Trial date set for Austin man accused of fleeing police, fiery crash

(ABC 6 News) – Melchor Barnabas will stand trial for a May 2 police pursuit and crash in late October of this year.

Barnabas, 23, is accused of felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, misdemeanor operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, violating Minnesota’s open bottle law, riding in a motor vehicle without the owner’s permission, and driving without insurance.

RELATED: Austin man accused of DUI, leading officers on pursuit that ended in a fiery crash |

Austin police said an officer tried to stop a White Chevy Silverado in the 500 block of West Oakland Ave. for multiple traffic violations. The APD said the driver did not stop once the officer initiated their lights and sirens.

The driver then led the officer on a pursuit where speeds reached above 70 miles per hour. Because of the "erratic driving" and high speeds, the officer ended the pursuit. The driver continued to speed away from the officer.

He then lost control of the pickup near the 1600 block of West Oakland Ave and appeared to go into the south ditch near Banfield Elementary School.

According to police,Barnabas overcorrected and went into the north ditch where the car hit a tree and “erupted” into flames.