Charges: Driver was going 80 mph before crash that killed two high school students

Authorities say she was going up to 82 mph in a 50 mph zone.

A 32-year-old Maple Grove woman has been charged in a crash that killed two Mounds View High School students in December.

According to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office, Rachel Diane Kayl was going up to 82 mph in a 50 mph zone at the time of the crash. Now she's being accused of negligent driving that killed two people and injured another.

According to the charges:

Around 7 a.m. on Dec. 1, Kayl was driving on Highway 96 West in Arden Hills. She was headed to her nanny job in Shoreview, Kayl told authorities.

At the same time, three teenage girls were headed to Mounds View High School.

Both vehicles approached each other at an intersection – one traveling eastbound, the other westbound. That's when the girls – who were yielding to traffic – attempted a left turn and Kayl's vehicle crashed into them.

The two 16-year-old passengers – Stephanie Carlson and Bridget Giere – died at the scene. The 17-year-old driver sustained life-threatening injuries.

After investigating and reviewing camera footage, authorities determined the main cause of the crash to be Kayl's excessive speed. They say the 17-year-old driver likely couldn't tell how fast Kayl was driving when she pulled out to make the turn.

Officials say they obtained a search warrant to check Kayl's phone to see if she had been using it, but Kayl had a passcode and authorities can't force you to hand over that information. If it had been a fingerprint lock, that'd be a different story.

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.

Kayl is facing three felony charges. Two of those are for criminal vehicular homicide. Those both have maximum sentences of 10 years and/or a $20,000 fine. The other charge is for criminal vehicular operation that resulted in great bodily harm. That one has a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

She's expected in court Friday afternoon, an attorney's office spokesperson said.

Last year, about 400 people died on Minnesota roads.

Next Up