crashed into a light pole in the parking lot of a western Wisconsin school. It happened Sunday night. 

News 18 was in Baldwin where this happened and there are still many unanswered questions.

The first being why this happened. Police say the driver was found lying on the sidewalk and the passenger was seen running away. He was later arrested. 

Rick Rivard lives down the block from Greenfield Elementary School and says it's not uncommon to see emergency vehicles at the school from time to time.

"There are sports injuries and there is one or two vehicles that will go by but there was every vehicle in the fire and rescue fleet out so I was wondering what was going on," says Rivard. 

Rick said when he heard a medical helicopter arrive he knew the situation was serious.

"The car looked like it was absolutely totaled out so it was fairly severe. Probably an hour and a half or so later I had heard (the helicopter) taking off and leaving Baldwin so I figured that they were flying him out," adds Rivard.

The cab driver was airlifted to Regions Hospital in Saint Paul. Police say it appears he jumped from the cab before it crashed into a light pole.

"We were notified by two citizens that there was a person fleeing from the Blue and White Cab. Our officers showed up, took the fleeing person into custody and they then responded to the school and found the driver of the cab there," says Baldwin Police Chief Jim Widiker.

Police would not comment on whether a weapon was found at the scene or why the driver may have jumped out of the moving car.

"We don't know what went on in the car for sure, so it's just pure speculation at this time," adds Widiker.

Both the passenger and driver are from Minneapolis. It's unclear why they were in Baldwin.  Since it happened outside the school, News 18 spoke with the superintendent.

He told us there was no need to call off classes Tuesday because the incident happened Monday night and officers had everything under control. 

One suspect remains in custody but his name has not been released. The driver of the cab, Abdi Askar, is in critical condition with what police are calling numerous injuries. They would not elaborate any further.

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Baldwin (Press Release) - On November 23rd, 2009 at approximately 6:40 p.m. the Baldwin Police Department was notified of a one vehicle accident on Maple Street at 14th Avenue at the Greenfield Elementary School parking lot.

Upon arrival, officers found one victim, identified as Abdi Mohamed Askar, 38, of Minneapolis. He was found lying on the sidewalk on the north end of the Greenfield Elementary School parking lot.

It was discovered that a Blue and White Minneapolis cab had crashed into a light pole, then struck a vehicle. Officers were notified that a second individual was seen fleeing from the accident scene and was being followed by two citizens. Officers located the subject approximately 2 blocks from the scene of the accident.

Askar was identified as the cab driver and had picked up the fare in Minneapolis and had driven him to Baldwin. Askar had numerous injuries and was transported to the Baldwin Hospital and then transferred to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. He is in critical condition.

Scene investigation indicated that the vehicle was traveling above the posted speed limit and that Askar jumped out of the cab prior to striking the light pole. The passenger, also a resident of Minneapolis, is being held pending further investigation by the Baldwin Police Department and the Saint Croix County Sheriff's Office. The passenger's name has not been released.

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