Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - A Rochester teenager is facing criminal charges connected to a traffic wreck that claimed the life of a friend.

Facing one charge of criminal vehicular homicide and three other counts is 16-year-old Branden Maplethorpe.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Olmsted County juvenile court, Maplethorpe was driving a car that was struck by another vehicle while trying to cross Highway 14 near Byron last Sept. 11th.

Maplethorpe was treated for minor injuries. His passenger - 18-year-old Michael Hendrix of Byron - suffered fatal injuries.

The other vehicle was driven by 60-year-old Scott Gifford of Byron. He was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

According to the criminal complaint, Gifford told investigators he saw Maplethorpe’s car starting to cross Highway 14 from County Rd 3 at a high rate of speed. Gifford said he swerved and hit the brakes but could not avoid the collision and struck the passenger door of Maplethorpe’s car.

Another witness said it appeared Maplethorpe was “trying to make it across all four lanes” of Highway 14 in heavy traffic and that he hesitated at the median and then “punched it.”

Maplethorpe told investigators he did not remember any details of the accident. He has been ordered to make his first court appearance March 25th.

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