ELKO NEW MARKET, Minn. (WCCO) — A Lakeville family is remembering the strength of their 24-year-old daughter, a former Army private who was killed in a tragic crash near her home.

Police say a motorcyclist struck and killed Mollie Mahowald early Sunday morning in Elko New Market. Witnesses say she was standing on the side of the road, waiting for a ride home, when 33-year-old Matthew Hartley hit her and then rode away. He was later arrested.

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WCCO’s Angela Davis spoke with Mollie’s family on Monday.

For the Mahowald’s, it is hard to find the words to describe the young woman they loved so much.

“She’s just strong. One of the strongest people I’ve ever met,” Pete Mahowald, her father, said.

Mollie enlisted in the U.S. Army shortly after graduating high school. She worked as a vehicle mechanic and served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When she got out last year, she enrolled in college to become a veterinary technician and joined the Army National Guard.

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“We’d go to Texas three, four times a year and spend time with her and also the other soldiers that would be deployed with her,” Pete Mahowald said.

Her parents and her sisters were with Mollie Saturday night, all visiting a friend’s home near Main Street in Elko New Market. She and some friends decided to stay later.

They say when she was ready to leave, Mollie called her younger sister to come pick her up.

“She called me and I said ‘Okay, I’ll be right there. She said ‘Okay Julia, I love you. I will see you soon.’ When I got there, everything had just went down,” Julia Mahowald said. “I pulled up and I saw her. I put my car in park and I ran over there. I just sort of panicked. I didn’t know what was going on. It was something I definitely didn’t want to see.”

Police say 33-year-old Matthew Hartley is in the Scott County Jail. He’s being held on suspicion of criminal vehicular homicide and driving after his license was revoked.

His criminal history shows several convictions for speeding, as well as driving without the proper license, domestic abuse, terroristic threats, burglary and theft.

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The Elko New Market police chief says they are investigating whether he was intoxicated at the time of the crash, but at this time, it is unknown. He has not yet been charged.