Minnesota Trooper Charged in High Speed, No Emergency Lights Crash That Killed 18-Year-Old Cheerleader

A Minnesota state trooper with a history crashes involving high speed or inattentive driving in his squad car has been charged with manslaughter and vehicular homicide in a crash that killed an 18-year-old  cheerleader in May.

Shane Elroy Roper, 32, also faces charges of reckless driving and five counts of criminal vehicular operation, Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem said.

Shane Roper – Criminal Complaint by kc wildmoon on Scribd

Roper was reportedly chasing someone who committed a petty traffic offense when he t-boned a Ford Focus turning into Apache Mall in Rochester, shoving it into a Toyota Rav4. All occupants of the three vehicles were taken to a local hospital, where Olivia Flores died from her injuries.

Five other occupants of the Ford and the Toyota suffered serious injuries, including broken bones. The trooper suffered minor injuries.

Roper initially turned on his emergency lights and siren when he started the chase but turned them off as he exited the ramp from Highway 52 and approached the mall entrance. Ostrem said he was driving “full throttle” at 83 mph when he slammed into the passenger side of the Focus.

Ostrem said that Roper has attended 13 driver training course during his eight year career with the Minnesota Highway Patrol and yet at least four times on the same day as the fatal crash, he “engaged in high speed driving without emergency lights.” On one of those occasions, he hit 135 mph and 99 mph on the other three.

“Each of these instances Roper either did not initiate emergency lights or turned them off while maintaining extreme speeds,” the statement from Ostrem said.

In the 135 mph run to a medical assistance call, Roper reportedly told his passenger that medical assistance probably wasn’t necessary and that driving fast was “normal” for him, the complaint against him said.

According to the criminal complaint, Roper also had been involved in four prior crashes in his squad car either “due to inattentive driving or excessive speed.”

State Patrol Col. Christina Bogojevic acknowledged the charges in a statement and said Roper “remains on paid investigative leave” per troopers’ labor contract.

A statement from Flores’ family, issued by their attorney, said that Roper’s driving record should have prevented him from being behind a wheel on May 18.

2024.07.09 Flores Press Release by kc wildmoon on Scribd

“it is hearbreaking and unacceptable to the Flores family taht the State of Minnesota allowed Trooper Roper to be on the road in a Minnesota State Patrol squad car after knowing that posed a clear danger to others,” the statement said, calling on the state to investigate “the organizational failures that led to Trooper Roper taking Olivia Flores’ life, and seriously injuring the other victims in this crash.”

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