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Blind woman, 97, dies after Petaluma crosswalk crash

A 97-year-old legally blind Petaluma woman has died from injuries suffered five days earlier when she was hit by a vehicle while walking in an eastside crosswalk, Petaluma police reported Monday.

Mary Friman died Friday at 3:45 a.m. at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center. She'd been hospitalized since the March 17 collision.

Friman was struck while walking to church from her nearby residence in a senior housing complex, said Petaluma Lt. Tim Lyons.

Friman reportedly enjoyed the short walk to the St. James Catholic Church on Sonoma Mountain Parkway. The elderly woman had been offered a ride to Mass on previous Sundays but turned down the offers, saying she preferred to walk, Lyons said.

Friman was crossing East Washington Street at Sonoma Mountain Parkway just before 9 a.m. on March 17. Before she got across the street she was struck by a vehicle driven by Jan Recob, 62, of Petaluma.

After the collision Friman told officers she was able to see shapes and could tell a vehicle was coming toward her but thought it would stop.

Recob told officers she hadn't seen the woman because the sun was in her eyes as the driver made a left turn from Sonoma Mountain Parkway onto East Washington.

Recob wasn't injured but was very distraught, officers reported.

The crash remains under investigation, Lyons said. The case will be given to the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office for a determination if the driver should be prosecuted for the woman's death.

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


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