Maple Grove woman admits speeding before crash that killed 2 Mounds View students

The 33-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts just days before trial.
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Rachel Kayl

The driver who caused a crash that killed two Mounds View High School students has pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal vehicular homicide.

Rachel Kayl, 33, of Maple Grove, was on her way to a nannying job in Shoreview on Dec. 1, 2016, and was driving her Chevy Trailblazer at speeds of 81-82 mph in a 50mph zone westbound on Hwy. 96 in Arden Hills.

She slammed into a Chevy Equinox carrying three Mounds View students, which was yielding to traffic ahead of making a turn.

The students were on their way to school at the time, and killed in the collision were 16-year-olds Stephanie Carlson and Bridget Giere. The 17-year-old driver suffered life-threatening injuries.

Kayl struck a plea agreement with prosecutors just days before she was due to stand trail, in which she has pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal vehicular homicide.

Two counts of manslaughter will be dismissed at sentencing as per the agreement.

She is expected to be sentenced to 48 months for two of the counts and 18 months for the other, to be served consecutively.

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However, the sentence will be stayed, with Kayl ordered to serve 10 years of supervised probation. The judge will have the discretion to order her to serve up to a year in jail at the sentencing.

Kayl's case was the subject of controversy earlier this year, when it emerged she refused authorities' request to hand over the passcode for her phone to see if it was being used at the time of the crash.

Investigators did get phone records though, and there were no calls or texts around the time of the crash. The records don't have information on whether she was using other apps, though.

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