Police identify 70-year-old woman killed by garbage truckby Elizabeth Baier, Minnesota Public Radio,
Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Authorities have released the name of the 70-year-old woman who was struck and killed by a garbage truck as she walked her dog in downtown St. Paul early Friday morning.
Jean Ann Matzke, of St. Paul, was crossing 5th Street at Sibley Street shortly before 6 a.m. to take her dog for an early morning walk in Mears Park, according to St. Paul Police spokesman Paul Schnell.
A garbage truck, also traveling east on 5th Street, was making a left turn onto Sibley Street when it hit the woman, who died at the scene, Schnell said.
"From talking to other people downtown, she was apparently a regular in the morning, bringing her dog down to the park," Schnell said.
Police identified the driver of the truck as 49-year-old Douglas Michael Platt, of Lakeville, Minn. Platt was taken to a St. Paul police station, where he was interviewed and given a drug and alcohol test, which is standard in these cases.
Schnell said there were no immediate signs that he was impaired.
Officials with the St. Paul police and fire departments as well as the Minnesota State Patrol responded to the scene.
Schnell said the dog was turned over to St. Paul Animal Control, where it will be held for the woman's relatives.
In a statement, Allied Waste operation supervisor Rob Thomas said the company is working with local authorities to determine the facts around the incident.
Schnell said that because the woman and the truck were both traveling eastbound, "it would indicate that the pedestrian may have had the right of way."
But he said the investigation will determine whether she had a walk sign at the time of the accident.
The truck driver has not been charged, pending the outcome of the investigation.
Elizabeth Baier, based in Rochester, covers news in southeastern Minnesota for MPR News.