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Santa Rosa pedestrian hospitalized after hit by pickup

A Santa Rosa man who suffered broken bones when hit by a pickup while in a crosswalk was recovering Monday at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

Wilfred Willis, 72, suffered fractures in his pelvis, contusions and other injuries Friday while crossing Calistoga Road at Marit Drive, his family said.

"He's lucky to be alive, he is truly lucky," said his son, Todd Willis, who lives with his father on Calistoga Road.

Willis had left home to walk to a nearby Safeway to get milk, his son said.

The pickup's driver, Myles Hoover, 87, of Santa Rosa, had just pulled out of a parking lot for Triple S Auto Care onto Calistoga Road when he hit Willis at 5:10 p.m., Santa Rosa Police Lt. Jerry Soares said.

"He said he never saw the pedestrian before he hit him," Soares said.

Willis' son said he ran outside when he heard the sirens.

"I saw trucks and thought, 'Oh, God, please don't let it be my dad,' " he said.

The elder Willis did not lose consciousness and remained alert, police said.

Hoover struck Willis at a slow speed, although the exact speed was unclear, Soares said.

He said Hoover was at fault for failing to yield to a pedestrian, but officers found no criminal fault and Hoover wasn't cited or arrested.

Hoover's license had been suspended because of an unpaid ticket for a seat belt violation, but he didn't know about the suspension because he recently moved, Soares said. Police issued him formal notice of his suspension.

Willis is facing months of rehabilitation.

"It's going to be four months before he can walk again," his son said.

The section of Calistoga Road includes one lane in each direction as well as bike and turn lanes. The crosswalk is marked with paint and pedestrian signs.

But Todd Willis said the crosswalk is busy enough with the nearby St. Francis Shopping Center to warrant flashing pedestrian lights.

"We can't change distracted drivers," he said. "But what we can possibly change is to get the lights turned on."

You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 521-5220, julie.johnson@pressdemocrat.com or on Twitter @jjpressdem.

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