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Driver ran off after crash that killed St. Thomas student, police say

The driver ran off – police are urging him to come forward.
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The driver who left the scene of a deadly crash in the Twin Cities this weekend is still at large.

At about 3:50 a.m. Sunday, officers responded to a single-vehicle crash at the intersection of Stinson Boulevard Northeast and Ridgeway Parkway, the Minneapolis Police Department said.

First responders found a car crushed against a stop light. A woman was trapped inside, and paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene.

Witnesses told police that a male driver had fled on foot before help arrived. Authorities searched the area using police dogs, but the suspect wasn't found.

As of 2 p.m. Monday afternoon, no arrests have been made, Minneapolis PD spokesperson Corey Schmidt told GoMN.

Schmidt said a team of investigators from the department's homicide unit has been added to the investigation. He did not say whether they had a suspect.

"We would urge the driver of the vehicle to turn himself in," Schmidt said. 

The woman's identity

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner identified the woman Monday as 20-year-old Ria Patel, a student at the University of St. Thomas.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own peers, Ria Patel," the university said in a Facebook post. "Our thoughts are with her family, friends, and the St. Thomas community. We extend our deepest sympathy to all who are affected by this loss."

The Star Tribune says according to emergency dispatch audio, the car involved in the accident is registered to a 22-year-old man with a Shakopee address, and a man's identification was found near Patel's body. 

Anyone with information about the crash is encouraged to text an anonymous tip to 847411 (TIP411). Enter MPD, a space, and then the information. 

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