Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)- The Olmsted County Attorney’s Office has filed charges against the State Trooper who was involved in a Rochester crash that claimed the life of a Minnesota teenager. 

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18-year-old Olivia Flores of Owatonna died just weeks before graduating high school following a crash at the 12th St. Southwest/Hwy. 14 entrance to Apache Mall on May 18.

Five others, including the trooper and a ride-along passenger, were injured in the three vehicle crash. The Rochester Police Department was charged with investigating the fatality. 

Detectives finished the crash investigation and sent the findings to the Olmsted County Attorney’s Office last month

Rochester PD: Trooper Was Traveling 43 mph Over Speed Limit in Crash That Killed Olivia Flores

In a letter published on Tuesday, Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrom announced that 32-year-old Trooper Shane Roper of Hayfield is charged with second-degree manslaughter, criminal vehicular homicide and several counts of criminal vehicular operation. 

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Ostrom says the Rochester Police Department’s investigation found Roper was initially stationed on the 6th St. Southwest ramp conducting traffic enforcement when he activated the squad’s emergency lights accelerated south on Hwy. 52 to a speed of 98 mph in an attempt to stop a motorist for a traffic violation. 

Roper then exited Hwy. 52 at the eastbound Hwy. 14 ramp near Apache Mall and deactivated his emergency lights while maintaining a high speed, Ostrom says. 

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Roper’s squad was estimated to have been traveling towards the mall entrance intersection at speed of 83 mph without emergency lights in the 40 mph zone, according to the crash investigation. East and westbound traffic had green lights.

The investigation found Roper took his foot off the accelerator just 1.4 seconds before colliding with the passenger side of the vehicle carrying Flores as it was making a left-hand turn. 

Oliva Flores GoFundMe page/Canva
Oliva Flores GoFundMe page/Canva
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Ostrom says the investigation also indicated Roper had engaged in high-speed driving at least four times on the day of the deadly crash without emergency lights, topping out at a speed of 135 mph.

Excerpt from charging letter published by Olmsted Country Attorney Mark Ostrom
Excerpt from charging letter published by Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrom
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“Trooper Roper, violating his duty in such a gross fashion, caused the death of a young lady celebrating her impending graduation from high school. Several other persons suffered serious injury. Roper’s conduct violated the State Patrol’s Core Values. As with any other person driving recklessly and without regard to very basic rules of the road, Mr. Roper’s conduct cannot be tolerated,” Ostrom wrote in the letter. 

Shane Roper criminal complaint - Olmsted County Court
Shane Roper criminal complaint - Olmsted County Court
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Under state sentencing guidelines the maximum prison sentence for a second-degree manslaughter conviction is 10 years. Roper’s first court appearance is scheduled to take place in late August.

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Gallery Credit: Courtlin