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Bicyclist hit in Minneapolis 'lived life to the fullest,' family says

She was an accomplished biochemist and marathon runner.
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Authorities and family have identified the woman who was killed while riding bike in Minneapolis earlier this week.

Jillian Leigh Friedrich, a 34-year-old woman from Columbia Heights, died in the hospital on Thursday afternoon from "multiple blunt force injuries," a release from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner said Sunday.

Friedrich had been pedaling her bicycle north on 2nd Street early Thursday morning when she collided with a van heading west on Lowry. 

Paramedics took Friedrich to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, but life-saving measures were not successful.

Investigators haven't revealed all the details of the accident yet. A spokeswoman for the police department told GoMN that the intersection is controlled by a signal light, but authorities haven't said whether Friedrich or the driver had a green light.

The 25-year-old man who was driving the van stayed at the scene and is cooperating with investigators.

"She lived her life to the fullest"

Friedrich's family told WCCO that she was an avid runner and experienced biker who always wore a helmet, including on the day of the crash.

On the morning Friedrich died, she had been heading to a homeless shelter to volunteer with Minneapolis-based Mile In My Shoes, which takes those in need out for a run, family told the station.

Mile In My Shoes responded to Friedrich's passing in a Facebook post, saying the organization was "terribly saddened" over her death.

"We are terribly saddened about the loss of our Run Mentor Jill Friedrich, who was on her way to run with her Team Higher Ground Minneapolis when she was struck and killed on Thursday morning. We are so grateful to have had her touch our lives this year, and we extend our deepest sympathies to her family," the post says.

Friedrich was also an accomplished biochemist and researcher at the University of Minnesota, her father said in a Facebook post.

"She loved her bio science research work at the U of M, loved her husband, family, friends and golden retriever, volunteered her time and talent to benefit others, was a dedicated distance runner, a talented artist, great cook, and a wonderful friend to everyone fortunate enough to know her. It's too soon to say goodbye. Jill...I loved you. You made me proud and I will miss you every day for the rest of life," he wrote.

Family and friends will hold a "Celebration of Life" gathering on Tuesday night at Jax Cafe in Minneapolis. Mile In My Shoes team members will wear the organization's shirts "in honor of her commitment to her team."

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