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Residents blame driver, unsafe crosswalk in boy's death

  • At Rockwell Place and West Ninth Street in Santa Rosa, Friday August 19, 2011 children gathered at a shrine dedicated to a boy who was struck and killed in a crosswalk by driver Marcos Lopez Garcia, 22, Thursday evening. The four year-old died of his injuries at Oakland Children's Hospital. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2011

They came alone and in groups on Friday, carrying sorrow and anger to the Santa Rosa crosswalk where an unlicensed hit-and-run driver struck a 4-year-old boy who later died.

"His parents must be devastated," said Alma Rodriguez, who came with her teenage daughter to "show our respect to the family."

She and others brought flowers and stuffed animals and called for safety measures at the busy West Ninth Street and Rockwell Place intersection.

"I worry so much," said Maria Gomez, 35, who has three children, aged 3 to 9, and lives in an apartment complex that looks over the intersection.

"I'd like to see them put a light there, or at least a stop sign, because people respect those."

Police said the suspect, Marcos Lopez Garcia, 22, was cited for driving without a license less than a week before Thursday's accident about 6 p.m. He is suspected of plowing through the crosswalk and hitting the boy as he crossed the street with his mother and sisters.

The boy, a Brush Creek Nursery School student whom police have yet to identify, died Friday morning at Oakland Children's Hospital.

"It's absolutely tragic," said Julie MacDonald, the school's director, describing him as a "sweet, sensitive, mild-mannered...boy who would crawl up in your lap and want some hugging, lots of loving."

She declined to name the boy.

Garcia was cited once for unlicensed driving last year and then again last SaturdayAug. 13, , when he was ordered not to drive, Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Rich Celli said Friday.


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