A Santa Rosa man killed after he was struck by a car while he rode a skateboard across Mendocino Avenue was legally intoxicated, Santa Rosa police said Monday.
Joe Hyland, 24, had a blood-alcohol level of .28 percent, more than three times the legal limit if he’d been operating a vehicle, said Sgt. Rich Celli.
Traffic investigators have been investigating the fatal collision for a month. They completed their report on Monday.
Hyland was riding across the four-lane avenue at Benton Street the night of March 25 when he was hit by a 2000 BMW driven by Mansor Mickel, 28, of Santa Rosa.
Hyland was thrown from his board and died from his injuries.
Investigators determined Hyland was at fault.
“It appeared he darted out into the roadway and we believe the influence of alcohol was a factor in his decision-making,” Celli said.
A blood test also confirmed that the driver, Mickel, was not intoxicated at the time of the collision, Celli said.
Hyland was remembered by family, friends and co-workers as a charismatic young man, a talented artist and a generous friend.
He’d been employed by Pacific Market and Sandy’s Pizza at the Town and Country shopping center.
Hyland was one of four people killed in Sonoma County collisions with vehicles since late last year.
Two of the deaths were in Santa Rosa, including a 63-year-old man who died Saturday.
This spring a blind couple also was hit and injured while walking in a Santa Rosa crosswalk.
Santa Rosa police said they will increase efforts aimed at battling the number of collisions involving vehicles and walkers, bike riders and skateboarders, Celli said.
Officers have been conducting added enforcement by ticketing drivers and pedestrians. Police said they will step up a campaign to educate locals about crosswalk safety.
“We currently have a bicycle and pedestrian safety program being conducted, we’re in the second year of a two-year grant,” said Celli.
“Although our efforts have increased over the last several years, we still need to increase the message on the importance of safety,” he said.
Petaluma police officers investigated a series of similar collisions last fall in their city. They then conducted an education campaign as part of officers’ attempts to reduce the problem. The number of such crashes this year has dropped significantly compared to last year.