Woman charged in crash that killed two teens in Arden Hills


Rachel Diane Kayl

Flowers gathered on a guardrail beside the scene of the Dec. 1 car accident in Arden Hills that killed two Mounds View High School students. A Maple Grove woman has been charged with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide in relation to the crash.

More than six months after two Mounds View High School students were killed in a car crash in Arden Hills Dec. 1, the driver of the other vehicle, a woman who was released at the scene, has been charged by the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide. 

The Attorney’s Office announced May 11 that 32-year-old Rachel Diane Kayl, of Maple Grove, was allegedly driving at speeds higher than 80 miles per hour when she struck the girls’ vehicle, occupied by three Mounds View High School students heading to class that morning. 

The crash killed Stephanie Carlson and Bridget Giere, both 16. The 17-year-old driver, Samantha Redden, was critically injured and hospitalized.

Kayl was charged with criminal vehicular operation in connection to Redden’s injuries. Redden, according to the criminal complaint against Kayl, suffered a collapsed lung and “life-threatening injuries” in the accident.

“This tragedy, which caused terrible grief for the victims’ families, friends and community, was entirely preventable,” said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi.

The force at which Kayl struck the girls’ vehicle at the intersection of Highway 96 and Old Highway 10 caused it to roll over and land off the road and back onto its wheels. Kayl’s vehicle spun around, according to what witnesses told emergency responders. 

Using crash data retrieval software, police determined that Kayl’s Chevrolet Trailblazer was traveling 81-82 miles per hour just before the impact. The posted speed limit in the area is 50 miles per hour. 

According to the complaint, during the course of the investigation into the crash, Kayl declined a follow-up interview and when law enforcement obtained a search warrant to analyze her phone, she refused to provide the phone’s passcode, rendering the phone useless to investigators. 

Phone records obtained through Kayl’s cell provider did not reveal any texts or calls made around the time of the accident. Those records would not detail whether or not any applications, such as social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, were in use at the time of the collision. 

Kayl has no criminal history, but has been cited for speeding four times since 2005, the most recent instance being in 2013, when she pleaded guilty to gross misdemeanor speeding in Hennepin County. 

Kayl’s first court appearance was May 12. The maximum penalty for criminal vehicular homicide is 10 years, a $20,000 fine, or both.

 

Jesse Poole can be reached at jpoole@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7815.

 

 

 

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