SAN JOSE (CBS SF/BCN) — San Jose police are seeking the driver of a red SUV that struck and killed a woman walking across the Tully Road thoroughfare early Friday morning.

Officers responded shortly before 1:40 a.m. to a collision reported between a vehicle and pedestrian in the area of Tully Road and La Ragione Avenue.

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Police at the scene of a fatal hit-and-run crash at Tully Road and Kenoga Drive in San Jose, July 23, 2021. (CBS)

Investigators determined the woman was walking in the eastbound lanes of Tully outside of a marked crosswalk when an early 2000s red SUV, possibly a Chevrolet Tahoe, struck her, police said.

She was taken to a hospital and succumbed to her injuries there. The driver fled in the vehicle and remained at large later Friday morning.

The area where the hit-and-run collision happened is near some homeless camps. People are often seen trying to cross the road between crosswalks.

It’s also a place where people speed according to one man who walks here
everyday.

“You do have to be careful. Because here the speed limit is 35, but most people drive 45 or 50,” said Jorge, who was walking to the library on Tully.

San Jose’s wide boulevards were designed to move mass amounts of traffic quickly. They’re flat and cars travel on them fast; sometimes too fast.

San Jose has now had 32nd traffic deaths in 2021, 12 involved pedestrians.

Friday morning’s incident was the third pedestrian crash in San Jose in just over three days. On Thursday, man suffered life-threatening injuries after getting hit by a vehicle in East San Jose in what police say may be a domestic violence incident.

Late Tuesday evening, a man was killed in the area of Monterey Highway and Curtner Avenue after being hit by a car. The driver remained at the scene and alcohol or drugs were not believed to be a factor.

On Saturday morning, 24-year-old Jose Esparza was killed when his car was struck by a speeding 2015 black Infinity.

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The driver of the Infinity fled the scene on foot.

Friday, police confirmed that the Infinity was trying to get away from a police patrol car.

“Prior to that the suspect had fled from a vehicle stop from a marked SJPD officer. We were not actively pursuing that vehicle at the time. The truth is we are still looking for more information,” said Officer Steven Aponte.

A large memorial marks the spot where Esparza was killed on McKee Road at 33rd Street.

He was a beloved youth counselor and a graduate of UCLA and Overfelt High School where he excelled in academics and football.

“I have to say it was one of the most shocking calls I ever received,” said
Overfelt’s principal Vito Chiala.

Chiala said Esparza overcame a tough childhood and a period of homelessness.

“When you learn about the struggles and obstacles he was facing in his life and then you saw how he was carrying himself, there is no way you couldn’t respect this man,” he said.

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying suspects in the two most recent hit-and-runs.

Anyone with information about Friday morning’s fatal collision is asked to call Detective Bowen of the Police Department’s traffic investigations unit at (408) 277-4654.

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