St. Paul police identified the woman struck and killed Tuesday night while crossing Kellogg Boulevard with her mother, the same week the department launches a campaign to protect pedestrians.
Shelby M. Kokesch, 24, of Crystal, died after she and her 64-year-old mother were hit by a sport-utility vehicle while crossing the street near downtown St. Paul. Her mother was identified on social media as Teresa Kokesch.
Regions Hospital said Wednesday that Teresa Kokesch was in good condition. It was the metro area's second fatal pedestrian crash within 12 hours. Brooklyn Park police are investigating after a person crossing a street was struck and killed at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The victim, 55, was hit by a vehicle while crossing 85th Avenue at Adair Avenue. Police said that the 65-year-old driver is cooperating and that it does not appear drugs and alcohol were involved.
Shelby's uncle, Brian Kokesch, said that her sister — her only sibling — and a cousin both died a few years ago in separate car collisions.
"It's very stressful, because we've now lost two nieces and a nephew involved in an accident," he said.
Police say Kokesch and her mother were crossing Kellogg in the crosswalk at Mulberry Street about 7:40 p.m. A driver in Kellogg's right lane saw them and stopped; the SUV driver in the left lane did not see them and hit both women.
The driver stopped at the scene and cooperated with authorities. Police spokesman Steve Linders said Tuesday that preliminary information indicates that neither drugs nor alcohol were a factor in the crash. Rain and fog may have played a role in the collision, which took place across from the Minnesota History Center. There are stop signs on Mulberry but no traffic-control devices on Kellogg for the crosswalk.
Kokesch's death, the city's first car-pedestrian fatality of the year, came just before the launch of a program by St. Paul police aimed at stopping such collisions. The "Stop for Me" campaign rolls out Thursday at the city's most dangerous pedestrian intersections. Volunteers will wear high-visibility clothing to remind drivers to stop for people at crosswalks and intersections. St. Paul police will issue citations.
The yearlong campaign — a partnership between the Police Department and the city's district councils — launches at Lexington Parkway and Hague Avenue from 3 to 5 p.m., and at Snelling and Dayton avenues from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
In 2016, pedestrians have been struck in St. Paul an average of every other day, police said. Last year, 900 pedestrians were hit statewide. Forty were killed, including six in St. Paul.
The same night Kokesch was killed, a St. Paul police officer responding to an assault call turned on his squad lights and drove into an intersection on a red light, striking a pedestrian who scraped his elbow. That collision occurred about 9:28 p.m. at Maryland Avenue E. and Clarence Street. The pedestrian, a 64-year-old man, was seen by paramedics at the scene and declined further medical attention.