Law enforcement sees spike in auto-pedestrian accidents, issues stern warning

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A spike in crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists over the weekend has law enforcement issuing a stern warning about the dangers of distracted driving and walking.

Of the 6 incidents that took place over the weekend from, Merced to Fresno County, three of them were hit and runs that are still unsolved.

In the latest of 6 crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists, Madera County Sheriff's deputies were called to Avenue 21 Monday at noon where they found the body of a man hit by a car.

"There was a neighbor that said she heard something a loud bang at midnight," said Officer Gregorio Rodriguez with California Highway Patrol.

The driver took off but not without leaving something behind.

"Someone's missing a right side mirror there should be some damage on that right front as well maybe a windshield," said Officer Rodriguez.

But that was only one of three hit and runs, involving pedestrians from Merced to Fresno County, each one's driver still unaccounted for.

Friday Night, 28-year-old Miguel Mendoza was hit and killed while crossing at Childs and P Street in Merced.

Officers believe he was hit by either a Ford Explorer or Mustang before the driver took off.

Saturday dramatic surveillance video shows the moments 47-year-old Tina Richmond was sent flying across the roadway near Shields and Blackstone.

Richmond survived but remains in critical condition. Police and family are asking witnesses to come forward.

"It's just painful to see someone you love go through something like that," Richmond's son Carlos Delgado said.

Law enforcement's warning to limit distractions doesn't just go to drivers.

"Take those earbuds off pay attention to what's going on try to make eye contact with that vehicle and really pay attention you're not really safe until you cross that road," Officer Rodriguez said.

Later Saturday night on Marks and Belmont a bicyclist, who witnesses say was riding in and out of the roadway was hit. That driver stayed.

Like the crash Sunday night in East Clovis. On Shaw and Fowler, where a couple was hospitalized after being hit in the middle of a crosswalk.

Officers say the couple didn't know which direction they wanted to go.

That same night in Dos Palos a motorcyclist thrown from his bike, after hitting an animal, was hit and killed by a passing car.

The driver of that car 38-year-old Leroy Conley was arrested for driving under the influence.

In the city of Fresno alone, police say of the 34 fatal crashes this year, 21 involved pedestrians, four were bicyclists.

They say they've also had seven fatal hit and runs.
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