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Man who stopped traffic on I-94 in Minnesota dies while in custody

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Brett Huber2 / 3
A man later identified as Brett Huber stands on top of a truck on Interstate 94 east of Osakis on Saturday, March 18. He was later arrested. Submitted photo3 / 3

ST. CLOUD, Minn.—The 25-year-old man who brought traffic to a standstill on Interstate 94 while high on drugs in March recently died at the St. Cloud Hospital after being found not breathing in his jail cell.

According to the Todd County Sheriff's Office, Brett Huber was found at 1:38 p.m., June 9, in his cell not breathing. He was taken by ambulance to the Long Prairie Hospital and later airlifted to the St. Cloud Hospital, where he died on June 11.

The incident at the jail is currently under investigation.

According to Huber's obituary, he graduated from Spearfish High School in South Dakota in 2010.

Later, while living in Alaska, he served as a page in the Alaska Senate and as legislative aide to the finance committee co-chairs in the Alaska State House during the 28th and 29th Legislatures. He also worked in Washington, D.C., for Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan.

Huber ended up in the Todd County Jail after he allegedly stole a van in Alexandria but crashed it in Osakis. In Osakis, police say he took another vehicle, which he crashed on I-94, where he began wandering into traffic and eventually climbed on top of a truck before his eventual arrest.

Police said in a criminal complaint that Huber was high on drugs at the time.

The complaint says Alexandria police were called to the Dairy Queen on South Broadway on Saturday, March 18, where a man man, later identified as Huber, was acting as if he were on drugs. When officers arrived, Huber had left the restaurant. A woman entered the Dairy Queen, saying Huber had run from the Douglas County Hospital emergency room because they were trying to get him to go to detox.

At about the same time, the Alexandria Police Department received a report of a 2009 Chevrolet HHR stolen from NAPA Auto Parts in Alexandria.

The stolen NAPA vehicle was found in Osakis, where Huber had crashed it behind the Veterans of Foreign Wars club.

Osakis Police Officer Josh Hanson said Huber then ran barefoot across a frozen pond, and entered the attached garage at the home of Adam Saltmarsh.

Huber drove a van from the garage onto I-94, where he crashed into the median. He began running on I-94 east of Osakis, bringing traffic to a stop and eventually climbing on top of a semi-truck.

Huber then jumped from the truck to the top of an Alexandria Fire Department truck, then back to the top of the semi before returning to the ground and leading officers on a foot pursuit.

He was arrested shortly afterward.

According to Hanson, law enforcement officials spent 45 minutes to an hour on the interstate with Huber.

Huber was taken to the Todd County Jail, where he remained until June 9.

Beth Leipholtz

Beth is a reporter at the Echo Press. She graduated from the College of Saint Benedict in May 2015 with a degree in Communication and Hispanic Studies. Journalism has always been her passion, but she also enjoys blogging and graphic design. In her spare time, she's most likely at Crossfit or at home with her boyfriend and three dogs.

(320) 763-1233
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