Clovis man killed while walking dog identified

CLOVIS, Calif.

Dennis Costella went out to walk his dog around the neighborhood Monday night but never returned home. Costella was hit along a flashing crosswalk and now the victim's family is asking just how safe that crosswalk really is.

Janet Costella and her family are mourning the loss of a husband, father and pastor.

"You know you just never think it's going to happen to somebody you love and care about," said Janet Costella. Her husband, 63-Year-Old Clovis resident Dennis Costella was walking his black Labrador named Bear around the neighborhood as usual on Monday night.

"He left about 7 last night and last thing I said was take your cell phone and be careful," said Janet.

An hour passed and Dennis hadn't returned home. That's when his wife, Janet became worried. "I heard sirens before 8, you always hear something like that and you think, then I didn't think too much anymore about it. Then by 8:30, quarter to 9, I started driving around," said Janet.

Janet came across the scene of an accident near the intersection of Shepherd and Fowler. She was informed the man fatally struck by a pickup truck on this trail crosswalk was her husband. Dennis died at the scene while the dog sustained minor injuries.

The crosswalk lights were flashing at the time of the accident. It's still unknown how fast the car was driving but the posted speed limit is 50 miles an hour.

"People just don't slow down, a couple of times he said, 'wow, I'm glad I stepped out.' So I mean it's an ongoing problem and I think people that live around here would agree," said Janet.

"There is a stretch of the highway that is actually dark. It's a county island - if you will - so all of a sudden you come up upon the lights but everything was functioning and why they didn't see the person we have yet to determine," said Janet Stoll-Lee, spokesman for the Clovis Police Department.

Costella was a family man who devoted himself to God. He was a pastor at Grace Bible Church of Fresno. The family's strong faith is helping them get through this tragedy.

"We know where he is, he's in a better place and we're thankful for that," said Janet.

Police say the driver did not see Costella on the crosswalk but stopped after the accident and was not arrested.

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