Driver Facing Felony Charges For Crash That Killed Lakeville Teen
Burnsville, MN (KROC-AM News) - Dakota County prosecutors today charged a Farmington man in connection with the death of a 16-year-old Lakeville North High School student.
21-year-old Alejandro Saavedra was arraigned this morning on criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation charges stemming from a high-speed crash that occurred early Saturday in Burnsville. He was driving a car that went off a sharp curve and smashed into a pillar on a concrete vehicle ramp located at a US Postal Service facility near the Burnsville Center shopping mall.
The criminal complaint says Burnsville police officers found Saavedra pinned in the driver's seat of the vehicle. He was conscious and alert, while Sydney Kohner was found fatally injured in the backseat of the wreckage of the car. A severely injured 15-year-old girl was also in the backseat. She was transported to the Hennepin County Medical Center to be treated for injuries that included fractured vertebrae, multiple leg fractures, and pronounced bleeding and swelling in her brain.
The charges against Saavedra indicate the deadly crash occurred after he sped out of the parking lot of a hotel near the crash site when Burnsville police responded to a noise complaint at the property. While he was fleeing from the scene, an officer and another witness saw his car strike a curb with enough force to dislodge one of the tires shortly before he lost control and crashed into the cement structure.
While he was being transported to the hospital for treatment, an officer noted a strong odor of alcohol coming from Saavedra and the criminal complaint says he told paramedics he had consumed alcohol and marijuana prior to driving. Investigators obtained a search warrant for a sample of his blood, which is undergoing testing.
Burnsville police also obtained a search warrant for the hotel rooms that were the source of the noise complaint. Saavedra was the registered guest for two adjoining rooms, where officers found "alcohol, controlled substances, and drug paraphernalia." The court document also states Saavedra later told investigators he used alcohol and cocaine at the hotel and had purchased the alcohol for the party.
His conditional bail was set at $150,000 and he is scheduled to return to court on April 28.
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