Police ID pedestrian struck, killed on Stony Point Road in Santa Rosa
A man crossing Stony Point Road in southwest Santa Rosa was killed early Wednesday, the second fatal pedestrian crash in the city in less than a week, and the third person on foot, as well as two people riding bikes who died on the road since summer.
Officers said it was still dark and raining just after 7 a.m. when Richard Anthony Burns, 53, of Santa Rosa, started to cross Stony Point Road just south of Hearn Avenue. Burns was not in a crosswalk as he walked toward the east side of Stony Point at Barndance Lane, police said.
Esteban Garcia Martinez, 18, of Santa Rosa was driving northbound at about 40 mph when he struck Burns, who’d almost gotten to the other side of the road, city Police Sgt. Summer Gloeckner said. Martinez told police he didn’t see Burns until it was too late so he didn’t have a chance to brake.
Martinez stopped after hitting the man and multiple people called for help. At least one witness told 911 dispatchers it was difficult for the driver to see Burns walking across the road. He died from the impact of the collision with Martinez’s car.
Amalia Coronel was doing yardwork on the front lawn of her Stony Point Road home when she heard the crash. She turned and saw Burns’ body, which had flown into her mailbox and ripped it partially out of the ground.
“I think he died from the impact with the mailbox pole, because it was stuck into the concrete below,” she said. “His shoes flew off and one hit the wall of the house next door.”
The road in front of Coronel’s house gets a lot of foot traffic, with people walking across the road outside of crosswalks frequently to get to a nearby liquor store, she said. Motorists coming from the traffic light at Stony Point Road and Hearn Avenue, a quarter-mile from the crash site, often drive much faster than they should, she said.
She was shocked when the police told her Martinez would not be arrested for the crash.
“He could have seen him,” Coronel said. “My view is cars should stop when someone’s crossing the road.”
Investigators interviewed Martinez, who cooperated, and officers determined he wasn’t impaired.
Karen Soldinski, who dated Burns and lived with him for 15 years, said he was a “fun-loving man” who was “loved by everyone he came in contact with.” He worked as a caretaker and had three sisters, two brothers plus nieces and nephews who he loved to be around, she said.
“When normal adults wouldn’t play games with them, he would play games with them. Even dress-up with the girls,” she said.
Burns loved to go to Disneyland in Southern California, and bought season passes most years, Soldinski said.
“We would go as many times as three to four times a year. He just loved Disneyland. That was his favorite place in the whole wide world,” she said.
A second man, Michael Campbell, 25, died in east Santa Rosa on Friday when a car struck him as he walked along westbound Highway 12 near Middle Rincon Road about 1:20 a.m. Driver Daniel Bazzoli of Santa Rosa didn’t stop but later turned himself in to police and was arrested on suspicion of felony hit‑and‑run.