A 25-year-old Pleasanton native living in Napa died after being struck by an SUV while walking along Highway 29 on Saturday night.
Erik Keith Woodward, a 2012 graduate of Foothill High School, was pronounced dead at the scene in what authorities are initially describing as a nighttime accident along the Napa highway.
Woodward relocated to Napa about six months ago to share a house with cousins while pursuing a new career as a delivery driver, according to an obituary posted by a family friend on the Weekly's Lasting Memories page.
Born in Fremont, Woodward moved with his family to Pleasanton as a young child and would go on to attend Lydiksen Elementary, Hart Middle and Foothill High schools. Growing up, Woodward tried his hand at various sports and activities before discovering two main passions -- skateboarding and cooking -- according to his obituary.
Woodward pursued a chef career after enrolling in Diablo Valley College's culinary arts program and worked for a time at The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards in Livermore, according to his obituary. Finding it difficult to make ends meet as an aspiring chef, he decided to move to Napa and recently completed training to become a full-time UPS driver.
The 25-year-old was not far from his home in Napa when the fatal collision occurred.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Woodward was walking on the shoulder of northbound Highway 29 around 9 p.m. Saturday near the Napa Premium Outlets just south of First Street when he tried to cross the highway and was struck in the No. 1 fast lane.
The 51-year-old Concord man driving the GMC SUV told officers he was unable to veer out of the way of Woodward to avoid a collision, according to the CHP. The driver, who has not been identified publicly, showed no signs of impairment, the CHP said.
The driver suffered minor injuries, and Woodward was pronounced dead at the scene at 9:12 p.m., according to the Napa County Sheriff's Office.
Woodward is survived by his parents Denise and Fred and his brothers Shane and CJ, as well as grandparents and other family members.
A memorial service has been scheduled for 11:30 a.m. next Wednesday (April 24) at 11:30 a.m. at Berge Pappas Smith Chapel of the Angels in Fremont, with a reception to follow that afternoon at 1 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building in downtown Pleasanton. More information can be found in his online obituary.