Kristi Ewings
(Courtesy family)
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No signs of ‘impairment or negligence’ by driver who fatally struck pedestrian, dog in Santa Cruz, police say

The fatal encounter between the semi truck driver and 61-year-old Kristi Ewings happened at the intersection of River and Water streets next to the Bank of America building.

Within 24 hours after 61-year-old Kristi Ewings was struck and killed by a semi truck while crossing Water Street at River Street in downtown Santa Cruz on Wednesday, police were saying there were no signs of “impairment or negligence” by the truck driver.

Ewings, who is from Santa Cruz County, was walking a dog, who also died in the crash.

On Friday, her daughter, Eden, set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral expenses, writing that she “can’t bear to believe this is a reality” and that “there is no amount of money that can take this sudden and unbearable pain away from us, but we ask your help to raise money to give her the celebration of life service that she very much deserves.”

As of Friday afternoon, the fund had raised $5,175 of the $8,000 goal.

Police investigation

Around 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the semi was making a right-hand turn onto River and struck Ewing, “who had stepped out into a marked crosswalk at the intersection,” police said. As of Thursday afternoon, traffic investigators were still in the process of determining if Ewing was crossing with the “walk” signal.

“The driver of the semi truck remained on the scene of the collision and fully cooperated with police investigators,” police said in a news release. “At this time, there is no evidence of driver impairment or negligence, and no arrests have been made.”

The scene at Water and River.
(SCPD)

Police also said the investigation remains ongoing and that, once completed, “it will be forwarded to the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office for review,” a standard practice.

Other pedestrians killed

Wednesday’s fatal crash was at least the fourth since November that resulted in a pedestrian’s death in Santa Cruz County.

In December, a 47-year-old man who was walking along Highway 1 in Santa Cruz around midnight was struck by a vehicle and died at the scene, authorities said. Also that same month, a 42-year-old man who was walking partially in the westbound lane of 1400 W. Beach St. was struck and killed in Watsonville.

The semi-truck that struck the pedestrian.
(Tulsi Kamath/Lookout Santa Cruz)

In November, a 45-year-old man died at Dominican Hospital after being hit by a car while walking in the crosswalk at the intersection of Mission Street and King Street in Santa Cruz.

Here’s the full text of the police update on the collision:

The Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD) and emergency medical personnel responded to a vehicle vs. pedestrian collision at the intersection of Water Street and River Street at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 10, 2021. A semi-truck turning right onto River Street from Water Street collided with a pedestrian who had stepped out into a marked crosswalk at the intersection.

First responders administered life-saving measures to the pedestrian. Unfortunately, the pedestrian succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

SCPD Traffic Investigators have been processing the traffic collision scene, and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff-Coroner will complete the death investigation. The victim was a 61-year-old female from Santa Cruz County. Her identity is being withheld at this time, pending next of kin notification.

The driver of the semi-truck remained on the scene of the collision and fully cooperated with police investigators. At this time, there is no evidence of driver impairment or negligence, and no arrests have been made. Once the case investigation is completed, it will be forwarded to the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office for review.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact the Santa Cruz Police Department Traffic Investigations Sergeant Morey at (831) 420-5857.

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