MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The woman accused in a fatal hit-and-run accident near the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes has been identified.

Police say 61-year-old Linda Lee Hamm was the driver of the vehicle involved in the Jan. 31 crash that killed a pedestrian.

The pedestrian was later identified as 54-year-old Ann Louise Blake, a mother and recent widow.

Authorities say as of Tuesday, Hamm has not been released from the hospital, where she’s been since the accident occurred.

Police say they received complaints on the day of the accident regarding a vehicle driving erratically and at excessive speed on Elm Creek Boulevard in Maple Grove.

An officer drove behind the suspected vehicle as it approached Hemlock Lane. The officer said the driver signaled to turn on Hemlock but missed and drove over the curb, striking one of two pedestrians waiting to cross at the intersection.

After striking the pedestrian, police say the driver did not stop, continued driving on Hemlock and crossed over a median before hitting another vehicle. That vehicle was then pushed into a third vehicle.

Authorities say the driver showed signs of intoxication and was transported to North Memorial for her injuries.

Blake was killed as a result of the accident and later identified by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.

A search warrant was obtained for Hamm’s vehicle, a 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe in order to remove evidence in the car that may have contributed to the crash. Police have not released what, if anything, was found.

The investigation continues and the incident will be reviewed by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office for possible charges.

Blake’s family released a statement upon hearing the driver had been identified:

“We have just heard that there is a preliminary report that the driver of the vehicle was over the legal limit for alcohol at the time of the accident.

This information at least provides closure as to the cause. Nothing can bring Ann back or erase the pain that everyone who was close to her has felt for the last week.

We express our sympathy for the driver’s family and friends and for the terrible pain that they must be feeling. The driver never knew Ann. It could have been anyone standing where Ann was standing last Tuesday. We all know people who have struggled with the illness and pain that is associated with alcohol abuse. We believe in forgiveness and are now grieving for the driver and her family as well as for Ann.

Our focus at this time is on Ann’s children. The family and community are taking care of the children and we are working together to keep life as normal as possible for them under the circumstances of having lost both parents in a four-month span of time.

We want to thank all of those in the law enforcement community for the professional and caring manner in which they have pursued the investigation.”

The family has set up a Blake Children Memorial Fund. Donations can be made online at www.graceandover.org or at any U.S. Bank location.

Comments (11)
  1. A liter Vodka bottle was found. says:

    As of 5:46 PM Fox 9 has a better, more detailed report/story.
    A liter Vodka bottle was found in the vehicle……

  2. Nancy says:

    uumm… lets just see if shes treated with kid-gloves like Amy Sensor who also hit&killed a person. oh thats right shes not rich&has a famous husband..so never mind we know the answer. makes me sick….Amy Sensor deserves to be in jail…way overdue!!

    1. Frank Talk says:

      Kid gloves? Are you nuts?

    2. @ Nancy says:

      As does her sick arse arrogant attorney. He is one complete dirtball.

      These drunk drivers make me sick, as do the people that complain that cops enforce DUI laws.

  3. Commonsense says:

    This woman needs to do some serious jail time along with everyone else who hits and kills someone whether straight or sober because you were distracted – which is one of the things alchol does – i’ve lost people do to drunks and i’ve lost people due to inattentive driving and the only difference is the drunks did jail time the sober inattentive driver walked away with a misdeamonor and a small fine (less than $500) – I’d like to see them all do jail time.

  4. angus says:

    I always wonder, did the families of the drivers know the driver had a problem?

    Did they do anything about it?

    If not, do they feel guilty?

    1. Dave says:

      Hindsight is always 20/20. But having dealt with relatives who suffer from alcoholism, there are two types: those who admit the problem and seek help, and those who deny there’s a problem and continue to use. Maybe she does have a problem. Mayber her family knew about it and tried to help, but she refused. Maybe she hid it from her friends and family. Yours is an interesting question with many possible answers.

  5. Brian says:

    I think this was a very noble gesture on the part of the Blake family. What a difficult burden to bear. Not very often do people/families take the high road, particularly after something this horrible. My prayers are with Ms. Blake and her family as well as Ms. Hamm and hers. Very sad for all involved.

  6. ednunn says:

    I’m sure Ms. Hamm will see the maximum 30 days in jail!..

  7. Ryan says:

    I knew Ann and her children and because of the selfish acts of one person, two thirteen year old children are now orphaned. I hope that Mrs. Hamm has the decency to stand up and court and say ” I know I took Mrs. Blake’s life, but it was worth it because I was really having a great time.”. People need to understand how self centered of an act drunk driving is. You are putting your own personal enjoyment over the safety of the public.

  8. Diane says:

    Nothing will bring our dear Annie back. Vengeance is harmful to everyone. I hope Ms. Hamm has learned a lesson. The truth is, we do not have any toxicology results other than the BAC at this time. If, in fact, there proves to be other reasons for this accident it, in the end, won’t make a difference. Our family has forgiven Ms. Mamm. It is more important that all of our energy be spent taking care of the children and securing their future because their Mom isn’t coming home. If it turns out that the accident occurred because of intoxicated driving, it was a SENSELESS DEATH.

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