Weather Forecast


Bemidji man seriously injured after police chase

BEMIDJI – A Bemidji man was seriously injured after fleeing from police and crashing his sport utility vehicle early Friday morning.

Robin J. Hill, 39, was fleeing from Leech Lake Tribal Police at high rates of speed when he lost control and went into a ditch on Mission Road Northeast, just north of Power Dam Road Northeast. The car rolled and struck several trees, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

The gravel road was icy at the time, according to the state patrol. Hill, whose 1998 Dodge Durango was totaled in the crash, was not wearing a seatbelt and alcohol was detected in his system.

There was either no airbag or it was not deployed, according to the state patrol.

Hill was airlifted to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, N.D.

It’s unclear why Hill was fleeing from police. Leech Lake Tribal Police Chief Kenny Washington did not immediately return a phone call requesting comment.

Hill’s condition status was not available Friday afternoon.  

Hill is the second person to be hospitalized after a police chase in Beltrami County this year. Jeramie Pilecki, 36, of Blackduck fled an officer with the Bemidji Police Department in early January. He suffered a broken back after rolling his SUV north of Bemidji city limits.

Pilecki was charged with one count of felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle earlier this week.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

(701) 255-5607