Woman, 69, hit by van in Petaluma dies; police arrest driver
Police arrested a Petaluma woman Tuesday morning on suspicion of hit-and-run driving in a collision that killed a 69-year-old Rohnert Park woman in Petaluma over the weekend.
The driver, June Humphrey, was taken to the Sonoma County Jail after she turned herself in to police. Humphrey, 48, was driving on South McDowell Boulevard about 7:30 p.m. Saturday when she struck Linda Bartizal, who was walking in the crosswalk at Caulfield Lane, according to Petaluma traffic Sgt. Ron Klein. The impact knocked Bartizal about 50 feet.
Bartizal was walking against the traffic light, according to two witnesses who also told police the driver stopped briefly before leaving.
The witnesses couldn’t give a license plate but were able to describe the vehicle - a van - and within an hour an officer spotted a possible match parked at the Rooster Run Golf Course on East Washington Street. The Chrysler van had damage to a front headlight and the windshield, including “physical evidence from the pedestrian,” said Klein in a news release.
The vehicle was registered to Humphrey.
Further investigation led officers to the suspect and her attorney and she agreed to turn herself in. She showed up Tuesday morning and was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and booked into the jail with bail at $20,000.
Bartizal had been taken to Santa Rosa Memorial hospital with life-threatening injuries, including a severed spinal cord, broken ribs, a punctured lung and several fractures to her pelvis.
She died at the hospital Sunday morning, Klein said.
Bartizal had been staying with friends on the east side of Petaluma. Klein did not know why she was out for a walk.
“They left to go to dinner and for some reason she decided she needed to go somewhere.”
Staff Writer Christi Warren contributed to this report.