Car vs. pedestrian accidents worry Santa Rosa police

A Santa Rosa traffic sergeant says police are "pulling our hair out" trying to find the key to ending a spate of vehicle vs. pedestrian accidents on city streets.

"The fact that this is just an ongoing theme, it's disturbing, and it's everyone's fault" - sometimes the driver's, sometimes pedestrians', said Sgt. Rich Celli.

Traffic Sgt. Lance Badger said pedestrians too often forget their right-of-way in a crosswalk doesn't make them invulnerable.

Other times, motorists drive too fast for dark or rainy conditions, Celli said.

But "unfortunately," Badger said, "there's not a pedestrian-vehicle collision where the pedestrian wins."

Investigators have found the driver at fault in a case from earlier this month in which a man struck and injured a blind couple on West Third Street.

Police plan to seek a complaint through the District Attorney's Office charging Santa Rosa driver Gregg Jann with failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.

The offense is an infraction - the same violation for which a motorist might be ticketed without hitting someone - because no one was fatally injured, Celli said. It carries a fine of about $154, according to a statewide bail schedule.

The day after the incident, a woman and a 3-year-old child barely escaped injury while crossing Stony Point Road a mile away, Celli said.

Friday night, a 24-year-old Santa Rosa man was hit and killed in a Mendocino Avenue crosswalk. Friends said he might have been on a skateboard, though it wasn't clear Saturday.

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