This morning at 7:02AM, Atwater Police and Cal Fire units responded to a report of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle at the intersection of East Juniper and Sierra Madre in Atwater. The first unit arrive at 7:04 AM, and found a 57 year old woman suffering from major injuries. The woman was treated by Cal Fire personnel on scene and transported to Mercy Medical Center where she later died. The Merced Sheriff’s Department identified the victim as Lorraine Hernandez of Atwater.
Our investigation disclosed that Ms. Hernandez was crossing E. Juniper Street in a marked crosswalk when she was struck by a vehicle operated by 23 year old Alejandro Rodriguez Sandoval of Atwater. Another car had already stopped to permit Ms Hernandez to cross. Mr. Sandoval stated that when Hernandez appeared in the crosswalk he was unable to stop in time to avoid striking Hernandez. Speed and vision obscurement from the sun appear to be factors in this collision; However there is no indication of either impaired or distracted driving in this tragic collision.
The Merced County District Attorney will be asked to review the investigation for possible filing of criminal charges against Mr. Sandoval. The City of Atwater asks that you keep the family of Lorraine Hernandez in your thoughts.