Investigation continues into deadly Inver Grove Heights hit and run


courtesy Inver Grove Heights Police Department Haimanot Gebremedhin, 55 of Inver Grove Heights, was killed in a hit-and-run crash the evening of Jan. 5 on 80th Street East. Family described her as having been a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. The driver who allegedly hit Gebremedhin turned herself into police the next day and has not been charged with a crime.

While no charges have been filed, the investigation continues into a Jan. 5 hit-and-run that killed a 55-year-old Inver Grove Heights woman.

Haimanot Gebremedhin died after being struck by a car on 80th Street East, east of Blaine Avenue, not far from Simley High School.

The driver who allegedly killed Gebremedhin turned herself into police Jan. 6 after seeing a post on social media about the crash. As of press time, the woman had not been charged with a crime, and a search of her vehicle was carried out Jan. 7.

According to the search warrant application, on Jan. 5 Inver Grove Heights police were notified around 5:50 p.m. of a woman laying on the side of 80th Street. Officers arrived on scene and located the woman, who was identified as Gebremedhin, on the north side of the road. She had injuries to her face and hands, and her body was positioned in a way that indicated she had been hit by a vehicle. There were no vehicles stopped regarding the accident, and dispatch did not have any 911 calls reporting an accident. 

Lifesaving efforts were attempted by police, fire and Health East employees but they were unsuccessful. Gebremedhin was pronounced at the scene. 

“Efforts to locate the driver, or vehicle, or any witnesses did not immediately identify the driver,” the warrant application said. 

Inver Grove Heights police issued a press release about the fatal crash and the public was notified via Facebook.

Gebremedhin was described by her daughter-in-law, Krystle Aschenaki, as being a devoted mother, grandmother and wife.

Aschenaki asked drivers to be mindful so “no one else has to die needlessly.”

 

The driver’s story

According to the search warrant application, on Jan. 6 the alleged driver came into the police department along with her attorney to provide an interview about what she said happened during the crash. The 30-year-old woman told police she saw the social media post regarding it and realized she was in the same area at the same time on Jan. 5, though she said she thought she’d hit a deer.

The woman told police she had been driving westbound on 80th Street when she thought she hit the deer. She continued to drive and stopped her car after turning north on Blaine Avenue. Once stopped, she said she did not get out of the vehicle but looked around expecting to see a deer running away. When she didn’t see anything, she continued on her way home. During the interview, the woman indicated the approximate location of the crash, which was 100 feet from where Gebremedhin was found.

The woman’s vehicle was in the police parking lot during her interview. Officers saw significant damage to the front, hood and windshield of it that is consistent with a crash. 

 

Warrant search

The warrant police sought also allowed them to search the woman’s phone for information including call logs, text messages, audio messages, and incoming and outgoing calls. 

The officer who searched her car took photos of the exterior, interior and odometer, and collected a paint chip from the hood. DNA swabs were taken of blood smears on the hood and windshield, and DNA swabs were also taken on the steering wheel, shift lever and windshield. Other items found included a hair on the windshield, fiber from the hood and a metal ring from the base of the windshield.

Once the investigation is complete, the case will be sent to the Dakota County Attorney’s Office for possible charges. 

 

–Hannah Burlingame can be reached at 651-748-7824 or hburlingame@lillienews.com

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