High School Cheerleader Killed Car Crash Involving State Trooper

(RepublicanPress.org) – The Minnesota State Patrol (MSP) recently issued a press release announcing the launch of a new program to reduce the number of traffic-related deaths on the state’s highways. The notice confirmed that one of the worst parts of working for the agency is having to notify someone their loved one had perished in an accident.

MSP Chief Col. Christina Bogojevic echoed that sentiment. She also stressed that the new program would provide troopers a means of making a difference “by educating drivers and stopping dangerous behaviors” before they lead to a “life-changing tragedy.”

Sadly, the following day, a teenage cheerleader perished in a three-car accident involving an MSP trooper.

High School Cheerleader Killed in Three Car Crash

On Saturday, May 18, the Rochester Police Department (RPD) issued a brief statement on its Facebook page advising that it dispatched officers to an injury accident at Memorial Parkway and 12th Street SW (US Route 14). The notice said the crash involved three cars, including an MSP squad car. The vehicles carried seven passengers, and emergency rescue workers transported all of them for medical care.

Two days later, the RPD released another statement advising that the passenger in one of the vehicles, 18-year-old Olivia Flores, died from her injuries at the Mayo Clinic Hospital’s Saint Marys Campus. The notice also identified the other six vehicle occupants, including 32-year-old MSP Trooper Shane Roper.

The RPD’s post said preliminary information collected by investigators indicated the MSP squad car was traveling east on Route 14. A westbound Ford Focus turned south into Apache Mall and collided with the MPS’s vehicle.

The resulting impact pushed the Ford into a Toyota RAV4, leaving the shopping center. It ended up in a ditch. Flores was a passenger in the Ford Focus.

The Crash’s Aftermath

Local media outlets reported that her family decided to turn off Flores’ life support on Sunday. Her aunt, Tammy Olseon Harber, confirmed that she “passed away at 2:47 [that] afternoon.” She said the teenager’s family was with her when hospital personnel turned off her life support.

Flores’ father, Carlos, said his daughter was “loved by so many.” He said she was the basketball and football cheer team captain and was looking forward to her June 7 graduation from Owatonna High School.

Col. Bogojevic issued a statement Monday evening confirming the RPD would spearhead the investigation into the fatal accident. She said her “agency works hard to prevent crashes and save lives.” The MSP head concluded her remarks by stating that the agency’s thoughts were with everyone impacted by the “tragic” crash.

A friend of the Flores family set up a GoFundMe page to help them “in this very difficult time. Michael Otte set a goal of $25,000 for the drive. Donors contributed nearly $30,000 in less than 24 hours.

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