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Driver who hit pedestrian in crosswalk said she had a green light

A driver who hit a man in a downtown Santa Rosa crosswalk told officers she had a green light and that she never saw the man until he was in front of her car, police reported Monday.

Joe Dailey, 63, died late Saturday while at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. An autopsy was expected to be performed Tuesday.

He was hit April 18 at about 9:50 p.m., as he walked south across Fifth Street at Mendocino Avenue.

The driver, Vanessa Pritchard, 28, of Santa Rosa has cooperated with the investigation, Celli said.

Officers don't believe she'd been drinking and she said she hadn't been on her cell phone. Pritchard volunteered to take a blood test and she gave up her cell phone for investigators to review her call and text history.

Investigators also are attempting to determine how fast Pritchard was going.

“She said she didn't realize he was there until she struck him,” Celli said. “We're still looking for witnesses to come forward.”

Celli asked anyone with information to contact officers at 543-3636.

-- Randi Rossmann

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