A traffic accident claimed the life of an 85-year-old Winona woman crossing East Broadway on her way to St. Martin's Lutheran Church on Sunday morning.
Ruth Doris Brendel had just stepped out from between cars parked in the middle of the block along Sinclair Park when she was struck by a 1998 Saturn driven by Robert John Tofstad, 19, of Minnesota City, according to Winona Police Sgt. Chris Nelson.
Tofstad was eastbound in the right lane, driving into a bright sun at 7:54 a.m, Nelson said. Police photos taken at the scene show much of the right side of Tofstad's windshield and the entire passenger side window frosted over, with only a portion of the windshield on the driver's side clear.
The force of the impact sent Brendel into the air, knocking her out of her shoes, Nelson said. She was transported to Winona Health by ambulance, then by helicopter to St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, where she died, he said. The Minnesota State Patrol is assisting the ongoing investigation.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct Tofstad's age.