INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — Authorities say they have identified the driver in a fatal, hit-and-run pedestrian crash after the 30-year-old woman turned herself in Sunday afternoon to the Inver Grove Heights Police Department.

Haimanot Gebremedhin, 55, was killed near 80th Street and Blaine Avenue around 6 p.m. Saturday night. The wife, mother and grandmother was taking a walk when officers say a driver hit her and kept going.

A passerby saw her in the road and called for help, but it was too late. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

(credit: Inver Grove Heights Police Department)

According to police, the driver told investigators she saw a social media post on Sunday morning and wanted to turn herself in and tell her version of events. She was then booked and released to her attorney while the investigation continues.

WCCO spoke with Haimanot’s grieving family just before they received word of the arrest.

Three decades ago, Haimanot Gebremedhin came to the United States from Ethiopia for a better life. She found it in Inver Grove Heights, raising four children with her husband of 38 years.

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Haimanot’s son, Tesfaye Aschenaki, described his mother as a “God-fearing, God-loving woman. She is the definition of a proper Christian – somebody that cares, she would do anything for anybody.”

Haimanot’s son and daughter-in-law, Krystle Aschenaki, described the hard-working and well-loved woman they will miss so much.

“She was devoted to her children and even more devoted if it’s possible to her grandchildren,” Krystle said. “They adored her and the fact that they don’t get to have her is devastating and unexplainable and unimaginable.”

Haimanot lost her life in Inver Grove Heights on 80th Street.  She and her husband had just finished a workout at a local gym. As he finished up, she went to walk on a nearby path.

Officers say a driver hit her and kept driving.

“It’s kind of inexplicable that somebody could just leave a person on the side of the road and not think about it and the impact it has on a family and the gaping hole that will forever be there.”

(credit: CBS)

Meanwhile, the crash scene turned into a memorial. Holly Cole was one of many praising Haimanot’s life and mourning her loss.

“Just the kindest heart, very sweet and funny lady,” Cole said.

Officers are working on the investigation. The family is working on processing the loss.

“I can’t explain into words the pain and the trauma that this has put on everybody who cares about her,” Krystle said.

And so many people do care about her, a woman whose life ended too soon.

“She’s mom, and I’ll never be able to hold her again,” Tesfaye said.

Upon conclusion of the investigation, the case will be forwarded to the Dakota County Attorney’s Office for a charging decision.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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