Visalia woman fatally struck by truck ID'd as 2017 murder victim's girlfriend

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Despite moving hundreds of miles away, Ethan Wade says he still talked to Jennifer Pinkham everyday, and would go back to Visalia to see her once in a while.

Jennifer dated Ethan's brother Terry Wade III for years, and was with him on the day he was shot and killed more than two years ago.

"We had a connection, we had a bond," Wade said. "And ever since then we were just the best of friends that probably anyone could have asked for, that I could have asked for."

Jennifer testified about the traumatizing experience during a preliminary hearing last year, but Ethan was there to keep her smiling.

Two of the three men charged with murdering Wade are still awaiting trial.

Unfortunately, Jennifer won't have the chance to see their cases through.

Around 9:15 Wednesday night, Visalia Police say she crossed Giddings Street and was hit and killed by a truck.

The driver, identified as 50-year-old Kenneth Bates, was arrested for being under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash.

"He was very cooperative," said Visalia Police Sgt. Gary Williams. "He stopped, waited for officers to get there. He cooperated during the entire investigation."

Ethan Wade talked to Jennifer on the phone Wednesday afternoon, and told her he'd text her later.

But by the time he did, she was already gone.

Thursday morning, he found out his friend died.

"She was really a good person," Wade said. "She was fun, loving, caring. Really like I said, it's the best friendship anyone could have truly asked for."

Bates has a previous misdemeanor DUI conviction from 2012.

He's being held at the Tulare County Pre-Trial Facility and could be charged on Friday.
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