A motorist was sentenced Monday to four years of prison and supervised release after admitting that he was high, speeding and checking a cellphone for directions before he hit a barrier wall along a south metro interstate and killed his passenger.
James R. Lapsley, 21, of Prior Lake, was sentenced in Dakota County District Court after pleading guilty last month to criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the crash on May 26, 2018, on Interstate 35W in Burnsville.
Lapsley will serve the first 2⅔ years of his sentence in prison and the balance on supervised release.
The wreck about 7:20 a.m. on southbound I-35W near Burnsville Parkway killed Kayli K. Thompson, 19, of Burnsville.
Officers arrived at the scene and saw that Lapsley had bloodshot and glassy eyes, and his speech was slurred. A blood test came back positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
A motorist who stopped at the scene said he saw Lapsley’s car “driving erratically and at a high rate of speed,” the charges read. He saw the car hit the median barrier twice before it went past him and out of view. The witness next saw it in a ditch ahead.
Lapsley told officers that he and Thompson had been fishing that morning on Prior Lake and were heading to her house. He said that they were checking the GPS function on her phone and passing it back and forth at the time.
A State Patrol investigation determined that he was going about 91 mph a mile north of the crash scene and was traveling 83 mph at the time of the crash.