72-year-old Jimmie Wyatt died Friday night. A vehicle struck him as he crossed 11th Avenue just south of Grangeville Boulevard.
Investigators said the driver had a surprising explanation after police found drugs in her system.
30-feet north of a flower and candle Jimmie Wyatt was crossing the street when he was hit and killed by a car.
"Unfortunately Mr. Wyatt was not in the crosswalk area or intersection where it would have been safe and it was dark. He was wearing dark clothing. And there were some other witnesses that almost hit him also," said Lt. Greg Freiner.
Freiner showed up to the scene minutes after it happened Friday night. He immediately recognized Wyatt because he is a well known and liked drifter in town.
Wyatt was taken to Hanford Community Medical Center where he died from massive internal injuries.
Investigators said the driver who hit and killed Wyatt, 26-year-old Carla Marie Ayala, preliminarily tested positive for meth.
Freiner: "Shows the presence of illegal narcotics. It doesn't give us the levels but it shows there is a presence of illegal narcotics."
Ayala told investigators the test would be skewed because she was taking diet pills.
"Through our process and investigation we learned that she does have a history of criminal offenses," said Freiner.
"There were a lot of flashing lights down there. The police had blocked the road off," said resident Janet Rooney.
Rooney lives down the street from where Wyatt was struck. She said many people walk these streets but it's just not safe enough to cross because of speeding cars and trucks.
Rooney: "They should be able to cross there in safety. It doesn't happen. Not on side streets. Not on the main streets."
The D.A. is holding off on pressing charges against Ayala because they are waiting for a drug test to come back. However she could face vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence.NEWS BY LOCATION | ABC30 BLOGS | DISCUSSION FORUMS
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