Vehicle Strikes 78-Year-Old Woman in East Petaluma

An icy windshield and sunshine were contributing factors in the collision, police said.

A 78-year-old Petaluma woman is recovering at a local hospital from what's considered non-life-threatening injuries after she was hit by a motorist this morning.

Mary Lee, 78, of Petaluma, was taking a morning walk with two other women and their two dogs along Linnet Way near Hawk Drive, at 8:02 a.m., when she was struck from behind by a silver Honda driven by Weizen Frias, 25, of Petaluma, according to police.

Police say Frias was driving along Hawk Drive and turned right, westbound, onto Linnet Way.

"The vehicle traveled to the left hand portion of the roadway, where three women were walking in the same direction," according to a Petaluma Police Department press relese. "One woman was walking two dogs. Lee was farthest from the curb and was struck from behind. The other two women and the two dogs were not hit by the car. The windshield on Frias’ vehicle was iced over. The driver also indicated that the sun was a factor."

An ambulance transported Lee to a local area hospital with serious injuries, which were reportedly not life threatening. Police said that alcohol or distracted driving did not appear to be a factors in the accident.

The roadway remained closed for the investigation for about an hour. The collision remains under investigation by Traffic Officer Paul Accornero at 707.778.4597 (Report 12-5809).

With a forecast for even colder weather in the coming days and weeks, Petaluma Police want to remind motorists that pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 26708(a)(3) a person shall not drive any motor vehicle when the driver’s clear vision through the windshield, side or rear windows, are obstructed by snow or ice. It is a moving violation and drivers can be stopped and cited. Drivers should allow sufficient time to warm their vehicles and clear their windows of ice before driving. Additionally, the sun is low in the horizon in the morning and evening during winter months. Drivers whose vision is affected by the sunlight must reduce their speed and drive safely under the given conditions. If you cannot see or your visibility is limited, it may be necessary to slow and stop until you can proceed safely.


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