SAN ANSELMO (KPIX 5) — A woman walking her two dogs was killed by a suspected drunk driver as she was crossing Butterfield Rd. in San Anselmo on Saturday evening.
The victim, a woman in her 70’s, was crossing the street around 10 p.m. Saturday when the car smashed into her and the two dogs. One of the dogs also died in the crash.
Police said the incident was initially a hit-and-run, but they arrested the driver a short time later. James Boswell, 30, was booked into the Marin County Jail on charges of DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter. His bail is set at $500,000.
Neighbors who knew the victim built an unusual sidewalk memorial, featuring homemade signs telling drivers to slow down.
“We’re just all really, really sad,” said a tearful Gala Radtke, a neighbor who knew the victim. “She’s just a really good friend, you know, and her dogs were our dogs’ buddy. So I just…she was a really good person in this community.”
The victim was walking two dogs. One was hers–a terrier named Riley. The other, a poodle named Danny, belonged to her long-time partner, who is a Vietnam war veteran in his 70’s.
Neighbors watched as the victim’s partner emerged from his home to the horrific scene immediately after the crash.
“He came out and saw his whole family basically dead on the street…And they took him away as well,” said Stanley Radtke.
Neighbors say they are more determined than ever to get drivers to follow the posted 25 mile per hour speed limit signs.
“I just wanted people to slow down and…be mindful when they drive,” said Charlotte Phillips.
Garril Page, a friend of the victim, told KPIX that the victim’s partner and his dog are recovering.
“[She] was a true friend, sound of judgement and generous in spirit,” Page said in a statement. “She was well read, a wonderful conversationalist, firm in opinion, but willing to listen to other views. She was adept in bookkeeping, a successful and responsible business owner as well as a devoted and loving caregiver. Her death is a tremendous loss to this community. ”
The Marin County Coroner’s Office has not yet released the name of the victim as of Sunday evening.