Missing driver in I-35 altercation identifiedEarly indications are that two drivers, Guy Gaskill of Duluth and Richard Widell of Barnum, had a confrontation in West Duluth and carried it onto Interstate 35, according to the State Patrol. (Photo: Harry Baker / Fox 21 News)
A Duluth man is clinging to life in a Twin Cities hospital following a Monday crash that may have resulted from a road-rage incident.
Guy Robert Gaskill, 37, was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center Monday evening.
“He’s still alive; they’re trying to keep him going,” James Gaskill, Guy’s father, said this afternoon. “We wouldn’t know anything more for a couple of days. He went through a couple emergency surgeries, one for a ruptured artery and the other for something about his lungs.”
“I’m kind of still in shock,” James Gaskill said. “It’s still a touch-and-go thing; we don’t know how healthy he is going to be.”
James Gaskill said he doesn’t know how the accident happened.
Guy Gaskill lost control of his Chevy Blazer and struck a traffic light pole at 26th Avenue East and London Road while chasing a vehicle driven by Richard G. Widell, 38, of Barnum, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.
The chase on northbound Interstate 35 apparently began in West Duluth.
“The early indications from the investigation are that they appeared to have had a confrontation in West Duluth, carried it onto the interstate, where the vehicles were chasing each other,” Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Mark Baker said. “There was contact made between the vehicles prior to the Chevy Blazer losing control and hitting the light pole on London Road.”
Baker said Widell, driver of the 1994 Buick LeSabre, left the accident scene. Widell later called State Patrol dispatch but he hasn’t returned calls made by investigators who want to talk with him about the incident, Baker said.
Joseph Martin had left the Holiday convenience store at London Road and 26th Avenue East and was entering southbound I-35 when he saw the Blazer approaching London Road.
“It was up on two wheels, not entirely, but rocking back and forth,” said Martin, who estimated that the Blazer was traveling at least 50 mph. “It was skidding sideways.
“I though he was not going to make it — by this time the light must be red,” Martin said. “I thought: ‘He’s going to hit a car or something.’ ”
Martin lost sight of the Blazer in his side-view mirror, but his 8-year-old daughter saw the accident through the rear window of the family’s minivan.
“Oh my gosh, Daddy, I just saw something horrible,” Justine Martin said. “That man in that red car hit that pole.”
Martin said he didn’t notice the Buick that Gaskill reportedly was chasing.
Anyone who saw the vehicles or who may have information about the driver of the Buick LeSabre is asked to call the Minnesota State Patrol at (218) 723-4885.
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