Melissa Lewis identified as woman killed on I-94 after laying in traffic

Categories: Tragedy

94pic.jpg
Dougtone, Flickr.
Melissa Lewis was hit by several cars and killed after laying down on Interstate 94 Thursday morning.
It was still dark when Steve Feldman headed to work down Interstate 94 Thursday morning.

Around 6:30 a.m., the freeway near Seventh Street in Minneapolis was busy with morning commuters, all moving about 60 MPH. Suddenly, Feldman saw the drivers just ahead of him slam on their brakes and swerve out of the way. He knew something was there -- an animal maybe -- and prepared to make his move into the right lane.

It wasn't until he got closer that he saw it was a person standing on the dashed line between the first and second lanes from the right shoulder.

"You knew what was going to happen, and in a matter of seconds," says Feldman. "There was no turning back."

Feldman managed to veer quickly to the left and miss her by what seemed like a foot. He believes if he would have gone right, he would have hit her.

"Everyone was kind of swerving a little bit and then getting back in their lanes," he says. "You try to look back but you can't really see anything because it's chaos."

Shortly after, the woman lay down in the freeway, where she was struck by several vehicles and killed. The Hennepin County medical examiner identified the woman today as Melissa Lewis, a 38-year-old Minneapolis woman.

Here's another story from a City Pages commenter who also barely avoided hitting Lewis:

"We called 911 and they said they were aware and they already had patrol on the way but as we have all learned they didn't get there in time. I cried the rest of the way to work I was so upset over nearly hitting this woman. I'm also angry that in taking her own life she has also ruined the lives of the others that were unfortunate enough to hit her. Their lives will be forever changed by this sequence of events."

Authorities still don't know why Lewis did what she did. We'll update as more information becomes available.

Previous Coverage:

  • I-94 reopens after woman's apparent suicide
  • WCCO airs video of woman's suicide on I-94


  • My Voice Nation Help
    35 comments
    howsad
    howsad

    I knew this woman.  We spent four years living together as roommates.  To all you people who are wondering if she was getting treatment, I believe she was.  We were at treatment, and she had schizophrenia and a really severe case of depression.  I just saw this story last night, and I was shocked and horrified.  She was a nice person, and I think she just wanted out of this life.  I don't think she could've been saved--she was probably very determined.  If she didn't die this way, she would've found another way to die.  So, I agree that she wasn't in the right frame of mind.  She was a religious person and had a sense of humor.  I think she just couldn't deal with the cards she had been dealt in life.  

    Ant
    Ant

    Whos insurance covers the damage done to the cars?

    Vroooom911
    Vroooom911

    That's a good question. Usually if u hit a person, your insurance would drop you like a dime......but what if you wanted to be hit? Would they cover the damages? Or would mels insurance cover it?

    Donkey Hotay
    Donkey Hotay

    More fallout from 8 years of economic and social destruction at the hands of the criminal Bu$h junta !

    .

    Carter216
    Carter216

    My deepest sympathy to my uncle and the loss of his daughter. Much love Uncle Fonz with much love Derrick and Vikki

    Bjork
    Bjork

    Death by suburbanite, clearly all those bridge jumpers should think of this.

    Jethomas319
    Jethomas319

    This is an incredibly tragic story, but I couldn't help but become distracted by the fact that the headline should say "lying" and not laying. Really, City Pages?

    Lkhllywd
    Lkhllywd

    And for the record, she was lying in traffic, not laying. It's correct to say, "she lay down and waited" but not "she was laying down and waiting."

    Thecrowzone
    Thecrowzone

    i drove past her about 6:40 am standing in the road and she just staired right at me and she looked like a lost sole

    PTCGAZ
    PTCGAZ

    you saw her in the dark alive after she was dead?

    at least if I am to believe the media reports...

    AsshatsSuck
    AsshatsSuck

    ANYONE who would think that the people that hit her and feel crappy about it are full of it, are full of it themselves. OR they have no heart or soul. I'd feel awful for a long time if I hit someone, even if they were trying to commit suicide.

    PTCGAZ
    PTCGAZ

    you people are nuts.

    Guess you have no empathy and no ability to see that she got what she wanted therefore, I wouldn't feel bad.

    MA
    MA

    I drove by right after just a maybe a minute before the troopers did, I was imediately in shock of what i saw, it was dark and what i thought from a far to be something that might have fallen from a truck like a bag of stuff turned out to be a mangled human just a foot to my right the image of that woman on the floor, at the time i didn't know it was a woman I could not tell the way her body was sprawled. It was horrible and my sympathy to those that unfortunately could not stop, i have an awful feeling in the pitt of my stomach even though i didnt' hit her. It truly was an awful thing to have to witness.

    Laura
    Laura

    I know what you mean.. Its an image you will never ever forget. I saw a man that got ran over on his motorcycle 3 yrs ago on 94 and Minnesota St. I just saw this girl running around jumping up and down crying and panicking and I was wondering what the hell her problem was and I drove about 1ft ahead of her and there was a dead, mangled body just inches away from my car on the driver side.. His face was facing me and all I could do it take off and cry. I couldn't stop for that entire day. I still can see that image to this day as if it happen mins ago.. Its crazy that things like that can traumatize you.

    Mark Dayton
    Mark Dayton

    Her name was Melissa SpeedBump

    Phastgirl101
    Phastgirl101

    I hope no one of her family reads your ignorant comment. I also hope that karma comes back to get you x10, you have no heart.

    simplyput
    simplyput

    That was a very sick thing to say.

    Lornaluft
    Lornaluft

    you're an idiot. but I am guessing you already know that!

    Albatross
    Albatross

    Suicide is a violently selfish act. Yes, the suicide is emotionally ill and deserves treatment, but the suicide is also committing violence by killing someone loved by a lot of people. It's sad when someone commits suicide but it's also a terribly, terribly cruel and selfish act - this suicide more so than many. I feel bad for Melissa Lewis, but I feel worse for everyone she victimized with her horrible decision.[Edit] This is NOT the same as informed medically assisted suicide by the terminally ill which is a matter of personal choice and dignity

    PTCGAZ
    PTCGAZ

    and you know this how?

    and btw suicide is not selfish. It's an irrational decision made by someone at a time when all those loved ones have failed them...

    Craig Ruhland
    Craig Ruhland

    My mom killed herself a year and a half ago.  We were all stunned and surprised.  She kept it an incredible secret.  I would love to talk over the phone to understand how I failed her.  I'm very serious and have logged in with my Facebook credentials so we can continue offline.  Please let me know when you're free to discuss.

    Zeroisanumber
    Zeroisanumber

    And you know that how?

    Zeroisanumber
    Zeroisanumber

    So you can speak for every suicide everywhere?

    PTCGAZ
    PTCGAZ

    because I have known several people that committed suicide?

    Erock
    Erock

    "I'm also angry that in taking her own life she has also ruined the lives of the others that were unfortunate enough to hit her."

    Bullshit.

    Lornaluft
    Lornaluft

    Erock, how is it bullshit? She was trying to kill herself by getting hit by a car, that is going to eff people up pretty bad if they have any feelings.

    PTCGAZ
    PTCGAZ

    not really. I would have understood that it's what she wanted to happen..

    BTW I have empathy so I see it from both sides, unlike most of you selfish arrogant assholes.

    Zeroisanumber
    Zeroisanumber

    *whirr* *buzz* *click* Silly humans with your irrational emotions *beep* *beep* *beep*

    Really, they slammed on their breaks?

    Umpire
    Umpire

    Really? You're an asshole?

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