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Somali community mourns the loss of five young women in tragic car crash on Lake Street

By Mary McGuire
Monday June 19, 2023

MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - A quick trip to prepare for a friend's wedding turned into an unspeakable tragedy when the five women from the local Somali community were killed in a violent car crash on Friday with an alleged impaired driver, leaving their families and friends in shock.

The victims were 20-year-old Sahra Gesaade, 20-year-old Salma Abdikadir, 19-year-old Segal Hersey, 19-year-old Siham Adam, and 17-year-old Sabiriin Ali. They were all killed after a driver, suspected of being impaired, ran a red light and crashed into their car near Interstate 35W and Lake Street.

The incident occurred just after 10 p.m. on Friday night. A state trooper on I-35 spotted a car speeding northbound towards the Lake Street Transit Center.

The trooper started to follow the car but did not activate their lights or sirens. That's when the adult male driver veered off the highway, and allegedly ran a red light before crashing into the car carrying the five young women. The driver tried to flee the scene, but with the help of witnesses, Minneapolis Police were able to locate and arrest him.

Leaders at Dar al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington told FOX 9 that the women were integral members of their faith community, frequently volunteering and taking care of the mosque. Over the weekend, the center will open its doors to members to provide a space to grieve and attempt to come to terms with this sudden loss.