It's been nearly a year since Dolores "Jeanne" Stafford was struck and killed by a motorist as she crossed a street in downtown Hopkins. As the anniversary of her death draws near, police are hoping somebody will come forward with the tip needed to solve the case.
Stafford, 75, was headed to a meeting around 6 a.m. on Oct. 26 when she tried to cross Mainstreet at 17th Avenue. She was in a crosswalk and had a walk sign when someone driving a sport-utility vehicle hit the longtime Hopkins resident and did not stop to help.
Emergency personnel took Stafford to a hospital, but she did not survive. Before she died, Stafford told police that she believed she was hit by a dark-colored SUV.
"Somebody out there knows something," said Sgt. Michael Glassberg with the Hopkins Police Department. "They need to come forward. They owe it to the victim and the family."
A $15,000 reward generated a few leads immediately after she was killed, but nothing substantial enough to make an arrest, Glassberg said.
Detectives have reviewed surveillance tapes from nearby businesses and from Metro Transit buses. But they have yielded few clues. Anybody with information is asked to call 952-258-5321.
New numbers out Tuesday from the Minnesota Department of Transportation show that Stafford was one of 60 pedestrians killed in 2016; another 1,204 were injured last year. Those were sharp increases compared with 41 deaths and 904 injuries in 2015.
Pedestrian fatalities typically increase in October with more hours of darkness, MnDOT said.
By law, motorists must stop when a pedestrian steps into a crosswalk — even drivers on the opposite side of a street that is separated by a median — and remain stopped until the pedestrian has cleared the lane.
Tim Harlow • 612-673-776