Updated: July 21, 2021 10:27 AM
Created: July 20, 2021 04:08 PM
UPDATE: St. Paul Police said Wednesday morning that Mia Penny Simmons was not hit by vehicle before or after she'd collapsed in the street, contrary information officers had received from a witness.
Below is the complete statement by St. Paul Police Department:
"Late yesterday we learned that the autopsy revealed that the deceased in this case was not struck by a vehicle—neither initially or after she'd collapsed in the street. The information we shared with you yesterday was based on police reports, which provide a summary of events based on what we know at the time.
She did have injuries consistent with falling. The medical examiner is awaiting further tests before determining a cause of death.
We'll provide an update once we have more information to share."
Mia Penny Simmons, 56, was fatally injured in an incident early Tuesday morning on St. Paul's north side, according to police.
St. Paul police continue to search for the driver who struck her and kept going, according to investigators.
"Our mom was a loving and caring mother, daughter, sister, aunt and friend. No matter the situation, she made the best out of it," Simmons' daughters, Andrez Rush and Stacy Smith, wrote in an email to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. "She was silly and always knew how to bring joy to others. She is loved and will be missed by many."
According to the St. Paul Police Department, at around 12:30 a.m., officers responded to a report of a woman hit by a vehicle near Ivy Avenue West and Rice Street. Once officers arrived at the scene, they located Simmons lying in blood near the southwest corner of the intersection. It appeared she wasn’t breathing.
St. Paul Fire medics arrived on the scene simultaneously and rendered aid to Simmons, quickly placing her on a stretcher and moving her into an ambulance. About 10 minutes later, she was pronounced dead, police said.
According to authorities, a 21-year-old man said he was driving north on Rice Street when he saw Simmons lying in the middle of the intersection. He pulled over to help her but before he could get out of his vehicle, he saw a vehicle traveling south, toward her.
"He was going the regular speed and wasn't slowing down or anything," the witness told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. "I basically got out of my car and waved my hands to get him to stop. It was a lady laying there, and he ran over her legs and he kept going."
"I was ... mind-blown ... if you hit a person, they are laying on the ground, you aren't going to get out and check or make sure they are OK?" the witness, who asked not to be identified when he spoke with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, added.
The witness reported to police that the other driver that left the scene was in an older model black Honda Pilot SUV.
"She was on the way to a store to get some items. Sadly she never made it," St. Paul Police Department spokesman Steve Linders said.
"It's unclear to what happened to her prior to lying in the street critically injured — it's a strange case. We're collecting video evidence and we're looking for any other witnesses or anyone who knows what happened," Linders said.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to reach out to CrimeStoppers of Minnesota at 1-800-222-8477 or submit an anonymous tip online.
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