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

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

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