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Director sentenced to almost 3 years for the children’s playground crash

MINNEAPOLIS – An unlicensed driver was sentenced Thursday to nearly three years in prison for leading police on a chase that ended with the man plowing in Minneapolis children’s playground and the wounding of three young brothers and sisters.

Kabaar Powell, Jr., 27, Richfield, was sentenced after pleading guilty last month to two counts of flight from an agent.

The parents of the children, Kyle and nicolle Peltier, Powell said their lives will never be the same.

Kyle Peltier was at the playground with their seven children on the day of the June 11 crash.

“I watched helpless as my children were run over,” Kyle Peltier said. He said that his older children no longer want to come to the playground.

“We have a rough life now,” he said.

Powell refused to speak, the Star Tribune reported . He agreed to accept a longer sentence than normal, but is expected to be less than two years before it is released. He would have received probation under the normal guidelines.

State troopers tried to stop Powell for speeding on Interstate 94, but authorities say he tried to flee. He got off the highway, speeding to 22 signs and to tear through the tennis courts for smashing in the children’s playground in the vicinity of Jenny Lind Elementary School on the city’s north side, hitting young Kayden, Konnor and Lillianna Peltier.

The most seriously injured child, 2-year-old Kayden Peltier, left the hospital last week. He was almost paralyzed but can now walk with assistance. His mother said he has a traumatic brain injury. Four-year-old Lillianna Peltier suffered multiple abrasions as bleeding in the brain. Three-year-old Konnor Peltier was also hit but suffered less serious injuries.

Nicolle Peltier said of the two children seriously injured, “the ultimate goal in life is to learn how to play and normal.”

Powell does not have a valid driver’s license since the year 2014, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

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This version of the story corrects Powell’s age to 27 instead of 22.

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