Current and former employees of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District say a motorcyclist who died Tuesday night in a hit-and-run collision in North Sacramento was an outstanding young man who landed a job with the utility through a pilot program targeting Grant High School students.
Evan McDonald, 19, was on his motorcycle northbound on Del Paso Boulevard approaching Frienza Avenue shortly after 9 p.m. when a van entered the roadway and the vehicles collided, according to the Sacramento Police Department. The driver of the van pulled over, got out of the vehicle and left the scene on foot, police said.
Officers arrived and found McDonald on the roadway. He was transported to UC Davis Medical Center, where he died of his injuries.
Paul Coaxum, a former SMUD supervisor, said he was shocked when he learned of McDonald’s death. Coaxum, now retired, was part of a SMUD team that worked with Grant High School counselors to select seniors interested in receiving training to prepare them for jobs as apprentice linemen.
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“He really stood out,” Coaxum said of McDonald. “He was kind of bashful, but he had this big smile on his face.”
Tom Mullally, supervisor for technical training with SMUD, said he received a call from the hospital about midnight Tuesday, informing him of McDonald’s death.
McDonald was selected for the training program in 2011 and went on to successfully compete for an apprentice lineman’s job in 2012.
“Evan was a standout,” Mullally said. “He wasn’t a very big kid, but he was real eager.”
When his received his pole-climbing equipment, McDonald was excited. “He said, ‘This is cool, this is neat,’ ” Mullally recalled.
Mullally described McDonald as a young man who was presented with an opportunity and took advantage of it.
“He had a lot of integrity,” Mullally said. “He was just a classy young man.”
Anyone with information pertaining to the collision is asked to call the Sacramento Police Department's dispatch center at (916) 264-5471 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357, or text a tip to 274637. Enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.