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'Abby Was Such A Bright Light': Abby Anderson, Sister Of Runner Gabe Grunewald, Killed By Driver In Falcon Heights

This story was originally published Aug. 16, 2021.

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A Minnesota family is mourning the loss of their second daughter in less than three years.

Abigail Anderson, 29, was killed by a truck Saturday evening while walking on Cleveland Avenue near the Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in Falcon Heights. The Ramsey County Sheriff's Office says a truck hit a parked car, which then struck Anderson. Police say the driver then performed a U-turn and ran over her while attempting to flee the scene. Anderson later died at Regions Hospital.

Abby Anderson
A photo of Abby Anderson at her memorial in Falcon Heights (credit: CBS)

Anderson, who was known to all as Abby, was a Children's Minnesota nurse. What makes the pain of this loss even deeper for her family and friends is that her older sister, Gabe Grunewald, died of cancer two summers ago at age 32. Grunewald was a professional runner and starred on the University of Minnesota track team.

Heather Kampf was a roommate of Grunewald's, and at least knew Abby well enough to know how similar she was to her sister.

"The same type of positive, bright soul with the same smile and personality. Seeing her always felt like she kept a piece of Gabe alive, so to lose her as well is really heartbreaking," Kampf said.

Gabe Grunewald
Gabe Grunewald (credit: Brave Like Gabe Foundation)

"Abby was such a bright light and very fun to be around," her brother, Caleb, wrote in an email to WCCO. "She was always full of positive energy and brought laughter and joy to everyone."

Caleb says his sister's hobbies included organizing and fundraising for the Brave Like Gabe foundation, running, spending time with family and friends, drawing, painting, photography, poetry, writing, learning guitar, singing, camping, writing, baking, art, being at the lake, and ice fishing.

"Most recently, she was very excited to become an aunt," Caleb said.

Anderson was enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of Minnesota.

"She loved the people she helped care for and those she worked with very much," Caleb said.

He says Abby handled the grief of losing her sister with amazing strength.

"She wanted to expand the impact and reach of the Brave Like Gabe Foundation spreading the message of hope," he said. "Even though she struggled, she never gave up."

An outpouring of grief Monday included tweets from Minnesota Track and Field and Cross Country, and Olympic runner Kara Goucher. Anderson was an avid runner herself and heavily involved in the Brave Like Gabe Foundation, which supports rare cancer research and empowers survivors.

Police say the driver who struck Anderson was taken into custody and given a blood test. Criminal charges have yet to be filed.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support the Abigail Anderson Memorial and the Brave Like Gabe Foundation.

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