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Citrus Heights police said a 2 a.m. collision between a car and pedestrian sent a young woman to the hospital in critical condition Saturday morning and caused officers to close all southbound lanes of traffic on Auburn Boulevard for 10 hours while conducting an investigation.
[box]Update: The pedestrian, later identified as 26-year-old Areolle Starr, passed away on February 21 from critical injuries sustained in the collision.[/box]
Officer Anthony Boehle said police were dispatched to a report of a collision near Kanai Avenue just before 2 a.m. on Valentine’s Day, finding the vehicle and driver on scene, as well as the pedestrian who had been hit. He said the woman was immediately transported to the hospital for treatment and is currently listed in critical condition.
Boehle said the investigation is still ongoing, but speed does not appear to be a factor and the driver showed “no indication of impairment.” Referencing the nearby Rocky’s 7440 Club, Boehle said “it’s possible” alcohol played a role on the pedestrian’s part, as “the young lady was coming from the bar.”
“On any major collision, whether it be a major injury or fatal collision, we take all of the evidence,” said Boehle, referencing the extended road closure and pointing to skid marks from the crash. “We document the entire roadway so that we can draw a factual diagram of the way the roadway was represented at the time of the collision.”
[Related story from Jan. 19: Pedestrian in critical condition after being hit by car on Auburn Blvd]
Last month, another pedestrian was hit on Auburn Boulevard about a mile down the road near Twin Oaks Avenue, leading police to close down northbound lanes for about 5 hours to conduct an investigation.
Boehle called the pedestrian collisions “out of the ordinary,” commenting that the area is well-lit, with roadways well-marked — especially in light of recently completed ‘Phase 1’ improvements from the Auburn Boulevard Complete Streets Revitalization Project.
“In this particular area, Auburn Boulevard has recently undergone a community improvement or revitalization project that re-did all the lighting, all the interior lighting, all the street lighting,” said Boehle. “There’s really no explanation, certainly not from an engineering standpoint.”
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Southbound Auburn Boulevard lanes were re-opened around 12:15 p.m. Saturday, according to police.
Anyone who may have seen the Valentine’s Day collision is asked to contact the CHPD’s Traffic Unit at (916) 727-5500.
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