Man in Wheelchair Seriously Hurt in Santa Rosa Hit-and-Run Crash

bilde.jpgPhoto: Jeff Kan Lee, Press Democrat

The troubling photo you see above is what was left of a man’s wheelchair after he was hit by a driver early this morning in a crosswalk at the intersection of Guerneville Road and Range Avenue near the Coddingtown Mall in Santa Rosa. The 24-year-old driver initially fled the scene but returned a short while later with his father, according to the Press Democrat, which, despite the gruesome visual evidence and the fact the wheelchair user was in a crosswalk, still calls the event an "accident":

The victim was apparently southbound in a crosswalk on the east side
of the intersection of Guerneville Road and Range Avenue shortly after
6 a.m. when he was hit and his crumpled chair thrust clear across the
intersection where he was ejected onto the pavement, police said.

His
shoes, a knit hat, a canvas bag and other belongings were flung across
the intersection, interspersed with broken headlights bits, a license
plate and other car parts.

A passing semi driver came upon the
scene in what would have been the dark before dawn and reported what he
thought was a fallen pedestrian, authorities said.

Police are apparently having trouble finding witnesses. The driver was being interviewed by police but we don’t know yet if he’s been arrested, and whether he’ll face any charges. Last we heard the victim was in surgery.

  • Jeffrey W. Baker

    In Google Earth it appears to be the oblique intersection of a 70-foot-wide road with a 50-foot-wide road, where the street corners have been helpfully chamfered so the cars don’t have to slow down below 60 MPH. Someone wanting to cross the Guerneville Road on the west side is forced to take a 350-foot excursion in a U-shape involving 4 separate crossings.

    Good candidate for road diet.

  • mcas

    …you think the driver returned only because s/he realized the license plate was at the scene…?

    I’d love to hear the criminal claim that they returned out of the goodness of their own heart. That’ll be laughable.

    But, geez, Bryan– that photo is horrific.

  • Dane

    By ‘calls the event an “accident”‘, do you mean to imply that the driver hit this man on purpose?

    -Dane

  • Dane, if you’ve found this blog, you know the complaint. “Accident”, is a soft word that implies a lack of negligence. Certainly a drunk driver doesn’t intend to cause a crash that results in multiple fatalities, but when it happens it’s not really surprising.

    The man was hit in the crosswalk. This is where he is supposed to be. Cars being navigated through crosswalks are meant to not hit things in crosswalks. Doing so is a mistake, not an accident. People make mistakes. Some would claim that people who make mistakes while driving should not be driving. I’ve made a few in my lifetime, it certainly has affected my current behavior – I drive much less, and when I do drive I drive very carefully. I make this choice not because I am afraid of losing my license, but because I would be very despondent if I failed in my duty to navigate a dangerous piece of machinery without incident. This attitude is shared by very few people.

    And regardless of whether he hit someone on purpose, it’s pretty safe to assume he fled the scene on purpose. Good to see he came back.

  • Especially chilling was the police saying that the driver was probably just scared. The driver’s failure to call for help may have made a difference in this victim’s prognosis, yet the cop’s reaction was to make excuses for hit-and-run behavior.

  • Especially chilling was the police saying that the driver probably left the scene because he was scared. The driver may have made a difference in the victim’s prognosis had he stopped and called for help, yet the cop so identifies with the perpetrator that he makes excuses for him.