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Girl, 6, hit by car, injured in Santa Rosa crosswalk

A 6-year-old Santa Rosa girl was hit by a car Wednesday as she walked to school, becoming the third pedestrian to be struck by a vehicle in two days in Sonoma County.

The girl, whose name was not released, was in a crosswalk at Humboldt and Benton streets when she was hit by a slow-moving car at 8:07 a.m. She suffered a broken leg, according to initial reports, and was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

She had been walking with her 10-year-old brother and may have darted into the crosswalk while on her way to Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts, Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Rich Celli said.

The driver, whose identity wasn't available, had been watching for other cars in the area as parents dropped off students, Celli said. Traffic officers still were investigating whether the girl entered the crosswalk without looking and if the driver was distracted.

Celli asked witnesses to call officers at 543-3636.

Meanwhile, an 11-year-old Petaluma girl was in critical condition Wednesday at an Oakland hospital one day after she was hit by a car while leaving school, Petaluma police said.

Mercy Martinez was flown to Children's Hospital, where she was scheduled to undergo surgery today for broken bones. She was being treated in the intensive-care unit, Petaluma Lt. Tim Lyons said.

The accident occurred Tuesday afternoon while Martinez and an 11-year-old friend were crossing Ellis Street near McKinley Elementary School in east Petaluma. The girls, who were not in a crosswalk, were running across the street to a candy store at a nearby strip mall, Lyons said.

An oncoming van swerved and missed the friend, but hit and ran over Martinez.

The second girl, who wasn't identified, apparently fell and hit her head. She was treated at Petaluma Valley Hospital.

Police determined the girls were at fault.

Extra police officers were patrolling at the school Wednesday and police chaplains also had been talking with the girl's family, Lyons said.

The spate of accidents started Tuesday morning, when a 78-year-old woman was hit while walking with two friends along Linnet Way in east Petaluma.

Mary Lee suffered serious injuries and was taken initially to Petaluma Valley Hospital.

Lee was struck by a car with an iced-over windshield that obscured the view of the driver, Weizen Frias, 25, of Petaluma, police said. Frias also told officers the sun was his eyes as he turned onto Linnet Way.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or randi.rossmann@pressdemocrat.com.

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