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A pedestrian struck and killed by a Metro Transit bus earlier this week was identified Thursday as Mary Ann O'Dougherty, a Twin Cities jazz musician and educator.
O'Dougherty, 55, was best known for performing Brazilian music as well as for singing in French and Portuguese, according to those who knew her.
"She was ahead of the curve," said Tim Sparks, a fellow musician who played with O'Dougherty in the group Mandala.
"She was a world musician before it became hip in the late '90s."
Steve Alm, O'Dougherty's husband, said she was coming home from work Wednesday when the bus hit her about 6:35 p.m.
She was crossing Minnehaha Avenue at 46th Street, having just gotten off the light rail train. "She was a block and a half from home," Alm said.
Metro Transit authorities are investigating. The driver of the bus, an eight-year employee, has been placed on paid administrative leave, according to MTC spokesman Bob Gibbons.
He said the driver told investigators he did not know he had hit anyone. Gibbons said there was one passenger on the bus and the passenger verified the driver's account.
The driver was notified of the accident about 20 minutes after it happened and pulled over about a mile away.
Gibbons said Thursday it is still unclear what part of the bus struck O'Dougherty.
He said video from two cameras on the bus is being examined.
Sparks, an acoustic guitar player and faculty member at the University of Minnesota Morris, called O'Dougherty "a significant figure in the Twin Cities music community."
O'Dougherty, born and raised in Minneapolis, was a child singer who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1975.
Alm had been married to her for 16 years and said she went to Brazil to pursue her music career. While in Brazil she performed there and also owned a bar.
Alm said his wife, who also taught in the St. Paul schools for a number of years, performed in more than 30 countries during her career.
"She had a special kind of charisma onstage," said Mark Stillman, an accordion player who played with O'Dougherty in his group The Consort.
"She just had that gift of being able to light up an audience."
Heron Marquez Estrada • 612-673-4280