Woman sentenced to 4 years in prison for fatally running over woman at golf course in 2021

A woman who pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide was sentenced to four years in prison on Friday.

Melinda Jean Dotray, 45, admitted to driving the truck that fatally struck 29-year-old Abigail Anderson twice in August of 2021 at Les Boland Golf Course on Cleveland Avenue in Falcon Heights.

The plea deal reached dropped multiple other charges, including third-degree murder, manslaughter and drug possession.

A blood sample revealed Dotray had amphetamine, methamphetamine, fentanyl and norfentanyl in her system at the time of the crash, according to the criminal complaint.

Dotray was credited 13 days for time served.

RELATED: Charges filed against woman accused of running over, killing pedestrian in Falcon Heights

A criminal complaint states that deputies responded to a report of a woman being hit by a truck around 6:45 p.m. Responding officers were told that a Chevrolet Silverado had crashed into a Honda Civic, then went through a fence and onto the golf course. Anderson was hit during the initial crash and was struck again after the Silverado had turned around to get back on the road.

Anderson was found being tended to by medical professionals who were at a soccer game across the street from the golf course, the complaint states. Medics arrived and told deputies the victim was unresponsive and had a weak pulse. Anderson was taken to Regions Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

One witness told deputies he was golfing when he heard “a tremendous collision.” He said he saw a white truck, a blue sedan and Anderson “flying through the air.” The witness estimated Anderson was launched at least 30 feet. He said the truck drove through a fence and about 50 feet past Anderson before making “an aggressive U-turn,” driving back toward Anderson and running her over again.

The witness said “there was no way” that the driver of the truck didn’t see Anderson after turning around.

Other witnesses recalled seeing Anderson attempting to get up after being hit and said the truck was “definitely” trying to leave the scene.

A spectator of the soccer game told investigators that after the truck ran over Anderson a second time, “It looked so intentional — it was unbelievable.”

Deputies detained Dotray at the scene. While in the back of a squad, she closed her eyes and dozed off, the complaint states. She claimed she wasn’t trying to flee the scene and was just trying to get off the golf course.

Additionally, Dotray said, “Do you know what the worst thing is? I told my husband I was tired, and he asked if we should just leave the truck there, and I said, ‘No, I’ll be OK.’”

Investigators learned that Dotray never had insurance on the Silverado and that she had purchased the truck the month prior with a $39,540 check, which bounced due to insufficient funds. The glove box contained 1.73 grams of a substance that tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine.

A blood sample was submitted to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for analysis. A report submitted on Dec. 7 showed the sample contained amphetamine, methamphetamine, fentanyl and norfentanyl, the complaint states.

A crash reconstruction report from the Minnesota State Patrol showed the Silverado had two crash events stored in its memory. The vehicle was traveling between 62 and 64 mph during the first event when it struck the Civic, and that there was no evidence the car had braked. The second event happened 105 seconds later and is believed to have occurred when the truck drove back through the fence.

The speed limit on Cleveland Avenue is 40 mph.

Anderson was the younger sister of Gabe Grunewald, an Olympic hopeful who died in 2019 at age 32. Anderson was also an avid runner. She was on the cross country team at the University of Minnesota.