Authorities on Wednesday identified the driver whose pickup truck went off the road in Falcon Heights and fatally struck a woman who two years earlier lost her distance-running star sister to cancer.
Melinda J. Dotray, 45, of Rockford was the motorist who was traveling in the 1700 block of N. Cleveland Avenue early Saturday evening when the pickup hit 29-year-old Abigail "Abby" Anderson as she walked toward the University of Minnesota women's soccer field, the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office said.
Dotray hit a parked car and then Anderson, striking a chain-link fence, the Sheriff's Office said. The pickup made a U-turn and ran over Anderson again while getting back on Cleveland Avenue, said Sheriff's Office spokesman Roy Magnuson. Anderson, of Minneapolis, died that night at Regions Hospital.
Dotray was not injured. She was taken to Regions Hospital, where a blood sample was collected to test for any drug or alcohol use. Test results are pending. She has yet to be arrested or charged.
Messages were left Wednesday with Dotray seeking comment about the crash.
Anderson's father, Kim Anderson, said Monday that she was heading to the soccer field to see her boyfriend coach a match when she was hit.
Abby Anderson was the sister of Gabriele "Gabe" Grunewald, an elite middle-distance runner from Perham, Minn., who died in 2019 from adenoid cystic carcinoma, which was diagnosed in 2009 while she was running for the University of Minnesota. Abby also ran for the Gophers after starring in track at Perham High School.
Abby also was an avid runner and active in Brave Like Gabe, the foundation her sister started in 2019 to fund research of rare cancers. Abby ran the New York City Marathon in honor of her sister later that year. Kim Anderson said Abby was getting ready for the foundation's 5-kilometer race at Lake Phalen Regional Park on Sept. 26.
The foundation released a statement Tuesday saying: "Words alone cannot capture Abby's bright, joyful and generous spirit or the beautiful art she gave the world. Abby brought incredible light and hope to the Foundation, and it is impossible to imagine that she is no longer with us.
"We know many of you in this community developed a personal connection to Abby through Brave Like Gabe, and we wish you peace as you take in this news and grieve the loss of a dear friend."