Jurors have convicted a motorist who hadn’t had a valid driver’s license in more than 13 years of running over and killing a Duluth grandmother while she was out photographing the fall colors around sunset.
In less than an hour, Justin Linskie, 31, of Duluth, was found guilty last week by a St. Louis County District Court jury of hit-and-run criminal vehicular homicide in the death of 60-year-old Susan E. Menz, who was run over on a color-filled early evening in October 2015 along Skyline Parkway.
Prosecutors contended that a drenched Linskie, with the woman he ran over near him in Twin Ponds and unconscious, got out of his waterlogged car and ran, leaving Menz floating on the surface. Menz died despite the efforts of bystanders and emergency personnel.
Linskie’s license has been revoked since June of 2003, when he was caught driving without insurance, according to the state Department of Public Safety.
He has been convicted in Minnesota at least seven times since 2002 for driving while his license was revoked or suspended or simply when not having one.
He has also been convicted of drunken driving, drug possession and receiving stolen property. At the time of the crash, Linskie was supposed to have been attending a drug treatment session.
Linskie remains jailed while awaiting sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled.
At the time of the crash, Menz had three grandchildren and another on the way, according to family. She worked for many years with St. Louis County as a clerk and was her daughter’s elementary school lunch lady.
Her husband, Rick, was the longtime equipment manager for the University of Minnesota, Duluth, men’s hockey team until his retirement.