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Pedestrian gravely injured in Santa Rosa crosswalk

A pedestrian suffered life-threatening injuries Saturday night when he was struck by a car as he walked across Mission Boulevard in Santa Rosa.

A preliminary investigation concluded the man was in the crosswalk when he was hit, said police at the scene of the 7:10 p.m. accident.

The victim, who appeared to be in his twenties, was taken to Memorial Hospital in Santa Rosa. His name was not immediately known, said Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Brad Conners.

The accident was on the east side of Mission Boulevard at Randall Lane. The street, a heavily traveled thoroughfare between Highway 12 and Montecito Boulevard, remained closed in both directions more than two hours after the accident as investigators pored over the scene.

Passersby and neighbors stood around in clusters and complained about how dangerous the crosswalk is. Equipment left by emergency crews lay in the street around torn clothing about 40 feet from the crosswalk. A stream of blood ran to the curb.

A Kaiser Permanente Medical Center emergency room nurse drove up on the accident before emergency crews arrived and jumped out to minister to the victim.

“I just tried to keep his airway open until medics got here, but it was bad,” said the nurse, a man who declined to give his name as he waited to be interviewed by investigators.

The car that struck the victim was driven by a 40-year-old Santa Rosa man who was going northbound on Mission Boulevard, Conners said. His name was not available.

There was no indication the driver was impaired by alcohol or drugs, Conners said.

The crosswalk is to the north of the intersection, and on Saturday night it was dimly lit by three streetlights, one of which regularly blinked off for about a minute at a time.

“That’s one of the first things that residents asked me, ‘What can we do about that?’” Conners said about the low lighting.

At the scene, residents said the crosswalk was dangerous because it is located just north of a curve in a street that drivers frequently travel at speeds that seem dangerous.

“People don’t even see you until that squad car over there,” said Travis Taylor, pointing to a spot about 30 or 40 feet south of the crosswalk, where a police car sat with its lights flashing.

“We’re scared to cross it,” said Yuritza Rivera. “It’s really dangerous because lots of cars come really quickly and they don’t see the crosswalk.”

Conners said there is no indication that speed was a factor, but agreed that “people tend to drive fast down Mission.”

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