Charges: Man was drinking, doing drugs before crash that killed Lakeville North student

A Farmington man has been charged in connection to a weekend crash that killed a Lakeville North High School student.

Alejandro Jesus Saavedra, 21, was charged Tuesday with criminal vehicular homicide due to gross negligence and criminal vehicular operation resulting in great bodily harm due to gross negligence.

The crash happened at around 6:30 a.m. Saturday in Burnsville after police received a noise complaint at the Best Western Premier Nicollet Inn. In the parking lot, an officer saw three people – identified as a male and two younger females – run through the lot before getting into a Lexus that sped away. The complaint states that the Lexus eventually sped off Nicollet Avenue onto Grand Avenue, striking at least one curb and causing a tire to get dislodged and roll into the roadway.

A short time later, officers found the Lexus crashed behind a post office.

Sixteen-year-old Sydney Kohner, a sophomore at Lakeville North, died at the scene. A 15-year-old passenger and the driver, later identified as Saavedra, were taken to a hospital with serious injuries. The 15-year-old girl was intubated in the pediatric ICU with fractured vertebrae, femur, tibia and fibula, as well as pronounced swelling and bleeding in her brain, the complaint states.

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As Saavedra was taken to a hospital, officers noticed a strong smell of alcohol, the complaint states, and Saavedra allegedly told paramedics that he’d used alcohol and marijuana prior to driving. A blood sample was taken and he was arrested following his release from the hospital. The complaint states he also later admitted to buying alcohol for a party, adding that he drank alcohol and used cocaine at the hotel.

When officers went back to the hotel to investigate the noise complaint, they found alcohol, controlled substances and drug paraphernalia in the rooms, according to the complaint.

Saavedra was booked into the Dakota County Jail on Monday. He made his first court appearance Tuesday morning and had his bail set at $250,000 without conditions or $150,000 with conditions.

His next hearing is scheduled for April 28.

If convicted, Saavedra faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine on the first charge and up to five years and a $10,000 fine on the second charge.