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San Jose’s total of fatal pedestrian deaths moved up to 29 for the year — reaching a 25-year high — after police on Thursday changed the classification on a previous traffic fatality.
An elderly man who was hit by a driver while riding a motorized mobility scooter two months ago in San Jose died on Sept. 24, according to police.
The traffic collision was reported just before 7 p.m. on Aug. 23 at Lundy Avenue and Sierra Road. In a statement, the San Jose Police Department said the man was riding northbound in a bicycle lane on Lundy when he was hit by the driver of a 2007 Toyota Corolla turning right onto Lundy from eastbound Sierra Road.
The man suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to a hospital, where he was initially stabilized. Though he died of his injuries on Sept. 24, the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office did not notify traffic investigators of the death until Oct. 14, according to police.
The coroner’s office identified the man last week as San Jose resident Melvin Boone, 77.
Related Articles Crashes and Disasters | 2 killed in head-on Monterey County crash Despite the fact that Boone was riding a motorized scooter at the time of the collision, the California Department of Motor Vehicles defines “a person with a disability using a tricycle, quadricycle, or wheelchair for transportation” as a pedestrian. Police ultimately decided Boone fell under that definition.
The incident marks the city’s 54th traffic death of the year and the 29th to involve a pedestrian who died. The pedestrian fatality total surpasses the 28 recorded in 2019 and marks a new 25-year high for San Jose. With just over two months left in the year, San Jose continues to be on pace to surpass the overall traffic death total of 60 from 2021, which was a 25-year peak also reached in 2015 and 2019.
The rapid pace of deaths has prompted city leaders throughout the year to advocate for additional traffic enforcement and the prospect of installing speed-recording cameras on historically dangerous thoroughfares and intersections.
The city is in the midst of a year-long pilot program, in which automated license-plate readers have been installed on busy intersections to help police track down hit-and-run suspects. This program has been met with some resistance, which fears targeted on potential misuse of surveillance technology.
Staff writers Jason Green and Robert Salonga contributed to this report.
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