May 27, 2018 10:18 PM
The Minnesota State Patrol said 19-year-old Kayli Thompson was killed in a one-car accident Saturday morning on southbound I-35W between Burnsville Parkway and Crystal Lake Road.
Investigators said the driver of the car, identified as 20-year-old James Lapsley of Prior Lake, suffered non-life threatening injuries, and preliminary tests showed alcohol was not a factor in the crash.
Brandon Thompson, Kayli's father, said his family is still coming to terms with his daughter's death. Their focus is on comforting Kayli's four brothers and sisters.
"When the state troopers delivered the news about Kayli, you cannot even process it," Thompson said.
"She was a beautiful young woman with a big heart who would do anything for anyone, and never met a person she didn't like."
On a Memorial Day Weekend, Thompson said the family never thought they would be planning a memorial service for their teenaged daughter.
"She had four siblings she loved to death and she was full of life," he said.
"It is hard to deal with the death of a child. But dealing with the death of your own 19-year-old child is just ... well, we are still trying to cope and wrap our heads around it."
State patrol investigators are now doing accident reconstruction. Along the freeway ditch, two sets of tire tracks are clearly visible, and there is evidence of the car's force when it struck the sound barrier.
A concrete pillar is sliced off, and the car nearly broke all the way through the wall.
Thompson said investigators told him both his daughter and Lapsley had their seat belts on and air bags did deploy in the 2012 Ford Fusion.
But other than those details, information on what led to the deadly crash is scarce.
"We do have a lot of questions with few answers right now," Thompson said. "We will be following up with the state patrol and hopefully we will find out exactly what caused this. But it is really hard and the loss is terrible."
Lapsley was not arrested and has not received any citations.
Investigators took blood samples from him - which is standard procedure in an accident like this - to completely rule out alcohol and drugs as a possible factor.
Updated: May 27, 2018 10:18 PM
Created: May 27, 2018 08:15 PM
Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company