Farmington high school student killed in crash on ‘dangerous’ stretch of road

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The Farmington community is mourning the loss of high school senior Rodrigo Dooley, 17, after he was killed in a crash on a Dakota County road that community members tell KSTP has been dangerous for years.

Janet Frandrup, neighbor, explained she heard the crash and rushed over to help Saturday afternoon.

“I just heard a big bang like if you ever heard an aerosol can explode. It sounded like that, and it happened three times,” Frandrup said.

Frandrup is used to hearing crashes just steps away from her home in Vermillion Township.

“It’s just horrible when something like that happens,” Frandrup said.

The multi-vehicle crash happened around 2:20 p.m. Saturday on 160th St. E. near Freeborn Avenue. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Dooley was driving a Toyota Corolla east when he slowed down to make a turn.

Then, the driver of a Jeep Grand Cherokee rear-ended Dooley’s car, pushing him into oncoming traffic. A man driving a Chrysler Town and Country crashed head-on into Dooley’s car, ejecting the teen from the vehicle.

Authorities said Dooley was wearing a seatbelt. He died at the scene.

Neighbors explained accidents happen in the area frequently.

Jenna Lacroix lives right off the busy road. She said there’s a lot of traffic that goes in and out of her family farm.

She explained her loved ones have gotten into several car crashes turning on and off the busy street.

“It’s sometimes dangerous getting outside of the driveway, and especially when we have tractors and heavy equipment,” Lacroix said. “People don’t care and either will ignore and try to get past you and just go on with their lives.”

Neighbors agree turn lanes could make the street safer.

But in the meantime, they said drivers need to do their part.

“Pay attention. Don’t use your phones. It’s kind of like Driver’s Ed 101, and take it seriously,” Lacroix said.