MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Officials say a 20-year-old Eden Prairie woman was the passenger who died in a crash early Sunday morning after the driver fled the scene.

A report from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office Monday morning identified 20-year-old Ria Bharat Patel as the victim. The report lists “multiple blunt-force head injuries sustained in a motor vehicle crash” as the cause of death.

Patel was a junior at the University of St. Thomas, according to a statement from the school Monday afternoon.

Ria Patel (credit: University of St. Thomas)

Police say the crash happened just before 4 a.m. Sunday in the northbound lanes of Stinson Boulevard Northeast, just north of I-35W. Responding officers found the car smashed into a stoplight with Patel trapped inside, but the driver was gone. First responders were able to free her from the wreckage, but she died at the scene.

The Minneapolis Police Department is investigating.

The University of St. Thomas says aarti (prayers) followed by prarthana saba (prayer service) for Patel will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Brooklyn Center.

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