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One dead, one charged after SUV-pedestrian crash in Douglas County

A Duluth man died Monday from injuries he sustained after being struck by a vehicle on Friday night as he walked in the middle of a road in rural Douglas County. The driver of the vehicle is charged with being drunk and driving with a revoked lic...

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Ann Murray

A Duluth man died Monday from injuries he sustained after being struck by a vehicle on Friday night as he walked in the middle of a road in rural Douglas County. The driver of the vehicle is charged with being drunk and driving with a revoked license at the time of the crash.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office reported Tuesday that Eric L. Madrid, 40, of Duluth was walking down the middle of County Highway T near Apple Lake Road in the town of Wascott at about 11:20 p.m. Friday when he was struck by a vehicle driven by Ann Murray, 49, of Duluth.

Murray faces felony charges of operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration causing injury and operating a motor vehicle while revoked, causing great bodily harm to another. Combined, the charges carry a maximum sentence of nearly 10 years in prison.

The charges were filed before Madrid died from his injuries. A message left with the Douglas County District Attorney's Office on Tuesday, seeking information on whether the charges would be amended, was not returned.

According to the criminal complaint:

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Deputies were called to the crash scene late Friday night and were told the victim - later identified as Madrid - had suffered severe head trauma and was unable to communicate. Madrid was transported to Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth, where he died late Monday afternoon, authorities said.

Murray, who remained at the scene after the crash, told deputies that she was driving a Ford Explorer on Highway T when she suddenly saw a man in the middle of the road and hit him.

"I'm sorry, but there's nothing I could do," she told officers at the scene, according to the complaint.

Thick fog was reported at the time, officials said.

The sheriff's deputy who interviewed Murray at the scene observed signs Murray was intoxicated, and she allegedly said she had consumed three beers. The deputy conducted three field sobriety tests, all of which Murray failed, according to the complaint.

Murray then agreed to a preliminary breath test, which recorded a 0.122, the criminal complaint said, which is above Wisconsin's legal limit of 0.08.

Murray has two prior operating while intoxicated convictions, according to court records, and her Wisconsin driver's license had been revoked. At the scene, Murray told officers she didn't know her Wisconsin license had been revoked because her Minnesota license was still valid, which authorities confirmed, the criminal complaint said.

Her Wisconsin license was revoked in October 2000 after she was found guilty of operating while intoxicated from an incident earlier that year. Her Wisconsin license was revoked for only 16 months, but Murray never reinstated it prior to Friday's crash, according to the criminal complaint.

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In a written statement given at the Douglas County Jail, Murray admitted to striking a pedestrian while driving, but maintained she could still drive despite the amount she drank, the criminal complaint said.

According to court records, Murray posted a $1,000 cash bond Monday with conditions that she not use or possess alcohol, or operate a motor vehicle without a valid permit or license. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 19.

Related Topics: DOUGLAS COUNTYSUPERIORCRIME
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