LIVERMORE, Calif. (KTVU) - More than 100 people gathered Monday for a candlelight vigil at a crosswalk in Livermore to remember a 26-year-old woman who was hit by a car and died crossing the street.
It happened early Sunday night on East Avenue near Jensen Street. Residents said the intersection is dangerous and more needs to be done to keep pedestrians safe.
Grieving loved ones of Yaneli Morales from Livermore came to the very intersection Monday night with candles and flowers.
"She was one of the cutest, beautiful girls you ever met," said Tony Morales, the victim's cousin. "She's one of the sweetest, hardworking girls."
It was 8:43 p.m. when a driver traveling toward downtown struck and killed her. David Domyancic said he arrived within a minute of Morales getting hit and saw her unresponsive with major head trauma.
"I've driven East Avenue a million times," said Domyancic. "As a driver, things just pop out in front of you."
Police said Morales was not in the crosswalk and that she was hit 100 feet away from it.
"Drivers and pedestrians have an equal responsibility, the slower you drive the better," said Livermore Police Sgt. Steve Goard.
"We saw police lights come on and her body right there," said Kassandra Young of Livermore.
Young lives at the apartments across the street and snapped pictures after the crash. She said when she saw the young woman's body lying on the road, she thought it could have been her 4-year-old son.
"It could have easily been him, me, my husband," said Young. "We've had cars not stopping even if they see the lights. There's no lights on the ground."
Neighbors call East Avenue a racetrack. They said drivers go well past the 30 miles per hour posted speed limit and the flashing crosswalk lights are too dull.
"Livermore has a responsibility to make sure there is enough visibility in crossing here," said Young. "They either need to put a stop sign in, a stoplight in, or put in new led lights on the ground so you are not focusing on the sides."
Concerned with schools in the area, residents said the lack of overhead lighting especially at night, a death was bound to happen.
"I want her life to mean something, that we can prevent other lives from being taken from this crosswalk," said Young.
Police said the driver, in his 50's and from Livermore, is cooperating and remained at the scene. They said it does not appear he was under the influence or even speeding and that he will likely not face criminal charges.
Police said the last time a pedestrian was killed at this intersection was in 2008.