See more of the story

A long recovery is ahead for a 20-year-old man who was severely burned in a fiery crash in Minneapolis that claimed his friend's life and left the driver charged with a felony.

Jon Seas of Minneapolis has been at HCMC since March 31, when the single-vehicle wreck on Hiawatha Avenue killed passenger Cole Jacob Thompson, 20, of Blaine.

Mackenzie Rose Lene, 19, of Minneapolis was charged in Hennepin County District Court with hit-and-run criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation. She was jailed on April 10, released on bond three days later and is due in court May 30.

Court records show that Lene was cited for speeding four times from April 2022 to July 2023, exceeding the limit by anywhere from 21 to 29 mph. She also was charged about 10 months ago and convicted in Hennepin County of a misdemeanor for drinking and driving while under age 21 in Maple Grove.

"As the result of a tragic and horrific accident, my son Jon has a long and challenging journey in front of him," Seas' father, Jim Seas, said in a statement sent to news media Monday. He has burns over 30% of his body, Jim Seas said.

Speaking of his son, who weighed roughly 265 pounds while lettering in football for Columbia Heights High School, Jim Seas said: "While he's always been our 'gentle giant,' I'm certain his strength, courage, character and fortitude will guide us through this journey."

Jon Seas graduated in 2022 from Paladin Career and Technical High School in Coon Rapids. His family said he was working at an auto parts store at the time of the accident and had plans to study auto mechanics at a trade school.

Jim Seas has been posting updates on an online fund-raising campaign, which is collecting money to help the family with expenses related to his son's recovery.