A Maple Grove woman was charged Thursday for her role in a crash that killed two Mounds View High School students and injured a third.
Rachel D. Kayl, 32, was charged in Ramsey County District Court with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide and one count of criminal vehicular operation causing great bodily harm.
Authorities believe she was driving more than 30 miles per hour over the speed limit when her Chevrolet Trailblazer struck a Chevrolet Equinox on Hwy. 96 at Old Hwy. 10 in Arden Hills on Dec. 1. She exhibited no signs of drug or alcohol impairment.
Two passengers in the Equinox, Bridget Giere and Stephanie Carlson, both 16, died at the scene. The driver, Samantha Redden, 17, was hospitalized with a collapsed lung, traumatic brain injury that caused loss of consciousness, “significant” blood loss, injury to her spleen and several broken bones.
The girls were headed to school when the crash occurred about 7 a.m.
“A witness said that the Trailblazer ‘blasted through the light going really fast,’ ” the charges said.
According to the complaint: Kayl was traveling east on Hwy. 96 when she crashed into the Equinox, which was turning from the westbound lane of the highway onto southbound Old Hwy. 10.
The Equinox rolled over and landed in the upright position. The Trailblazer “spun around on its wheels.”
Kayl allegedly told Ramsey County sheriff’s deputies that the Equinox slowed down through the intersection. Kayl, who was en route to her job as a nanny in Shoreview, did not suffer any serious injuries.
Crash data from Kayl’s car showed that she was traveling 81 to 82 mph at the time. The speed limit at the scene is 50 mph.
Search warrants revealed that Kayl had not placed any calls or text messages at the time. Authorities said the data would not show whether any apps or the internet were in use.
“If the Trailblazer was traveling the posted speed limit, the Equinox would have had enough time to clear the intersection and the collision would likely not have occurred,” the charges said. “The driver of the Equinox would have had a difficult time assessing the high speed of the oncoming Trailblazer and likely perceived the Trailblazer to be far enough away to make the turn and clear the intersection.”