Corina Falbo was driving home from the grocery store last week when she saw police clustered on Stony Point Road near an offramp from Highway 12 in west Santa Rosa.
She thought little of the commotion until she discovered that her 20-year-old daughter had not yet returned home from class at Santa Rosa Junior College and was not answering her calls, something that was unusual for her typically responsive daughter.
Her worst fears were confirmed when Falbo returned to the highway offramp at Stony Point Road.
“When I walked up to the policeman, he asked me my last name and he said, ‘I’m so sorry,’ ” Falbo said. “He was holding her (college) ID.”
Her daughter, Sidney Falbo, had been killed when she was run over by a dump truck while riding her bike to class at SRJC. More than one week later, investigators are still trying to piece together details of the deadly Oct. 30 accident.
While there were many people in the area when the collision occurred, few had a clear view of what happened. Officers found no surveillance video of the incident from local businesses, but a witness came to police and confirmed some of what they believe happened in the crash, said Sgt. Chad Heiser.
Sidney Falbo was taking her usual route, riding her yellow beach cruiser north on Stony Point Road toward the college from her home near Lawrence Cook Middle School.
The dump truck, driven by Donald Parisi, 58, of Sonoma, had just exited eastbound Highway 12 and was stopped on the offramp, waiting to turn south on Stony Point Road.
Police suspect Parisi waited for a pedestrian to cross Stony Point Road on a walk sign before making a right turn off Highway 12, Heiser said.
Meanwhile, Falbo rode her beach cruiser north on the western sidewalk, facing oncoming traffic as she approached the intersection, Heiser said.
Parisi, who had a green light, began turning after the pedestrian finished crossing the street. Falbo entered the intersection and collided with the dump truck after the front of the vehicle had already passed over the crosswalk, Heiser said. Police believe the walk signal was either over or flashing, indicating pedestrians have a short time to finish crossing.
“Under the circumstances that we understand, the dump truck had the right of way,” Heiser said. “I don’t know we will ever know why Sidney came off the sidewalk when she did.”
The crash was the third fatal collision in the high-traffic area over a span of just over six weeks. Falbo’s parents said they hope city officials will do more to ensure safety on the street, they said.
The 20-year-old grew up in a blended family, raised by both parents after their divorce, as well as a “second mom,” her parents said. She was creative by nature, taking up freehand drawing and spending her leisure time creating characters from her imagination.
“She had all these ideas in her head and when she figured out she could put them on paper well, she just ran with it,” said Falbo’s father, Tony Falbo.
Sidney Falbo was an older sister to two younger brothers, ages 6 and 4. She grew up in homes in Santa Rosa and Windsor and graduated in 2016 from Santa Rosa High School’s ArtQuest program, tailored for students with an interest in visual and performing arts.