Pedestrian struck, killed by SUV
59-year-old Fremont woman was reportedly in Old Santa Rita Road-Rosewood Drive crosswalk when hit
A 59-year-old woman died Monday after she was hit by an SUV at the intersection of Rosewood Drive and Old Santa Rita Road, according to police.
Originally reported by police to be 41 years old, the victim was later identified by the coroner as Veena Chitkara, 59, of Fremont.
Police said a 71-year-old Pleasanton woman was driving northbound on Old Santa Rita Road in a 2004 Ford Excursion. A witness told police that the driver was fully stopped at a stop sign when preparing to turn right onto Rosewood Drive, according to police.
Emergency crews were notified of the accident at about 12:45 p.m. The victim was found in the middle of the intersection with life-threatening injuries. Just blocks away from ValleyCare Medical Center, she was transported there by ambulance and pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
Lt. Tom Fenner said the investigation is ongoing and that police would identify the driver at the close of the investigation. He said Chitkara was believed to be in the crosswalk at the time of impact.
"It appears [the driver] was most likely looking left at traffic and pulled forward thinking it was clear," Fenner said. "At the exact same moment, the victim had stepped off the curb, walking westbound."
Fenner said the case was one of the more "simple but tragic" incidents of this nature he has seen in years.
"[The driver] is very, very upset and feels really bad," he said, adding that she had a valid driver's license and no drugs or alcohol were believed to be involved. "She was trying to do everything right. It's easy to look one direction and not the other. There wasn't eye contact made [between the driver and the pedestrian] and unfortunately, in this one moment, that was critical."
This is the second pedestrian-related collision in three months. A 51-year-old woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition May 22 after she was hit by an SUV at the intersection of First and Neal streets downtown.
Fenner said the woman injured in May is still recovering from serious injuries.
In a report on Monday's incident, police said "drivers and pedestrians are reminded to remain vigilant while driving or walking in areas where they may come in conflict with each other."
Police said they recently conducted and are planning more educational and enforcement actions related to street safety. The last enforcement took place at Santa Rita Road and Francisco Street a week ago, about two miles from Monday's accident. During the enforcement, plain clothes officers act as pedestrians in crosswalks. Fenner said officers sometimes deliver citations and also talk with drivers to remind them of the laws.