By Jeff Wagner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — “It all happened so fast” — that’s how deputies say the driver accused of killing two 16-year-olds described the deadly crash.

Stephanie Carlson and Bridget Giere died on their way to Mounds View High School in December. Prosecutors today charged 32-year-old Rachel Kayl with causing the wreck. They say her speeds topped 80 miles per hour just seconds before she slammed into the girls’ SUV.

Days after the crash, dozens of classmates met at the scene along the highway in Arden Hills for a moment of silence.

Neighbors at the intersection of Highway 10 and Highway 96 West in Arden Hills say it’s known for high speeds, and an unfortunate but memorable example proved their point last December.

Investigators say three teenage girls on their way to Mounds View High School were hit by an oncoming SUV as they tried to make a left turn. Carlson and Giere died at the scene, and Samantha Redden was critically hurt. All of them were 16 years old.

The tragic crash devastated their classmates and the Mounds View High School Community.

Court documents say investigators checked the crash data retrieval software in the SUV driven by Rachel Kayl. It showed she was going more than 80 miles per hour within seconds of the crash. The speed limit in the area is 50.

In the documents, investigators say weather, visual obstructions and driver impairment did not factor into the crash. Prosecutors added that had Kayl been driving the posted speed limit, the collision would likely not have occurred.

In the documents, Kayl told investigators the day of the incident “that it all happened so fast.” She has four speeding tickets on her record.

Her first court appearance is tomorrow morning.

In a statement, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said, “As drivers, each of us takes on a personal and legal responsibility when we get behind the wheel.” He said he will work to bring justice in the case.


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