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Man struck, killed in west Santa Rosa remembered as 'gentle soul'

An elderly man struck and killed by a suspected drunken driver as he stood outside of his car Tuesday was Earnest McGlee Slone, 81, of Santa Rosa.

The Sonoma County Coroner's Office on Wednesday released the man's name, which was withheld Tuesday night so his daughter could be notified before the name was made public.

Slone was about to get into his 1969 Cadillac at about 4 p.m. when he was hit.

Fatal West Santa Rosa Crash

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He was pronounced dead about 25 minutes later. It was the first fatal crash involving a pedestrian in Santa Rosa this year.

His car had been parked on the north side of Occidental Road, just west of Stony Point Road.

Sgt. Brad Conners said the man apparently had just done some food shopping at a nearby grocery store. He lived just blocks away at Valle Vista, a mobile home subdivision for seniors.

Several neighbors on the tidy cul-de-sac where Slone lived remembered him as a gentle man, a "good guy," who had an interest in antique cars and an extensive knowledge of world history.

Ronald Pope, who lived just a few doors down, said he did not know Slone well but that he often saw him sitting in a weathered chair on his front porch, apparently meditating.

"To me he was a very quiet guy; he stuck to himself," Pope recalled. However, when Pope and his wife were away and their dog-sitter got locked out of the house, it was Slone who came over to help.

"He was a gentle soul," said Phyllis Duckworth, who said she lived across from Slone since he moved into the neighborhood about 12 years ago.


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