Driver with suspended license accused of killing doctor U in high-speed crash in Arden Hills
Dr Daniel Schnobrich occasionally worked nights at a Minneapolis hospital as it allowed him to spend more time with his three young children, supervise them and be about their activities.
But his drive to work one evening last week proved fatal when a man with a long criminal driving history crashed into his vehicle.
Schnobrich was on his way from his Arden Hills home to the University of Minnesota’s M Health Fairview Medical Center when a high-speed SUV struck his Toyota sedan with such force it tore the doctor’s car to pieces.
Schnobrich, a pediatric and palliative doctor who taught at U medical school, died less than five hours later.
The other driver, Norman D. Toney, 34, of St. Paul, was charged last week by Ramsey County District Court with driving and second-degree manslaughter in connection with of the November 9 collision that killed 40-year-old Schnobrich.
As someone who embraced physical activity, Schnobrich encouraged the same in his children, all under the age of 10, his father Jeff Schnobrich said. Daniel Schnobrich coached them all on the same T-ball team last summer and asked the kids to sign up for cross-country skiing in anticipation of that first lasting snowfall.
“Part of the reason he was spending the night was that he could spend more time with the kids,” the doctor’s father said.
“All of our lives have changed,” said Jeff Schnobrich. “Now we have to figure out how we will continue without him. “
Toney was driving while his license was suspended, the State Department of Public Safety said on Monday. His criminal record in Minnesota includes two convictions for impaired driving, three for driving after revocation of his license and one for speeding.
At the time of the accident, Schnobrich was working at the Masonic Children’s Hospital at the University of Minnesota and was an associate professor in the U.
He has traveled to Tanzania several times to “care for those with limited medical resources,” according to his online obituary. There, he hiked Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa.
He has completed marathons, Ironman triathlons and the American ski event Birkebeiner.
“He loved to push himself to absolute limits,” and competed in his first Ironman competition while carrying the burden of studying medicine, said Jeff Schnobrich.
“I don’t know how you do that when you’re in med school,” her father said. “He called me [one day] and said he had just cycled from Chicago to Milwaukee [roughly 90 miles] and back as part of his training. “
According to the criminal complaint against Toney:
On the night of the accident, the sheriff’s deputies were sent to W. Hwy at around 8:40 pm. 96 and Hamline Avenue, where they saw Schnobrich’s car, with the driver’s door sheared off and the “engine block hanging from the passenger side,” according to the charges.
Schnobrich had buckled his seat belt, but his car “was hit with such force that the seat belt buckle snapped, causing it to be ejected,” according to the complaint.
One of the MPs saw Toney running from the intersection towards a pond. Toney refused the MP’s orders and was tackled to the ground.
Toney and Schnobrich were taken by emergency responders to St. Paul Regional Hospital. Schnobrich died around 1:20 a.m. on November 10. Toney refused to be questioned by authorities and was sentenced to jail. He appeared in court on Monday and remains being held without bail. Toney is due to return to court on December 29. The court records do not mention a lawyer for him.
Witnesses told law enforcement that Toney appeared to be “on drugs or under the influence” of drugs. They saw him running from Schnobrich’s car to the pond and not answering questions from passers-by.
A woman driving in the area said she saw a car drive past her on Hamline towards the highway. 96 before hearing a big boom and seeing a flash of flames. Toney’s car landed on its roof and submerged in the pond. The car was towed out of the pond; his speedometer was stuck at 103 mph.
Minutes before the crash, a Roseville police officer spotted Toney’s car weaving through traffic on Northbound Snelling Avenue and estimated its speed at 95 mph. The officer turned on his squad’s lights but quickly lost sight of the car.
Schnobrich graduated from Waconia High School in 1999 as a National Merit Scholar, studied biochemistry at Iowa State University, attended the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago, and completed his residency at the University. of Minnesota.
“He knew what he wanted to be in his early teens,” Jeff Schnobrich said of his son. “And he did the things he needed to make it happen.”
In a statement on Monday, medical school spokesperson Kat Dodge said: “Dr. Dan Schnobrich was an outstanding physician and faculty member and a beloved member of our community, as evidenced by the outpouring of grief from all who knew him at the U of M. Medical School and M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center. … He was a familiar and universally admired figure.
Schnobrich’s survivors include his wife, Rachel, and their three children. A funeral service is scheduled for 11 am Thursday at Glen Haven Chapel, 5125 W. Broadway, Crystal, with visitation from 4 pm to 8 pm Wednesday and 10 am to 11 am Thursday.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482