MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 61-year-old woman has been charged in death
of a pedestrian near the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove.
According to the felony complaint, tests showed Linda Hamm had a blood alcohol level of 0.18 within two hours of the Jan. 31 incident.
Police say Hamm struck and killed Ann Blake, a mother and recent widow, after driving erratically and at high speeds. Investigators say Hamm hit a curb, drove onto a median and struck Blake, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police also found an empty 1-liter bottle of Kamchatka Vodka inside Hamm’s car at the time of the accident.
Hamm has been charged with one count of criminal vehicular homicide.
Someone reported Hamm driving erratically, according to the felony complaint. A Maple Grove police officer spotted Hamm driving eastbound on Elm Creek Boulevard at Main Street in Maple Grove. Officer Nordby pulled behind the vehicle as it approached Hemlock Lane, and witnessed the vehicle hit and kill Blake.
Hamm surrendered herself to the Hennepin County Adult Detention Center on Monday evening. She was booked and released after paying the $150,000 bail. She is to have no contact with any witnesses to the incident.
During her first court appearance on Tuesday afternoon, Hamm’s attorney told a judge she’s not competent to stand trial. Tests confirm she has dementia, following a series of seizures and aneurisms. Lawyer Frederick Goetz said Hamm didn’t even know she hit someone.
A judge ordered doctors to evaluate Hamm regarding her competency. Tests should be completed before she’s scheduled to be back in court on April 13.
According to the Osseo School District, Hamm began working in the Osseo Area Schools in 1972 as a speech therapist and at the time of the crash was working as a part-time teacher, serving as an Early Childhood program assistant. A District Spokesperson said Tuesday afternoon that Hamm is on a paid leave of absence.