MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Anousone Phanthavong, a young talented chef, died Aug. 23, 2011, because of a chain of events that began after doing what many of us have done at least once in our lives: Run out of gas.

Because of the actions of Amy Senser, he did not survive this common oversight. On a darkened interstate ramp, he was struck and killed by Senser’s Mecedes. Senser insisted she did not realize she had hit him. Even in her testimony, she asked the same question everyone else did, “How do you hit someone and not know it?”

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Breaking down the comments of Jay Larson, a juror who came forward after the trial, jurors simply in the end did not believe her. Her supporters have argued that if she really was trying to cover it all up, she would have come up with a better story.

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What was it about the trial that so fascinated people? Was it the issue of class, or perhaps the perception that Amy Senser was trying to get away with it? It was a perception the defense strongly denied and in the end could not overcome. Amy Senser will be sentenced to prison, but in the end she will be able to see and live with her family again.

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She will have a chance to continue and rebuild her life, a life that before Aug. 23, 2011, was known by a small circle of friends for her devotion to her family and to various charitable causes. Anousone Phanthovong ran out of chances that night, and a Hennepin County Jury found that Amy Senser is responsible and deserves to be punished.

Esme Murphy