MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 21-year-old Bemidji man was drunk and lying in the road when he was hit by a car and killed last Saturday, according to authorities.

The Beltrami County Sheriff’s office responded to a report of an accident involving a pedestrian at about 3 a.m. Saturday near on Irvine Ave. NW near Balsam Road. When authorities arrived, they found Tyler Blake Cummings had been hit by a car and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities said Cummings was apparently lying in the roadway when he was hit by the vehicle, and the driver didn’t see him until it was too late. He was with friends at a tavern earlier in the night when his friends decided to leave. Cummings chose to stay and eventually left the bar by himself just before 1 a.m.

Authorities identified the driver as 19-year-old Samantha Ruth Pender of Bemidji and said she remained on the scene of the crash until police arrived. She was on her way home from work and was picking up her child from a babysitter when the crash happened.

A witness to the crash said Pender swerved to try and avoid hitting Cummings. Authorities said she had not been drinking, and no charges are expected to be filed in the incident.

A toxicology report showed Cummings had a blood alcohol level of .16 when he was hit.

The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office was assisted with the case by Bemidji Police, Bemidji Fire, the Minnesota State Patrol and the Ramsey County Medical Examiner.


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