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Teen driver facing charges in crash that killed two friends

September 8, 2021 GMT

MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy is facing vehicular homicide charges in Ramsey County after authorities say he crashed a stolen car and killed two friends while fleeing from police.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the boys who died in Friday’s crash in Maplewood as 15-year-old Alyjah Thomas and 14-year-old Marcoz Paramo. The teens were students at North High School in North St. Paul.

Ramsey County sheriff’s officials say the driver has a “significant” history of auto theft and also faces charges of fleeing from law enforcement and criminal vehicular operation.

Paramo’s mother said she doesn’t want the driver held responsible for her son’s death, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

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“I know he had made some bad choices and he should take responsibility for that,” Tanya Gile said Tuesday of the driver. “It’s not his fault that they crashed. They were all friends. I blame the sheriffs and the police that pursued that chase for my son’s death.”

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, however, said the responsibility falls solely on the driver.

Friday was the third straight day that North St. Paul police spotted the same stolen car.

Each time, an officer followed the car but called off a pursuit because someone behind the wheel was driving recklessly. But Friday’s chase ended when the teen crashed the car in a residential yard in Maplewood.