Three pedestrians struck in single week

CHP reports three vehicle versus pedestrian collisions in Tulare County between Monday, Aug. 9 and Saturday, Aug. 15

TULARE COUNTY – A third pedestrian in a week’s time was struck by a car last Saturday.

According to a California Highway Patrol (CHP) collision report, at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 15, officers from the CHP Visalia area office responded to a call of a traffic collision on Avenue 416 east of Road 125, with medical personnel responding.

During the initial investigation it was determined Francisco Lopez, 47, from Orosi was attempting to walk northbound, across Avenue 416. Ruel Baniaga, 64, also from Orosi was driving a 1997 Nissan eastbound on Avenue 416, east of Road 125, in the No. 2 lane at approximately 20 mph.

For unknown reasons Lopez entered the roadway, walking northbound directly into the path of the Nissan. The front of the Nissan struck Lopez, causing him to fall to the roadway. Baniaga stopped and waited for emergency personnel to arrive. Lopez was transported from the scene to Kaweah Health Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

Two other pedestrians were struck last Wednesday, Aug. 11 and Monday, Aug. 9. Those collision reports are below.

CHP Collision Reports

Wednesday, Aug. 11
At approximately 8:55 p.m., officers from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Porterville area office responded to a call of a traffic collision on Avenue 196 east of Orange Belt Drive, with medical personnel responding. During the initial investigation it was determined Roger Rea, 37, from Visalia was standing upon the north shoulder of Avenue 196 east of Orange Belt Drive. David Bunch, 62, also of Visalia was driving a 2016 Ford F-350 westbound on Avenue 196, east of Orange Belt Drive in the No. 1 lane, and was traveling at 35 mph. For an undetermined reason, Rea ran across Avenue 196 in a southerly direction, outside a marked crosswalk, directly in front of Bunch. Bunch applied the Ford’s brakes but still struck Rea. Rea was launched forward and came to rest upon the roadway. Emergency medical personnel immediately arrived on scene. Due to Rea’s major injuries, he was subsequently transported via ground ambulance to Kaweah Health Medical Center. Rea was alert and responsive at the scene of the traffic collision.

Monday, Aug. 9
At approximately 9:45 p.m., Officers from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Visalia Area Office responded to a call of a traffic collision on Avenue 216 east of Road 68, with medical personnel responding. the scene and investigated the crash. During the initial investigation it was determined a male pedestrian, wearing dark clothing was walking northbound across the eastbound lane of Avenue 216, east of Road 68, near Tulare. Simultaneously, a 2021 Ford F-250 being driven by Michael Ramos, 41, from Corcoran was driving eastbound on Avenue 216, approaching the pedestrian. As Ramos came upon the pedestrian, he was unable to avoid hitting him even after swerving to the right at the last second. The pedestrian sustained major injuries from the crash and was transported to Tulare District Hospital by ambulance. The pedestrian later succumbed to his injuries. The identity of the pedestrian is unknown at this time. Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor. Anyone with information regarding this crash should contact the Visalia CHP Office at 559-734-6767, attention Officer R. Pimentel #21249.

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