The pedestrian killed when she was struck by a vehicle on Highway 99 just south of Modesto on Tuesday evening has been identified as 48-year-old Alicia Leon, according to the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office.
The Modesto resident reportedly was staggering in the median before being hit about 6:45 p.m., but there is no official determination yet on whether drugs or alcohol played a factor in the crash, said California Highway Patrol Officer James Dixon.
One of Leon’s children told The Bee her mother once was addicted to heroin and kicked it, but replaced it with alcohol. “Clearly, she was not in her right state of mind,” 22-year-old Leila Leon said from her home in San Bernardino.
Alicia Leon grew up in the Modesto area but had been living in San Bernardino before returning here about three years ago, said her daughter, who hadn’t seen her since. “She used to call me all the time but stopped calling,” said Leila Leon, adding that an abusive boyfriend pulled her mother away from her five children. “They were homeless last year when I last talked with her, sleeping on people’s couches.”
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She recalled her mother as sweet, loving and caring to her family, friends and neighbors. “I got a lot of my loving characteristics from her,” Leila Leon said.
But she said her mother also “lived a very tragic life. I was praying she would come back and be there for her children the way she needed them to be.” Leila Leon said she still held out hope that she’d regain the mother she once knew, “but then I got that call last night.”
Her father’s phone number was in a notebook her mother had with her, so officials were able to notify family of her death.
The driver who struck Leon was not injured, Dixon said. The driver’s name was not available. The accident occurred in the northbound lanes near Crows Landing Road, and the first and second lanes were closed about three hours, the officer said.
Deke Farrow: 209-578-2327