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Pacifica man killed in Santa Rosa hit-run was in town for healing session

A Bay Area man who was struck and killed Wednesday on Montgomery Drive near Spring Lake had come to Santa Rosa to seek healing when he was instead left for dead on the side of the road, a family member said.

G. Michael Black, 64, of Pacifica, had parked his car on a wide shoulder of Montgomery Drive near the North Dam of Spring Lake but was on a narrower stretch of road to the west, where there is almost no shoulder at all, when he was fatally struck, police said.

Authorities were still looking Thursday for the driver of a light-colored sedan seen speeding away from the scene of Wednesday's 1:08 p.m. crash.

Hit-And-Run Crash Near Spring Lake

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There were no eyewitnesses, but at least two passers-by -- one in a car and one on a bike -- arrived moments later to see a four-door sedan, possibly a newer model Series-300 Mercedes-Benz, either white, cream-colored or silver, speeding away eastbound, Sgt. Mike Numainville said. The vehicle would likely have front-end damage, police said.

Police were re-interviewing witnesses Thursday to try to verify the make and model of the car, and were asking anyone who knows anything about the incident to call the traffic division at 543-3636.

A Marin County woman who was in a caravan of drivers on a field trip with first-graders leaving the park at the time said she took note of a white Mercedes with an older driver who seemed "very distracted" as he turned right into the park from Montgomery Drive and veered close enough to her car that she beeped her horn.

But police said witnesses who found Black fatally injured on the south edge of the road thought they saw a younger, dark-haired driver, perhaps in his 30s, at the wheel, police said.

Black's sister-in-law, Lee Wilkins Black, of Columbia, Mo., said the former professor had driven to Santa Rosa with a friend to attend some kind of nontraditional healing session. They were supposed to meet for lunch before heading back to the Bay Area.

Black apparently was alone on Montgomery Drive, however, presumably to visit the park, though it wasn't certain. Lee Wilkins Black said her brother-in-law enjoyed walks on the beach near his home in Pacifica.

Raised in Portland, Ore., Michael Lee had a doctorate in political science from the University of Oregon and taught at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., the New Jersey Institute of Technology and at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont.


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