SAN JOSE, Calif. - A family is mourning the loss of a loved one who became the latest victim in a pedestrian-vehicle accident in San Jose.
Investigators said on Monday that the impact of the collision was severe. The victim was stuck in the lower legs, and then went through the car's windshield.
"When someone dies, that’s a damn shame. I mean, it could be my wife. It could be my kid, god forbid," said resident Dan Pirofalo.
According to traffic investigators, at around 6:20 a.m. on Monday, a man was crossing Willow Street heading westbound at Meridian Avenue.That is when a woman driving a Honda Civic southbound on Meridian Avenue, struck and killed the man.
"It appears as the male pedestrian was in fact in the crosswalk at the time of the accident. (But) was crossing against a solid red light. That pedestrian did not have the right of way," said Steve Aponte of the San Jose Police Department.
Police said that the Honda driver remained at the scene and is cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
Investigators said this marks the 22nd fatal collision involving a pedestrian this year, and 37th fatal traffic accident.
These numbers represent a decrease from the same period last year when there were 26 fatal collisions between pedestrians and vehicles and 48 fatal traffic accidents.
"It’s not a data point. It’s an individual who’s lost their life," said District 9 councilwoman Pam Foley. "There’s emptiness in someone’s life because of that death."
Foley also leads San Jose's Vision Zero initiative and said that it's too early to determine if the safety measures already implemented by the city to reduce fatal pedestrian collisions are responsible for the declining numbers. These changes included narrowing high-traffic streets by removing lanes and adding protected bike lanes and crosswalks.
"We’re hopeful. We’re hopeful all of these things will result in lower fatalities," said Foley.
Despite having four crosswalks and reflective signage, some residents believe that the intersection of Meridian Avenue and Willow Street can be
"Just through here, no one really pays attention. It’s just, so much traffic. They don’t leave any room. And when they find an opening, they take it. And that’s what happens with a lot of the traffic that goes through here," said Pirofalo.
San Jose police said that they do not have any indication the intersection has seen more than its share of accidents, both fatal and non-fatal.