Crash sends 5 to hospital

Five people were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center Wednesday afternoon, October 6 following a two-vehicle accident in Lonsdale.

According to the Minnesota Highway Patrol, Kylie Maxa, 18, of Montgomery, and Jose Leonardo Herrera-Lara, 19, of Le Center, were taken by air ambulance to HCMC after their vehicle was struck on Highway 19 at 70th Street West shortly after 4 p.m.

Also hospitalized were Sutao Song Mccann, 41, of Farmington, and two female passengers, ages 10 and 12.

Lauren Folkerts, who operates a licensed preschool in New Prague with Maxa, has been in contact with Maxa’s parents, Jacob and Leta Maxa. According to the highway patrol and Folkerts, Song Mccann was driving a 2009 Toyota Highlander westbound on Highway 19 when she swerved into Herrera-Lara’s lane and hit his 2015 Ford F-150.

“She crossed the center line and struck them head-on. Leo tried to swerve and miss, but couldn’t in time,” Folkerts said.

Alcohol was not a factor in the crash. Everyone in both vehicles were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash.

Leta Maxa posted an update on her social media page Thursday. She said her daughter had a laceration on her chin that required two stitches and that she has a broken back at L3.

“She was supposed to have surgery today, but it was postponed until tomorrow,” she wrote on Thursday. “Kylie is in a LOT of pain. She is not allowed to change positions and is flat on her back. She is handling all this really well and is in good spirits. The Neurosurgery team believes that Kylie will recover nicely given her age. She is NOT paralyzed.”

Leta added that Leo had some abdominal pain and soreness, and is recovering at home.

Maxa and Herrera-Lara are graduates of Tri-City United High School. Herrera-Lara graduated in 2020, and Maxa in 2021. Folkerts said her best friend will have a long road to recovery with physical therapy and will need a lot of time to heal.

"She just needs the support of her community members, high school, and dance team,” Folkerts said.

Lonsdale Fire, Police and Rice County Sheriff’s Departments responded to the scene.

Folkerts has set up a gofundme page to help Maxa and Herrera-Lara. Go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-kylie-leo-recover-from-their-auto-accide...

Read more in the print edition.

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