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Inver Grove Heights woman charged in hit-and-run death of pedestrian

The woman was charged with two felonies.
Credit: KARE Staff
Police lights (Stock photo)

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. — A woman has been charged in relation to a crash that occurred in January that resulted in the death of a pedestrian, according to the Dakota County Attorney's Office.

Breyona Sadi Cotton, 30, of Inver Grove Heights has been charged with one count of leaving the scene of a collision resulting in death and failure to notify police of a collision resulting in death. Both of the charges are felonies.

The crash took place on 80th Street near the intersection of Blaine Avenue in Inver Grove Heights on January 5, 2019. It resulted in the death of 55-year-old Haimanot Gezahegne Gebremedhin.

The criminal complaint states the following:

On January 5, 2019 at approximately 5:40 p.m., a driver stopped to report to a police officer that they had observed what appeared to be a deceased woman lying on the road near 80th Street and Blaine Avenue. 

Officers were dispatched and they found an unconscious woman lying on 80th Street who appeared to have been struck by a vehicle.

Lifesaving efforts were unsuccessful, and the woman later identified as Haimanot Gebremedhin, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The following day, Cotton went to the Inver Grove Heights Police Department to report she had information pertaining to the crash that killed the victim. Her attorney told police that Cotton had learned from friends who saw news coverage of the incident that she had struck a person the night before.

She told police that after she left a nearby McDonald's drive-thru, she turned onto 80th Street, saw two police cars in a high school parking lot, checked her speed and was traveling 40 miles per hour. She said she had a green light when approaching Blaine Avenue, when "out of nowhere" she heard a collision and thought she had struck a deer. After collision, she said she turned right onto Blaine Avenue and stopped but didn't see or hear anything and did not exit her vehicle as she believed she hit a deer. She then drove home. 

The accident reconstruction report by the Minnesota State Patrol concluded the victim should have been visible to the driver of the vehicle that struck the victim and that any reasonable investigation into the collision would have revealed the victim's body.