Oakland, CA – In a heartbreaking incident on the afternoon of Tuesday, January 9, 2024, a hit-and-run claimed the life of 59-year-old Kim May Barranco, fondly known as “Ladybug” within her unhoused community, reports KTVU. The incident occurred just before 1 PM between the 2300 and 2400 blocks of San Pablo Avenue.
Despite her unhoused status, Barranco was a cherished figure in the community, with residents expressing deep sorrow over her tragic death. A makeshift memorial with flowers and a women’s athletic shoe now marks the site where the fatal collision transpired.
The intersection, characterized by fast-moving traffic and a wide center median, has long been a concern for pedestrians. Jaywalking is prevalent due to convenience, and community members have raised issues about the lack of traffic enforcement in the area.
Anthony Butts, a member of the community organization Oakland Living Learning Center, emphasized Barranco’s positive impact, stating, “She was unhoused, but she was so good for our community, everybody loved her, and everybody knew her. Everybody respected her, no matter what was going on in her life.”
Butts shed light on the challenges posed by speeding vehicles in the vicinity, comparing the conditions to a freeway. He lamented the recklessness of some drivers, noting, “This is like (Interstate) 880. You’ll see cars going 40, 50, 60, 70 mph going down the street.”
The hit-and-run incident occurred when Barranco was struck by a vehicle that fled the scene, heading north on San Pablo Avenue. The involved vehicle is believed to have been traveling above the speed limit.
Despite the prompt response from Oakland firefighters, Barranco was pronounced dead at the scene. The Oakland Police Department is actively investigating the case, urging individuals with information or video surveillance footage related to the incident to come forward.
Recovery Options for Victims of Hit-and-Run Pedestrian Accidents
If the hit-and-run driver is apprehended, it may be possible for those overseeing the burial of a victim like Barranco to seek restitution from that driver’s insurance provider by filing a wrongful death claim. However, even in cases where determining fault might seem indisputable, it remains within the insurance company’s interest to make attempts to deny or reduce the payout from such claims. This is where the assistance of a skilled personal injury attorney can make all the difference in seeking justice for pedestrian victims of hit-and-run accidents.