TURLOCK — A 70-year-old Turlock man was killed after he was struck in a crosswalk by a sport utility vehicle while crossing at the intersection of North Olive and Wayside Drive just after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, authorities said.
The man was identified Wednesday morning as Charles Arnold, according to the Stanislaus County Coroner's Office.
The driver, Paulette Field, 44, of Modesto, remained at the scene and cooperated with investigating officers, according to Sgt. Nino Amirfar, a spokesman for the Turlock Police Department.
Amirfar said Field was driving a Honda Pilot northbound on North Olive Avenue when she came upon Arnold, who was in the north crosswalk walking eastbound on Wayside Drive.
Arnold was near the sidewalk when Field came through the intersection, saw Arnold and hit her brakes, Amirfar said. However, she couldn’t avoid Arnold, striking the man with the passenger-side front bumper of the car. He was taken to Emanuel Medical Center, where he later was pronounced dead, Amirfar said.Amirfar said neither alcohol nor cell phone use was a factor in the accident.
He did say that Field, according to witnesses, was driving faster than the 30 mph speed limit for North Olive.
He said witnesses estimated her speed between 35 mph and 40 mph, which he described as too fast for the dark, rainy conditions.
Field told authorities her windshield wipers were on, and that she didn’t see Arnold because it was dark and rainy, Amirfar said.
Amirfar described the intersection as big, well-marked and well-lit. He said drivers on North Olive are not restricted by a traffic light or stop sign, but that drivers on Wayside at North Olive have stop signs.
He said he couldn’t recall safety issues related to the intersection, but added that it’s imperative for drivers to remember that in rainy conditions, especially at night, “you have to reduce your speed accordingly.”
He said given the facts — her failure to yield to a pedestrian, in addition to other factors — Field likely would be cited. However, whether she’ll face criminal charges would be up to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office, he said.
This is Stanislaus County’s fourth death in the last two months in which either a pedestrian or bicyclist died from injuries after being struck by a vehicle.
On Feb. 13, Ashley Henderson, 16, of Waterford was hit while riding a bicycle by an elderly man driving a truck on Western Avenue when she tried to cross Highway 132 about 5:45 p.m. Friday.
On Feb. 4, Fermin Duran Jr., 29, of Modesto, was struck by a sport utility vehicle after he stopped his bike in dark and rainy conditions in the eastbound lane of West Service Road.
On Dec. 30, Joyce Cody, 46, of Riverbank, was killed by a big rig as she walked her bicycle across the street at Atchison and First streets in Riverbank.