Margaret E. Prowse, 59, was on her way home from work about 8 a.m. Wednesday when she was struck and killed by a car as she tried to cross busy University Avenue in St. Paul.

Prowse, who worked the midnight shift, was crossing to the north side of University and was several blocks from her family home, police said.

The driver fled the scene, but information provided by citizens led officers to arrest a 45-year-old St. Paul man about 12 hours after Prowse was hit. He is in the Ramsey County jail on suspicion of criminal vehicular homicide, but hasn't been charged.

The vehicle involved was found in the 1500 block of Charles Avenue in St. Paul.

Senior Commander Greg Pye, of the police traffic and accident division, thanked the citizens whose information led to the arrest and also "those who stopped to assist Ms. Prowse" at the scene.

"This is what St. Paul residents do," Pye said. "They take care of each other."

Jennifer Macaulay was on her way to teach at the University of Minnesota Law School when she saw the accident and came to Prowse's aid, along with others who were driving past. She put a sleeping bag from her vehicle on Prowse, hugged her and told her everything would be fine.

Prowse tried to cross University at a spot without a crosswalk, and about 50 paces from the intersection at Fairview Avenue where there are stoplights and walk signals.

Even so, Macaulay said, "there was no way [the driver] couldn't have seen her."

In a written statement issued Thursday night, Prowse's family thanked Macaulay and others who tried to help.

Prowse, the statement said, was known as Peggy and worked with elderly people as a certified nursing assistant. Her family said she loved to make hats, mittens, scarves, bibs and baby blankets to donate to the needy.

A memorial fund has been established at Bremer Bank.

PAUL WALSH and anthony lonetree