Teen Charged in Crash that Killed 2, Injured 2
Photo: MGN Online
A 17-year-old male has been charged in the deaths of two teens and the injuries of two other teenagers during a crash last August in Burnsville.
The driver, who is from Burnsville, was charged Wednesday in Dakota County Juvenile Court. He is not named in the charges because he is underage, according to a statement from Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom.
"This case appears to be an example of how quickly an inexperienced driver can lose control of a vehicle if speeding and driving recklessly," Backstrom said in the statement. "This also underscores the importance for all persons in a vehicle to wear a seatbelt."
The petition alleges that the driver was grossly negligent while southbound at about 2:30 p.m. Aug. 21 on Buck Hill Road. Accident reconstruction by the Minnesota State Patrol estimated that the vehicle was traveling 96 mph in a 40 mph zone when it became airborne.
The driver lost control of the vehicle before it spun 180 degrees and hit the curb, according to the county attorney. The vehicle then rolled at least six times down a hill, landing on the southbound lanes of Interstate 35.
Frederick Jeffrey Alexander, 16, was ejected from the car and died at the scene, the county attorney stated. Alesha Katherine Roehl, 17, was ejected from the car and airlifted to the hospital, where she died later that night. Both were from Burnsville.
A 17-year-old male from Burnsville, was ejected and suffered a severe cut to his arm and other injuries, the county attorney stated. A 16-year-old male from Lakeville, who was in the front seat, and the driver were wearing their seatbelts. They were not ejected.
The three passengers, who were ejected, were in the backseat. They were not wearing their seatbelts, according to the county attorney.
The driver had gotten the vehicle about four days before the crash. According to the investigation, the driver was weaving back-and-forth while accelerating.
The driver told investigators that he thought it would be fun to swerve back-and-forth. He must have hit the gas pedal, instead of the brake, before he lost control of the car, he told police.
The front seat passenger told police that he asked the driver to slow down before the crash.
The driver was charged with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide, and criminal vehicular operation. All are felonies. He also faces a gross misdemeanor charge of criminal vehicular operation.
The case will be filed under Minnesota's extended juvenile jurisdiction law, which will provide a stayed-adult sentence if the driver is convicted of the crimes. It also would extend the juvenile court's jurisdiction over the case until the driver turns 21 years old.
The video above is from previous KSTP-TV coverage of the Burnsville crash.