Witness: Grand Ave. crash that killed student a 'horror' - New York News

Witness: Grand Ave. crash that killed French exchange student a ‘horror’

Posted: Updated:
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Cleo Thiberge came to Minnesota for an education, but the college foreign exchange student's plan was cut short after she was struck by an SUV while crossing Grand Avenue.

As an attorney, Susan McDonough has given legal advice to drivers who have killed someone walking in a crosswalk -- but she never imagined she would actually see it happen first-hand.

"My thoughts are just horror for her family -- the tragedy," McDonough told FOX 9 News. "She's only four years older than my daughter."

McDonough was in her car with her 15-year-old daughter last Wednesday when she saw a young woman step off the curb.

"Then, I saw a car turning," McDonough recalled. "She crumpled to the ground. Her body was under the vehicle."

Thiberge later died from her injuries at Regions Hospital over the weekend.

"It's so crazy," McDonough said. "In one second, she went from starting a brand new life as an exchange student here -- then it was all over."

Macalester College says Thiberge had arrived from France just one day before the crash.

Those who live and work near Grand and Hamline avenues say drivers run red lights all the time, and they often don't pay attention to pedestrians. In fact, a nurse who had just finished talking on her cell phone struck and killed a young woman crossing the street there two years ago.

"I think it's an issue all up and down the avenue," said Mary Daley, who owns a sewing shop on the corner. "It's a great neighborhood, busy and full of life -- but there are some risks that go along with that too."

Daley says drivers often turn a blind eye to pedestrians crossing the popular avenue, but McDonough said she hopes the tragedy will make motorists pay more attention.

"It's so crucial," she said. "If you are driving and you have a green light -- particularly if it just changed to green, please look to your right to check the crosswalk."

The Grand Avenue Business Association had wrapped up its annual Pedestrian Safety Awareness Week just days before the crash.

The driver of the SUV that struck Thiberge is cooperating with police and is not facing any criminal charges.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Labor Day dishes by Chef Jason Tilmann

    Labor Day dishes by Chef Jason Tilmann

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:57 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:57:58 GMT
    If you're looking to beef up your Labor Day barbecue with something different, Chef Jason Tilmann, the executive chef at Strand Bistro in Midtown Manhattan, has some ideas and tips. Chef Tilmann demonstrated several dishes.
    If you're looking to beef up your Labor Day barbecue with something different, Chef Jason Tilmann, the executive chef at Strand Bistro in Midtown Manhattan, has some ideas and tips. Chef Tilmann demonstrated several dishes.
  • O'Neill Theater: where stars were born

    O'Neill Theater: where stars were born

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:37 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:37:42 GMT
    It's a running joke that if you mention the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center to nearly anyone in Hollywood they're going to know exactly what you're talking about because odds are they might have gotten their first big break there. Would you believe some Hollywood's biggest stars -- Meryl Streep, Michael Douglas, Angela Bassett -- got their start in a big red barn in the middle of nowhere.
    It's a running joke that if you mention the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center to nearly anyone in Hollywood they're going to know exactly what you're talking about because odds are they might have gotten their first big break there. Would you believe some Hollywood's biggest stars -- Meryl Streep, Michael Douglas, Angela Bassett -- got their start in a big red barn in the middle of nowhere.
  • Taxi hits and kills woman in Manhattan

    Taxi hits and kills woman in Manhattan

    Friday, August 29 2014 4:38 PM EDT2014-08-29 20:38:46 GMT
    A taxicab slammed into a woman on the Upper East Side, killing her, police said. The cab, driven by a 30-year-old man, made a left turn onto East 79 Street from Madison Avenue and hit the woman, who was trying to cross the street, the NYPD said.
    A taxicab slammed into a woman on the Upper East Side, killing her, police said. The cab, driven by a 30-year-old man, made a left turn onto East 79 Street from Madison Avenue and hit the woman, who was trying to cross the street, the NYPD said.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices