Woman hit and killed by Merced police officer, authorities say

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- The intersection of G and 16th Streets is one of the busiest in Merced as it leads to Highway 99.

It's also just a block away from the spot where a woman was killed Thursday night.

Authorities say she was walking in the roadway - when an on-duty Merced police officer hit her while driving this marked car.

That officer has now been identified as Chase Wilson, a five-year veteran of the department.

Action News was there for his swearing-in back in 2017.

Wilson is now on paid administrative, which is standard procedure, as the investigation continues.

This is not the first fatal collision involving Merced Police.

Back in 2013, a Merced SWAT vehicle was involved in the death of a pedestrian but the officer who was driving was cleared of any wrongdoing.

"Anytime we have a tragic situation, we always reflect back, see the situation, try to evaluate it and we have some of the best training in the state of California," says Merced Police Lt. Daniel Dabney.

We spoke with the victim's family Friday evening. They tell us her name is Josefa Blandon.

Her family says she loved to walk and she was full of life. She would give anything to help someone in need.

Now as the family continues to grieve, the CHP is investigating the traffic collision, and Merced Poice is conducting its own administrative investigation.

A GoFundMe has been started to help pay for funeral expenses.
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