The motorist accused in the hit-and-run death of a pedestrian in Inver Grove Heights this past weekend told police she thought she hit a deer with her car, which she drove home with fresh smear marks and other evidence on the heavily damaged windshield and hood, according to a court filing.
The 30-year-old driver made that contention to police on Sunday, one day after hitting Haimanot Gebremedhin, 55, of Inver Grove Heights, on westbound 80th Street near Blaine Avenue, according to a search warrant affidavit filed this week.
Police searched the car Monday and said in the affidavit that they collected DNA from smears on the windshield and hood, hair from the windshield, and fibers on the hood.
The woman, who also lives in Inver Grove Heights, surrendered to police Sunday accompanied by an attorney. She was booked into jail, released and has yet to be charged as the investigation continues. The Star Tribune generally does not name suspects before they are charged.
The driver said “she saw a social media post [Sunday] morning and decided to turn herself in and tell her version of events,” a police statement said.
She said she was heading west on 80th, where “she believed she hit a deer,” the affidavit said. She soon turned right and stopped, expecting to see a deer on the move. Seeing nothing, drove another 3-plus miles to her home.
Officers responded shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday to the scene, where they were flagged down by a passerby who found Gebremedhin in the road, police said. Resuscitation efforts failed, and she died before making it to Regions Hospital.
Gebremedhin, a 25-year resident of Inver Grove Heights, is the fourth person run over and killed since late last week in the Twin Cities.