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Duluth woman, 62, hit by SUV dies when thrown into electrical box

Duluth police investigator Dan Salatel takes pictures at the scene of a fatal pedestrian-SUV crash at 40th Avenue East and London Road Tuesday afternoon. The 62-year-old woman was hit by the Mercury Mountaineer to the right of Salatel. A 49-year-old woman was driving the SUV. Steve Kuchera / Forum News Service

DULUTH, Minn.—A 62-year-old pedestrian was killed when she was struck by an SUV and thrown against an electrical box along London Road in Duluth on Tuesday, according to police and a witness at the scene.

The Duluth Police Department confirmed that the woman died when she was struck near the intersection of London Road and 40th Avenue East around 12:40 p.m. Authorities said the vehicle was driven by a 49-year-old woman.

Police did not immediately release the names of the driver or victim or any further details on the cause of the crash, saying an investigation was ongoing.

For several hours after the crash, a red Mercury Mountaineer with front bumper damage was parked near a sign for the senior living facility. The vehicle was cordoned off by crime scene tape, and investigators had erected a tent alongside it.

Skid marks could be seen across the northbound lanes of London Road, and through the grass up to where the vehicle was parked.

Colleen Murray said that she was driving a bus down 40th Avenue East when she witnessed the crash.

She said the SUV was already parked on the grass next to the sign when she came upon the scene, and that the driver was talking with an older woman, who was outside the vehicle.

The conversation ended and the pedestrian started to walk away, Murray said. It appeared that the driver was preparing to back up when the SUV suddenly lurched forward and rammed the pedestrian into the electrical box, she said.

"The lady in the red vehicle started looking backwards to back out," Murray said. "All of a sudden, she just ran the lady down. She hit her and plowed her right into that thing."

Murray said she was unsure how the car got onto the grass in the first place, and that the conversation between the two women seemed calm before the collision.

Murray said that she immediately alerted her dispatch center to call 911, and that there likely were other witnesses in the busy area. She said she was shaken up after witnessing the crash, and left with many questions about how it occurred.

"It was bad," she said. "I know why it happened. I just seen her run her into that thing. It was awful."

Duluth police spokesman Ron Tinsley said the driver was not injured. It was not immediately clear if she was in custody or if she would face any charges.

Investigators were on scene for most of the afternoon, and London Road was closed between 40th and 26th avenues east, with snarled traffic being rerouted to Superior Street.

Investigators from the traffic and crime scene units could be seen measuring and marking skid marks and taking photographs of the crash site and the roadway.

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