Man Charged For Indian American Girl’s Death in Car Accident in Minneapolis
The accused was driving the car when it crashed, killing 20-year-old Indian American student Ria Patel.
A 21-year-old man, Michael Laurence Campbell, of Minneapolis was found guilty of killing his 20-year-old Indian American girlfriend, Ria Patel of Eden Prairie, due to negligent driving and for leaving the scene of the crash.
Campbell was charged with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the Sept. 17, 2017, death of Patel, a junior at the University of St. Thomas, one count each for the crash, and for leaving.
Campbell’s lawyer had argued that the crash happened when Patel grabbed Campbell’s face for a passionate kiss but the jury found him guilty. Patel suffered numerous serious injuries to her head and face while Campbell had none, according to the testimony.
Campbell drove his red Ford Focus into the base of a traffic stoplight near the exit ramp from Interstate 35W and then fled the scene upon finding Patel dead, according to the prosecutors quoted by Eden Prairie news. He ran to his house that he shares with his roommates. He tried to call her home from a blocked number multiple times and his work to say that he would miss the shift later that day. He also missed his shift at work two days later. He took an Uber to St. Michael, where his parents lived but did not go to their house. He was found in St. Michael by the deputies.
Patel was a junior at the University of St. Thomas. Hitesh Patel, the uncle of Ria Patel, said his niece was a happy, loving, outgoing and caring person, and that her friends and family will miss her.
“The last six months have been hard on all of us as we adjust to a new normal, a new normal that we don’t want to wish upon anyone, a new normal where we are suffering a life sentence,” he told the Twin Cities media.
The family of the victim also announced that they would launch a Ria Patel Foundation to end drunken and distracted driving.
The prosecutors office said they would seek the longest sentence possible and estimated 57 months — four years nine months.