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Family, friends attend funeral for man killed in fiery crash, driver faces vehicular homicide charges

Man laid to rest after deadly Easter crash, teen driver faces vehicular homicide charges
Man laid to rest after deadly Easter crash, teen driver faces vehicular homicide charges 01:43

ANOKA, Minn. — Along the Rum River Dam in Anoka, a moving memorial for a young man killed in a horrific crash.

Friends and family laid painted rocks to remember outdoor lover Cole Thompson, who was killed in a fiery crash one day before his 21st birthday.

"It's tough not seeing someone live out their life," said Jake Lind, one of Thompson's friends.

It happened at about 12:38 a.m. on Hiawatha Avenue near 41st Street East in the Standish neighborhood, just a few blocks northeast of Lake Hiawatha, according to the Minneapolis Police Department.

Early Easter Sunday, police found a car torched on Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis. Police say the vehicle belonged to 19-year-old Mackenzie Lene.

As Thompson's family held his funeral Friday, Lene appeared in court on Criminal Vehicular Homicide charges.

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According to investigators, Thompson and a friend were drinking at a party and decided not to drink and drive and instead got into Lene's car. A decision his father, Kristopher Thompson says he's proud of.

"He made the choice to park the car and unfortunately didn't make a good choice on who to ride with," Thompson said.

Charging documents state a witness in the car says she was driving fast and aggressive before crashing, leaving Cole Thompson and his friend to die.

According to medical staff, the surviving backseat passenger will remain in the hospital for about a month.

"He has third degree burns on his arms from ultimately trying to save my son when the driver and passenger ran," Thompson said.

Nearby surveillance video caught her walking in an alley, and she can be heard saying, "I'm going home as soon as possible, I have to talk to my dad." Before yelling, "It's burnt the [expletive] up."

Kristopher Thompson wants people to remember one thing before making a bad decision.

"The choices that we all make every day impact so many people."

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