ROCHESTER - A Rochester snowplow struck and killed a pedestrian Friday morning southeast of downtown.

The Minnesota State Patrol confirmed a city employee struck a 69-year-old woman while reversing the plow around 9 a.m. on Pinewood Road SE. Rochester police officers found the woman dead at the scene and cordoned off a four-block stretch in the area, a few blocks east of Pinewood Elementary School, for about three hours.

Sgt. Troy Christianson said the patrol believes the woman was out walking or jogging. The woman's identity was not yet publicly released.

Snowplow accidents involving pedestrians are rare in southeast Minnesota. Christianson said this is the first accident he's been part of in 22 years.

"It's a very terrible crash for the family and the whole city of Rochester," he said.

The plow driver, 32-year-old Jordan Dorhmann, has been placed on administrative leave and the city is offering support services to all employees, according to spokeswoman Jenna Bowman.

"The city of Rochester wishes to convey its deepest sympathies to the decedent's loved ones," Mayor Kim Norton said in a prepared statement at a news conference Friday.

The patrol is investigating the crash. Christianson said the investigation could take three to six months.