SOUTH SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A 71-year-old woman and a 6-year-old boy are fighting for their lives after being struck by a hit-and-run driver.
Police say that driver, a 22-year-old man, first fled the scene but has since turned himself in and is in police custody.
The crash happened Wednesday afternoon in South Sacramento on Freeport Boulevard near Fruitridge and Irwin Way.
“It just sickens me, makes me sick at heart,” said neighbor Dan Brown.
The victims were rushed to UC Davis Medical Center.
“I’ve seen this kind of stuff before on this corner,” said Bernard Perez.
Perez says it was just after 3 p.m. Wednesday when he heard the commotion outside his home and ran out, anxious about what he’d see.
“I came out my door and saw two people on the ground—a young boy and his mother or someone related to him,” he said.
Sacramento police say the elderly woman and young child were apparently crossing Freeport Boulevard near Oregon Drive when they were hit by a driver traveling northbound, who did not stop.
“Our investigators are out here taking all the time they need because we need to find all the answers related to this collision,” said Officer Vance Chandler with Sacramento Police.
“The roads are really busy here, so I don’t understand why they removed the crosswalks,” said neighbor Rexx Kilgore.
People who live in the area say there used to be a painted crosswalk in the very location where belongings of the victims from clothes to shoes were scattered on the ground.
Many are furious because the city removed the crosswalk just a few months ago with little to no notice.
“The city came in, took it out, cut the pedestrian warning sign off, and when I asked them why? They said we were ordered to do this,” said Perez.
“The city failed its responsibility, and we have to reopen this issue. We need flashers if someone’s crossing to get the cars to slow down or people are going to die. This is a neighborhood,” said Peter Baird.
In a statement to CBS13, a spokesperson with the city of Sacramento says in part:
“Sacramento PD and the City are still investigating this tragic incident. It is important to understand that unsignalized crosswalks without a flashing beacon or traffic signal that cross multiple lanes of traffic on high volume corridors in relatively high-speed traffic may be removed because they are not helpful. They may give pedestrians a false sense of security. This one at Oregon and Freeport was removed last year, following an investigation after a citizen complaint.”
But many neighbors say removing the crosswalk only made a dangerous intersection even worse.
“Please give us a crosswalk, give us cross lights, something out here, because this needs to be prevented,” said Perez.
Police say it’s unclear whether alcohol or drugs were involved. The suspect has been arrested on felony hit and run charges.