Pedestrian Too Short to See, Says Trucker of Fatal Accident

Times Staff Writer

An 82-year-old Sherman Oaks woman was run over and killed Thursday by a semi-trailer truck driver who said he could not see the five-foot-tall woman from his high perch, police said.

The woman, a Sherman Oaks resident whose name was withheld pending notification of relatives, was walking east in the crosswalk at Cedros Avenue and Ventura Boulevard about 11 a.m. and was in the middle of the street when the signal changed, witnesses told police.

Stopped at the signal was truck driver George Valencia, 27, of Los Angeles, who was traveling south on Cedros and waiting to turn left onto Ventura Boulevard.


Warning Honks

When the light changed, motorists saw the woman crossing and honked to warn the truck driver, who was beginning to move into the intersection, Sgt. Jay Taylor of the Los Angeles Police Department said.

But the driver, whose windshield is more than seven feet above the street, began a left turn onto Ventura Boulevard and drove through the crosswalk at about 5 m.p.h., Taylor said.

Valencia told police that he felt something hit his right rear tire just as he heard the honking, and stopped, Taylor said.

Police ascertained that Valencia had limited visibility, Taylor said.

“He had seen another pedestrian walk across the street in front of the woman, but he said that his windshield was so high that he never saw the woman, who was rather small,” Taylor said.

Police said they had not decided if charges will be filed.