Crime - Sacto 911

She went for a run during lunch hour. A driver struck her and fled, leaving her dead

A Sacramento police officer returns to her car after putting up police tape on Grasslands Drive on Tuesday. A woman out for a noon jog was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver near Barandas Park in the South Natomas area.
A Sacramento police officer returns to her car after putting up police tape on Grasslands Drive on Tuesday. A woman out for a noon jog was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver near Barandas Park in the South Natomas area. rbyer@sacbee.com

A woman out for a noon jog was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver Tuesday near Barandas Park in the South Natomas area.

The woman was hit about 11:44 a.m. while crossing Grasslands Drive at West El Camino Avenue, said Lt. Paul Freeman, a Sacramento Police Department spokesman.

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office website identified her as Ericka Jennifer Hann, 47, of Orangevale.

A white, slightly raised pickup truck with a camper shell and loud exhaust was southbound on Grasslands Drive when it turned onto West El Camino Avenue and hit the woman, Freeman said. The truck then drove off without stopping.

An adjacent crosswalk a few feet away at West El Camino Avenue and Grasslands Drive was one of 23 erased by city officials in the last four years.

City staff members have previously said crosswalks on certain busy streets without proper safety signals such as a traffic light lull pedestrians into a false sense of security. Removing the markings protects walkers in some cases, traffic engineer Ryan Moore said, because it prompts them to cross elsewhere or puts them on higher alert when crossing at that spot.

Though Tuesday’s fatality does not appear to be related to the erased crosswalk, neighbors say the intersection has become less safe overall. The city also took out signs that said "crosswalk."

“We had a crosswalk here two months ago, and they just removed it,” said Chuck Long, a neighbor. "Everybody crosses here. It’s busy. ... We signed a petition, and they disregarded it.”

QiuChang Zhu, 71, was killed and her 6-year-old grandson was seriously injured when they were struck by a hit-and-run driver while crossing Freeport Boulevard at Oregon Drive on Jan. 31. The driver, Gurdeep Sidhu, later turned himself in to police and was charged with felony hit-and-run. He is currently out on bail while awaiting trial.

Sacramento Councilman Steve Hansen, who represents the South Natomas area, has requested that the city consider crosswalk removal a last resort among safety-related streetscape changes.

Benjy Egel: (916) 321-1052, @BenjyEgel

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