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Police arrest 15-year-old in St. Paul hit-and-run that killed grandma, 70

Phoua Hang’s husband was driving and she was a passenger when their vehicle was struck July 17 by someone driving a stolen Kia in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood. The driver and passengers ran away.

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A memorial for Phou Thao Hang at the St. Paul Farmers' Market on Saturday, July 23, 2022.
Kraig Odden / St. Paul Pioneer Press
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ST. PAUL -- A 15-year-old boy is under arrest in a hit-and-run crash that killed a 70-year-old grandmother last month in St. Paul, police announced Friday.

Phoua Hang’s husband was driving and she was a passenger when their vehicle was struck by someone driving a stolen Kia in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood. The driver and passengers ran away.

After “a lengthy and intense investigation that involved surveillance video, forensic analysis, and most importantly, information from our St. Paul community,” police arrested the teen on Tuesday, St. Paul police Sgt. David McCabe said.

Police haven’t said whether the teen they arrested was the suspected driver or a passenger. The investigation is ongoing and police continue to ask anyone with information to come forward.

Hang was a longtime vendor at the St. Paul Farmers’ Market, where she sold her family’s fresh produce for two decades. Her grandson is Rep. Jay Xiong, DFL-St. Paul. Her daughter and son, Pakou Hang and Janssen Hang, founded the Hmong American Farmers Association.

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The crash happened the night of July 17, when Hang’s husband was driving north on Forest Street and the Kia came from an alley between Cook and Magnolia avenues, police have said.

“Phoua Thao Hang was senselessly and tragically killed,” her family said in a Friday statement. “Today’s developments are a first – and an important – step forward in the pursuit of accountability and justice.”

Hang “was the singular most important person in our lives,” her family said. “Her life, her abiding love for her family, her deep cultural knowledge and farming wisdom (which she open-heartedly shared), her zest and curiosity for all things, her kind and caring nature, and the thousands of untold stories, blessings, and life lessons she had yet to impart were all stolen from her, and from us, on July 17.”

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This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

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