MAPLE GROVE (WCCO) — The woman hit and killed by a car while shopping at Maple Grove’s Arbor Lakes Tuesday had already survived great tragedy, according to her family.
Family members identified the victim as 54-year-old Ann Blake of Andover, a woman who just became a widow four months ago.
Her family said she was standing on the sidewalk at Elm Creek Blvd and Hemlock with her sister. The sisters hoped for a day of shopping and exercise together, but one second Blake was standing alongside her sister, the next she was gone. Neither of them heard the car come from behind, and neither saw the out-of-control driver that took Blake’s life.
Blake’s loved ones describe her as a remarkable survivor. Her husband, Dan, just died from cancer Oct. 1, 2011. She was above all a caregiver to her husband in his final days, and to her young teenaged children, one who has special needs.
Blake’s funeral is planned for Saturday at Grace Lutheran in Andover, the very same place she said goodbye to her husband just four months ago. The Blake family was very involved at the church, where Ann taught Sunday school.
To support her family Blake worked at a Cub Foods in Coon Rapids as a cashier. Her family says her obituary summarizes her essence and spirit:
“Blake Ann L – Born 1957, died suddenly January 31st, 2012. Ann has joined her husband Dan and her parents in the hands of God. Survived by children, brothers and sisters, in-laws, other family members, and many close friends and neighbors. Ann lived to care for her children and will now have to advocate for them from on high. Gather to remember Ann Saturday 11 AM with visitation starting 9 AM at Grace Lutheran Church 13655 Round Lake Blvd. Andover. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred for benefit of the Blake children, in care of Grace Lutheran Church.”
Maple Grove Police Captain Keith Terlinden said a citizen contacted police about a vehicle driving erratically and swerving in the area.
“A citizen was following this vehicle and there was a fair amount of swerving by this suspect vehicle, so that’s why this person was calling us,” he said. “This woman was not in a crosswalk, she was in a protected area on the sidewalk.”
The driver of the vehicle that hit the woman was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center to be evaluated.
“Right now, we are investigating it as a case where alcohol could be involved. So to say it’s a contributing factor would be premature, but we’re investigating that,” he said.
Maple Grove Police say they tested the driver for alcohol and drugs, and charges are pending the results of the toxicology reports. The Minnesota State Patrol is assisting in the investigation.