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Mum dead after ‘drunk or high’ driver rammed protest for man killed by police

3 min read

A mum-of-two was killed in a protest when mowed down by a "drunk or high" driver on Sunday night in the United States.

The demonstration following a police officer shooting dead a black man in Minneapolis, Minnesota earlier this month, spiralled into a horror scene when a vehicle ploughed into the crowd.

Deona Marie Knajdek was launched into a stop sign by the force of the car witnesses estimate to have been storming towards demonstrators at around 100mph.

Garrett Knajdek named his sister as one of the victims and said she was just a few days from her 32nd birthday and one-year anniversary of sobriety.

He added that Deona was a mother to two daughters aged 11 and 13.

Garrett told the Minneapolis Star Tribune: "She constantly [was] sacrificing herself for everyone around her, no matter the cost, obviously."

On Sunday, Knajdek joined a group standing up for Winston Boogie Smith who was shot dead by US Marshals in Minneapolis' Uptown neighbourhood, MailOnline reports.

Witnesses a people carrier careered into a parked car which tossed it into the crowd but police spokesman John Elder has not confirmed that version of events, insisting investigations are ongoing.

  • Mum, 28, accused of murdering baby by 'shaking him so hard he suffered brain injuries'

Another three people were injured from the incident.

Protesters reportedly pulled the white driver from the vehicle beat him before the emergency services took him into custody and for treatment at hospital.

Police said the drugs or alcohol may have contributed towards the collision and said a 35-year-old is suspected of criminal vehicular homicide, driving after a license was canceled, and providing false information to police.

According to online court records, the motorist drove without a valid driver's license after multiple DUI convictions.

Deona's mother, Deb Kenney said: "The emotion we need to have right now is we need to be grateful that Deona was here and she shared it all with us.

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"She wouldn’t want us to be angry at that man. She would have let it go in a minute, and said, what could we have done for him? What would have made a difference for him?"

Deb went on: "She was here on her own accord, she chose to do this. She wanted to make that impact," according to KARE-11.

Kenney said she hopes her daughter’s death will not put off others from protesting safely.

She added: "We need to be very grateful that Deona was here and she shared it all with us, and she wouldn’t want us to be angry at that man. She would have let it go in a minute.

"I would love people to remember her for the person she was. She was afraid of butterflies because she didn’t want to hurt them,' reported CBS Minneapolis."

Hundreds of mourners brought flowers and balloons to a vigil on Monday held in Deona's memory and demanded justice for her.

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