SAN JOSE, Calif. - The most recent pedestrian killed in San Jose has been identified as 55-year-old grandmother, Maria Lopez. Lopez was walking with her boyfriend in a marked crosswalk on busy San Carlos Street at Brooklyn Avenue when a car hit them on Saturday night.
Police said it appears the couple did everything right. The driver told police she did not see them.
“Everybody’s mourning deeply,” said Lopez’s daughter Monica Pacheco. “Everyone considered her their second mother. She took in all of her cousins, all of her sisters.”
Lopez who went by Chuy and her boyfriend had just left their favorite Chinese restaurant around 7 p.m. and were headed to the 99 Cent store. Police said they were in the crosswalk when the driver of a white Ford Focus plowed into them.
“We are still conducting interviews with the driver but it appears they just didn't see occupants,” said Sgt. John Carr of San Jose Police.
Police said the driver in her 60s stopped. The couple was rushed to the hospital. Lopez died. Her boyfriend remains in critical condition.
Police are reviewing the traffic, lighting and possible distractions at the time. Neighbor Randy Reyes said a VTA bus also stopped and may have obstructed the driver's view. Reyes said drivers ignore the signals a lot.
“The city needs to come out, put lights on the ground, put red lights something else so they can see it from a distance,” said Reyes.
Police admit there have been crashes on the street before but said the problem city-wide is people don't pay attention and there needs to be more education.
“We haven't been doing a good job of educating,” said Sgt. Carr. “We need to make sure we do a good job of making sure when the flashing lights are out at an intersection for a pedestrian, walkway, crosswalk, the pedestrian always has the right of way.”
As for the family, they’re calling for more visible lighting at the intersection. Their lives are forever changed especially the grandchildren.
“Everywhere we go they are like grandma is not going to be here with me to go there,” said Pacheco. “She’s not going to take care of me. They got robbed from being with my mom.”
Police said drugs, alcohol, speed do not appear to be factors and the driver has a clean record. Once the police investigation wraps up, she could face manslaughter charges, worse if the boyfriend doesn't make it.