The search is underway for a big rig driver who struck and killed a Merced County pedestrian. The hit-and-run accident occurred Tuesday afternoon on State Route 33 at the northbound I-5 off-ramp on Tuesday afternoon.
KFSN-TV reports that the California Highway Patrol received a call about the tragic accident just after 1 p.m. on November 1, 2022. Investigators say that a semi-truck was traveling northbound on State Route 33 when a pedestrian fell into the roadway from the sidewalk. The back tires struck and killed the victim.
CHP officers do not know if the truck’s driver realized what happened. Witnesses described the big rig as having a white trailer, but no other identifying information was given. Investigators continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident.
Anyone who has information about the accident is asked to call the California Highway Patrol’s Los Banos office.
Pedestrian Accident Dangers in Merced County
Pedestrians in rural Merced County can’t count on having crosswalks and footbridges to safely get them from one point to another. They are often forced to remain close to the rush of traffic and are always at risk of getting hit by a careless driver.
California’s Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS) documented 97 pedestrian accidents involving injury in Merced County in 2021. 17 people lost their lives in those accidents. At least two of the accidents occurred along State Route 33, with at least one fatality reported.
These alarming statistics show that pedestrians travel at elevated risk no matter where they are in the Central Valley. It’s critical that car, SUV, and truck drivers all try to pay more attention to the roads and more attention to the pedestrians who may travel nearby.
Just the simple act of slowing down five or ten miles per hour can be the difference between a close call and a heartbreaking collision.
A word about car accidents in Merced County…
If a loved one has been the victim of a truck accident, you should be aware of the benefits available to you and your family through a wrongful death insurance claim. Financial support should be expected to help with the burdens families face after a devastating pedestrian crash.
You can read more about these wrongful death cases on my pages about Merced Pedestrian Accident Insurance Claims.