A 16-year-old Burnsville boy and a 17-year-old Northfield girl died Tuesday as the result of a single-car rollover crash on Interstate 35 in Burnsville near Buck Hill.
On Tuesday night, troopers confirmed 16-year-old Frederick Alexander, known to friends as Fred, was killed in the crash.
Alesha Roehl, 17, was one of the first victims authorities identified after the crash. She was airlifted from the scene with what authorities described as serious injuries, but she died.
Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske said the car lost control on southbound Buck Hill Road, rolling onto the freeway around 2:30 p.m. At least two people were ejected from the car, and officials say at least two passengers were not wearing seat belts.
Five people were inside the Toyota Camry when it crashed, but the Minnesota State Patrol told FOX 9 News their investigators believe it was totally preventable.
"Based off what the witnesses have told us, there were no obstructions -- nothing in the road," Roeske said. "There didn't appear to be any reason for him to be swerving back and forth."
The State Patrol's preliminary report identified 17-year-old Joshua Decoteau, of Lakeville, as the driver. He suffered only a minor injury in the crash.
Two other 16-year-old boys in the vehicle also suffered minor injuries and were taken to HCMC.
Decoteau's uncle told FOX 9 News his nephew is hurting mentally and physically, and so are his friends.
"I couldn't believe it" said Carolyn Kulbeth, friend of the victims. "I was speechless."
As a teenager, there is nothing that can prepare you for the sudden death of a young friend, and Kulbeth said many in her social circle are in shock.
"I saw Josh down there just crying his eyes out," she said. "I couldn't believe it. I can't believe this happened to our group of friends."
Kulbeth told FOX 9 News she heard Decoteau had been messing around while driving.
"They were driving up here and decided to pretend to jerk the car around and actually lost control," she explained. "Went through the fence and down the hill."
Witnesses told investigators the same thing -- that the car was swerving back and forth while going very fast on Buck Hill before crashing into a guardrail on I-35.
The crash blocked all three lanes of traffic on I-35, causing significant backups in southbound lanes of I-35, 35W and 35E. The right two lanes of I-35 remained closed to southbound traffic during the 3 p.m. hour, and traffic backed up for miles as a result.
The crash marks the second within a month where a group of teens traveling in a car together has ended in a fatal crash. Many parents are wondering what it will take for teens to take driving seriously, but Kulbeth told FOX 9 News she has certainly learned from this tragedy.
"I want to be extra safe, knowing a life could have been on his conscience, I don't want that to happen to me," she said. "I don't want to even know I gave a friend a bruise."
The Minnesota State Patrol warns charges could still come in the case, against either the driver or the passengers. Troopers say if the passengers caused Decoteau to crash, they could be held responsible.