HASTINGS, Minn. - Charges of criminal vehicular homicide have been filed in juvenile court against a teenager who was at the wheel during a one-vehicle crash back in 2012 that killed two of his friends.
The 17-year-old male also is charged with one felony count of criminal vehicular operation and one gross misdemeanor count of criminal vehicular operation in connection with the wreck on Buck Hill Road in Burnsville that took place on August 21, 2012.
Killed in the crash were 16-year-old Frederick Jeffrey Alexander and 17-year-old Alesha Katherine Roehl, both of Burnsville. Two other teenagers also suffered serious injuries.
Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom says the case is being filed under Minnesota's extended juvenile jurisdiction statute, which will provide a stayed adult prison sentence if the driver is convicted of these crimes. It would also extend the juvenile court's jurisdiction over the case until the defendant reaches age 21.
Accident reconstructionists say the teen was driving at approximately 96 miles per hour down southbound Buck Hill Road when the vehicle became airborne. They say the defendant lost control, spun around 180 degrees and hit the curb, causing the car to roll six or seven times end-over-end down a hill.
Frederick Alexander was ejected from the car and pronounced dead at the scene while Alesha Roehl also was ejected from the car and was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center where she died that evening.
"This case appears to be an example of how quickly an inexperienced driver can lose control of a vehicle if speeding and driving recklessly," said Backstrom in a written statement. "This also underscores the importance for all persons in a vehicle to wear a seatbelt. Our deepest sympathy is extended to the families and friends of Frederick Alexander and Alesha Roehl for their great loss."
Investigators learned the teenaged driver had just gotten the vehicle four or five days prior to this incident. During questioning he reportedly told them he thought it would be fun to swerve back and forth while driving and that he must have hit the gas pedal instead of the brake before losing control of the car.
His passenger told police he told the driver to slow down before the crash occurred.
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