MERCED, Calif. (KGPE) – In the past four days, Merced Police have been involved in two pedestrian fatalities.
“This is tragic, not only for the Merced Police Department but for the officers involved, for the families involved,” Lieutenant Emily Foster said.
The first incident happened on Thursday night on G and 15 Streets. According to police, an officer hit and killed 82-year-old Josefa Blandon, who they say was walking in the roadway.
The second incident happened on Sunday morning, just a few blocks away on G and 18 Streets. Police say a man was first hit by a sedan, then, an officer responding to the call hit him a second time.
“When the officer was responding, it appears that the officer did not see the pedestrian still in the roadway,” Foster said.
Both officers have been put on administrative leave and the California Highway Patrol is investigating both incidents.
“We have to do measurements and talk to all the witnesses that we have,” said CHP Officer Eric Zuniga.
We talked to a woman who lives on G Street and saw the second incident occur. She says she doesn’t let her children play outside because the road has too much heavy traffic and not enough well-lit crosswalks.
“I don’t even let them play basketball out here because I’m afraid it’s going to go out into the street and cause a crash. People are unpredictable,” she said.
Lauren Kham also lives on G Street. She says she avoids driving or walking her dog at night because the roads are too dark and there are too many pedestrians who recklessly walk into traffic.
“People are always racing up and down this road, and all of these roads are very dark. You can’t stop for someone you can’t see,” she said.