Police Identify Driver in Vehicle, Pedestrian Fatality in Maple Grove
The Jan. 31 accident on Hemlock Lane and Elm Creek Boulevard resulted in the death of pedestrian Ann L. Blake. A court affidavit filed by police say the driver, Linda Lee Hamm, had a “alcohol concentration of .169”
(Updated 4:15 p.m. Feb. 8) The driver of a vehicle that reportedly hit and killed a pedestrian near The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes Jan. 31 may be facing criminal charges.
Hamm had a blood-alcohol content of .169 after the accident, more than twice the legal limit, according to a search warrant application filed in Hennepin County District Court.
According to a search warrant affidavit written by Maple Grove Police Officer Tanya Petz, police received a report just before noon Jan. 31. The caller, according to the affidavit, reported a driver of an SUV traveling at speeds approaching 50 mph in a 40 mph zone and hitting curbs.
"The caller continued to follow the suspect vehicle, updating dispatch of their location," Petz said in the affidavit.
An officer located the SUV, and began following it, the affidavit says. The driver was later identified as Hamm. As the driver approached the intersection of Elm Creek Boulevard and Hemlock Lane, she signaled a right turn, then veered to the right, straddling the lane division line, according to the affidavit.
Hamm then "drove onto the cement median" where pedestrians, including Blake, were waiting to cross the street, and struck Blake in the back, according to the affidavit. The SUV continued traveling east, crossing all lanes of southbound traffic on Hemlock Lane, crossed over the median and hit a northbound vehicle that was stopped, waiting for the light to change. That vehicle then hit the vehicle next to it, and the SUV came to rest facing east in the northbound lane of Hemlock.
Blake was pronounced dead at the scene. The officer who witnessed the accident reported that Hamm smelled like alcohol, "her eyes were watery and her mannerisms slow". She told police that she didn’t remember what had happened, according to the affidavit.
Hamm injured her hand in the accident and was taken by ambulance to North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale. Police say she agreed to provide a blood sample.
Hamm’s SUV, a 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe, was equipped with an airbag control module and a power train control module, which record crash data when a vehicle experiences sudden acceleration or deceleration. The search warrant affidavit sought permission for police to remove the modules and examine them.
The investigation into the incident continues, according to a media release from the Maple Grove Police Department and “will be reviewed for charges by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office as soon as the investigation is complete.”
According to a report from Fox9.com, Hamm is an employee with the Osseo School District. Hamm has been an school district employee continuously since 1979 and her current role is a part-time position supporting several early childhood teachers in the district - but not in the classroom, according to District 279 School/Community Relations Director Barbara Olson. Hamm was not working the day of the accident, Olson said, and is not considered on an administrative leave.
Accident reconstruction is being completed by the Minnesota State Patrol, according to the Maple Grove Police Department, which is assisted in the investigation by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, Minnesota State Patrol, North Memorial Ambulance Service and Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office.