Crash reconstruction leads to charges in fatal pedestrian crash in Inver Grove Heights

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A 30-year-old woman is charged in connection to a hit-and-run crash that killed a 55-year-old woman in Inver Grove Heights in January, according to the Dakota County Attorney's Office.

Breyona Sadi Cotton has been charged with two felonies: leaving the scene of a deadly crash and failure to notify police of deadly crash.

The crash happened on January 5 around 5:40 p.m. near the intersection of 80th Street and Blaine Avenue, according to the complaint. When police arrived, they found an unconscious woman lying on the north side of 80th Street. Attempts to revive her were unsuccessful and she died at the scene. Authorities identified her as Haimanot Gezahegne Gebremedhin.

According to the criminal complaint, Cotton came forward to the Inver Grove Police Department the next day with information about the crash, saying she learned from a friend that a person died in the collision. She told police she was driving and had a green light as she approached Blaine Avenue. She then "out of nowhere" heard a collision and thought she hit a deer. After the crash, she turned right onto Blaine, but told police she didn't leave her car because she thought she hit a deer.

Minnesota State Patrol completed a crash reconstruction report and determined Gebremedhin would have been visible to the driver seconds before the crash and "any reasonable investigation" into the crash would have revealed a woman had been hit. The report found that Cotton's front bumper hit Gebremedhin's legs, which would have caused her to hit the hood and part of the windshield.

Cotton's first appearance is scheduled for October 7.