State trooper charged in Rochester crash that killed teen
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State trooper charged in Rochester crash that killed teen

Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News)- The Olmsted County District Attorney’s Office has filed charges against a state trooper involved in a Rochester car crash that killed a Minnesota teenager.

Olivia Flores, 18, of Owatonna, was killed just weeks before her high school graduation in a crash May 18 as she entered the Apache Mall off 12th St. Southwest/Hwy. 14.

Five other people, including a police officer and a passenger who was riding with them, were injured in the three-vehicle crash. The Rochester Police Department was asked to investigate the fatal crash.

Investigators completed their investigation into the crash and submitted the findings to the Olmsted County District Attorney’s Office last month.

Rochester Police: Officer driving 43 mph over the speed limit in crash that killed Olivia Flores

In a letter released Tuesday, Olmsted County District Attorney Mark Ostrom announced that 32-year-old police officer Shane Roper of Hayfield is charged with second-degree murder, vehicular homicide and several counts of driving for criminal purposes.

State trooper charged in Rochester crash that killed teen

Ostrom says a Rochester police investigation found that Roper was initially stationed at the 6th St. Southwest exit, controlling traffic, when he turned on his hazard lights and accelerated south on U.S. 52 to 98 mph in an attempt to pull over a driver who had committed a traffic violation.

Roper then exited Highway 52 onto the eastbound exit ramp off Highway 14 near the Apache Mall and turned off his hazard lights while maintaining a high speed, Ostrom said.

According to the crash investigation, Roper’s unit was estimated to have been traveling toward the intersection at the mall entrance at 83 mph with no hazard lights in a 40 mph zone. Eastbound and westbound traffic had green lights.

The investigation revealed that Roper took his foot off the gas pedal just 1.4 seconds before colliding with the passenger side of the vehicle Flores was in as he was making a left turn.

Oliva Flores/Canva’s GoFundMe Page
Oliva Flores/Canva’s GoFundMe Page

Ostrom said the investigation also found that Roper was speeding without his hazard lights on at least four times on the day of the fatal crash, reaching a maximum speed of 135 mph (217 km/h).

Excerpt from the indictment released by Olmsted County District Attorney Mark Ostrom
An excerpt from the indictment released by Olmsted County District Attorney Mark Ostrom

“Trooper Roper, in such a flagrant violation of his duties, caused the death of a young lady celebrating her upcoming high school graduation. Several other individuals sustained serious injuries. Roper’s conduct violated the core values โ€‹โ€‹of the State Patrol. As with any other individual who drives carelessly and without regard to basic traffic rules, Mr. Roper’s conduct cannot be tolerated,” Ostrom wrote in the letter.

Shane Roper’s Criminal Complaint – Olmsted County Court

Shane Roper’s Criminal Complaint – Olmsted County Court

Under state sentencing guidelines, the maximum prison sentence for second-degree murder is 10 years. Roper is scheduled to appear in court in late August.

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