Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that James Robert Lapsley, age 21 of Prior Lake, was sentenced today by Judge Shawn Moynihan to 48 months in prison in connection with a single vehicle crash on I-35W in Burnsville on May 26, 2018, that resulted in the death of his passenger, 19-year-old Kayli Thompson of Burnsville. Lapsley previously pled guilty on January 6, 2020 to one count of Criminal Vehicular Homicide (Gross Negligence) in this matter.
A summary of the facts pertaining to this crash are set forth below:
On May 26, 2018 around 7:30 a.m., law enforcement was dispatched to a single vehicle crash with injuries on I-35W near County Road 42 in Burnsville on a report of a Ford Fusion with heavy front-end damage with a female passenger trapped inside the vehicle. Officers arrived and located the Fusion, which had veered off the interstate highway and hit a sound barrier wall, sustaining extensive damage. Lapsley, who was already out of the Fusion, was bleeding from his knee and had scrapes on his arms and legs. He admitted to driving. A male witness stated that he had been driving south on I-35W when he observed the Fusion driving erratically and at a high rate of speed. He reported that the Fusion nearly hit the median barrier at least twice and was not maintaining its lane. The Fusion drove past him out of view and he next saw it in the ditch to the right of I-35W after he came to the top of a hill. Emergency medical personnel arrived and attempted to render aid to the victim, but her injuries were fatal and she died at the scene. Officers spoke to Lapsley and observed him to have bloodshot, glassy eyes and slurred speech. A search warrant was executed for a sample of Lapsley's blood, which later tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It was determined from the accident reconstruction that the Fusion was travelling at approximately 83 miles per hour when it hit the barrier wall.
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaint at Criminal Complaint Search
. Previous news releases are available at County Attorney News Releases
. If in custody, a mug shot can be viewed at Inmate Search
Backstrom commented: “This is another tragic example of impaired and negligent driving that claimed a life on our roads. Our sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Kayli Thompson for their great loss."
Backstrom praised Assistant County Attorney Cory Monnens, who prosecuted the case. Backstrom thanked the Burnsville Police Department and the Minnesota State Patrol who assisted in the investigation and reconstruction of this crash.
If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4438.