Rochester crash involving State Patrol squad kills teen, injures 6

Generic police lights (FOX 9)

A multi-vehicle crash near a mall in Rochester injured six people, including a Minnesota State Trooper, and left an 18-year-old woman dead.

Rochester police said the three-vehicle crash happened on Saturday, May 18, near the Apache Mall. The preliminary report suggests the driver of a Ford Focus was heading west on 12th Street Southwest and turned south into the mall when it collided with the State trooper's squad car, who was heading east on the same street. 

Then, as the driver of the Toyota RAV4 was leaving the mall and waiting to turn, the driver of the Ford Focus was pushed into the RAV4 and ended up in the ditch, according to police. 

A 32-year-old State Trooper and a 20-year-old ride-along passenger were transported to the hospital with unknown injuries. The 36-year-old RAV4 driver and 12-year-old passenger sustained minor injuries and did not require hospitalization, police said.  

The Ford Focus driver, a 21-year-old woman, and two passengers, a 19-year-old woman and an 18-year-old woman, were all transported with injuries to St. Mary’s Hospital.

Police said the 18-year-old, identified as Olivia Flores of Owatonna, was in critical condition and later died from her injuries. Details about the other women’s injuries were not released. 

"Olivia was such a special young lady. To know her is to be inspired by her. She was fierce and she was loyal. She was beautiful down to her soul. I can only say to know her and love her was a gift!" the GoFundMe for Flores' family read. 

The incident remains under investigation. 

State Patrol statement

Col. Christina Bogojevic of the Minnesota State Patrol released the following statement about the crash: 

"Making sure motorists are safe as they travel Minnesota’s roads is at the core of what we do each day. Our agency works hard to prevent crashes and save lives. On Saturday evening, a Minnesota State Patrol squad was involved in a crash in Rochester in which someone later died. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragic event.

"The Rochester Police Department is investigating the crash. Any further information will be released by their agency."

At least 126 people have died in Minnesota traffic incidents so far this year, according to the state Department of Public Safety.