A Rohnert Park man attempting to run across northbound Highway 101 near Todd Road in Santa Rosa on Wednesday fractured all four of his limbs when he was hit by a car.
The accident happened at 8:34 a.m., shortly after Jonathan White, 32, pumped $3.30 of gas into a gas can at the Rotten Robbie gas station on the east side of the freeway.
White was in critical condition Wednesday night at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.
CHP officers said White had been a passenger in a van that had stalled near the southbound offramp on the west side of the freeway. Instead of using the nearby overpass, White crossed the freeway on foot to reach the gas station.
Cathy Decker, a Rotten Robbie employee, said White dumped a handful of "pennies, dimes, nickels and one quarter" on the counter. "He said his kids were late for school and he'd run out of gas," she said.
Another customer, a woman who had seen how frantic White was, offered to give him a ride to the other side of the freeway but he refused. Moments later, White was struck by a northbound vehicle in the carpool lane, Decker said.
CHP Sgt. Alan Capurro said White ran directly in front of a 2000 VW Jetta. "He struck the windshield with his head," Capurro said, adding that White was thrown up against the center median.
Capurro said all four of White's limbs were fractured from the impact; his legs received compound fractures. He was taken to Memorial Hospital and underwent surgery.
Decker said she didn't see or hear the impact, but saw traffic come to a stop.
"He got hit by the onramp area," she said. "His shoe was on the freeway and his pants were around his ankles . . . I wanted to cry. It was sad. Life changes so fast."
Traffic was brought to a standstill while emergency crews dealt with the collision. Traffic returned to normal after about an hour and a half.
CHP officials interviewed a woman in the van. The children were not related to White, Capurro said.
CHP officials are investigating whether White was impaired. There was no information available about the driver who hit White.
You can reach Staff Writer Martin Espinoza at 521-5213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.