3 dead, 1 injured in separate pedestrian accidents in Sacramento area

Three adults were killed and one teenager was injured when they were struck by vehicles in separate incidents in the Sacramento area within a 13-hour period between Monday night and Tuesday morning.

“These numbers are alarming, not only from a law enforcement perspective but also from the community,” said Adrian Quintero, spokesman for the Valley Division of the CHP. “We want driving to be safe for everyone.”

All of the recent collisions occurred in darkness, which may be a factor.

“Limited lighting determines how people drive,” Quintero said. “People overdrive their lights – they drive too fast and they’re assuming (the road) is clear.”

The latest string of incidents began at 7 p.m. Monday and ended at 7:35 a.m. Tuesday. Here are details about each incident:

7:35 a.m. Tuesday, south Sacramento

A 14-year-old girl was hurt when she was hit by a vehicle as she was walking to school. The girl, who was taken to a hospital, sustained injuries that were not life-threatening.

The accident occurred in the 5200 block of Valley Hi Drive.

“The girl was on her way to school and she was crossing the street on the crosswalk just east of the school,” said Michelle Gigante, Sacramento Police Department spokeswoman. “The vehicle was eastbound on Valley Hi Drive, and struck the 14-year-old.”

Prairie Elementary School is at 5251 Valley Hi Drive. However, the Elk Grove Unified School District confirmed that the girl is a student at Samuel Jackman Middle School, 7925 Kentwal Drive, which is about a block away from Prairie.

The driver, who was not identified, remained on the scene. It was not clear whether the motorist will face any charges.

“There was no indication of DUI or a hit and run,” Gigante said. “Speed does not appear to be a factor.”

6 a.m. Tuesday, Arden Arcade area

A man was killed when he was walking across Arden Way and was struck by a vehicle. The victim, described as being in his 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene. He has not been identified. The accident happened about 6 a.m. when the man was walking north across Arden Way, near Empress Street. A vehicle traveling east on Arden Way struck the pedestrian as he was crossing the road.

“The motorist remained at the scene,” Gigante said. “There was no sign of any alcohol involvement.”

It was not known what type of vehicle was involved or what speed it was traveling at the time of the accident. The identity of the motorist was not given.

According to Gigante, the accident took place near an uncontrolled intersection and there were no crosswalks in the area.

2:09 a.m. Tuesday, Elk Grove

Elk Grove police are asking for the public’s help in finding the driver involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident on Stockton Boulevard near Sheldon Road. A 62-year-old woman, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

“At this point, we do not have any idea of what type of vehicle struck her, and we don’t have any eyewitnesses to the actual collision,” said Officer Christopher Trim, Elk Grove police spokesman.

“We have no physical evidence, other than the trauma suffered by the victim. We have no license plate, nothing to go on. We’re asking for the public’s help in solving this.”

At 2:09 a.m., police received a call about a woman sitting on the side of Stockton Boulevard, near Sheldon Road.

“The caller indicated that he had seen the person at different locations sitting on the side of the road, decided it was odd and called police,” Trim said.

The woman was initially seen sitting on the west side of Stockton Boulevard, then later spotted sitting on the east side of the road.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found a woman matching the caller’s description lying in the middle of the northbound lane of Stockton Boulevard.

“She had trauma consistent of being struck and run over by a vehicle,” Trim said. “She was deceased at the scene.”

It is unknown what type of vehicle struck the woman, but it is likely that there is damage to the undercarriage.

“There is the possibility that someone might have felt a bump and not know what they hit,” Trim said.

7 p.m. Monday, Arden Arcade area

A Sacramento woman was killed after she was hit by a car while she was walking on a dark street in the Arden Arcade area. The Sacramento Coroner’s Office identified the woman as Rosemarie Jitner, 75.

At 7 p.m., a Toyota Camry was northbound on the far right lane of Eastern Avenue, just south of Fitch Way, when it struck an elderly woman walking on the right side of the road. The vehicle was traveling about 40 mph.

“She (the driver) doesn’t see the lady,” said Officer Lizz Dutton, a CHP spokeswoman. “She hits her and doesn’t know it’s a person. She thinks it’s a garbage bag.”

Jitner was wearing dark clothing at the time, and there are no streetlights in the area.

The collision threw Jitner to the ground, but the driver, whose name was not released, stopped.

CHP investigators are still trying to determine where Jitner was walking when she was hit, as there is no sidewalk in the area, but there is a bike lane that she may have been using.

“She was walking northbound, the same way as traffic,” Dutton said. “Another witness in the No. 1 lane (the lane to the left of the far right lane) didn’t see her either.”

No charges have been filed against the driver.

The latest incidents mark a growing number of auto-pedestrian accidents and auto-bicyclist accidents in the state.

“We have seen an increase in pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities,” Quintero said. “It’s the main reason why we’re trying to be proactive.”

In 2009, the CHP reported that 596 pedestrians were killed and 13,083 injured by vehicles in California. In 2010, the number of pedestrians killed jumped to 623, but the number of those injured dropped slightly to 12,668.

Preliminary figures for 2011 – the most recent figures available – indicate that there was an increase in both categories – 656 pedestrians killed, and 12,691 injured.

Quintero said one of the reasons for the increases in auto-pedestrian accidents is that more people are using alternative forms of transportation.

“They’re walking, bicycling, taking the bus,” he said. “A lot of people also have to walk to work.”