Pedestrian killed walking home after traffic stop

January 30, 2012 9:48:19 PM PST
There are a lot of questions but few answers about an accident that killed a pedestrian early Monday morning near the Oakland airport. It started as a routine traffic stop.

Donnell Roberts lost his best buddy of more than 20 years Monday in a strange and tragic set of circumstances. Roberts says he was behind the wheel early Monday morning; his friend Arnold James and two female passengers were along for the ride when he was stopped by an Alameda police officer.

"He said we was going past the speed limit," Roberts said.

Roberts' car was impounded; Alameda police say that's because he had a suspended license. But that left four people without a car in a residential neighborhood just before 5 a.m.

"They were given the option of having the police officers call them a cab, at their own expense of course; they declined the offer and because they were no longer being detained by the police department so they were sent on their way," Alameda Police Lt. Sean Lynch said.

"We live far, but we had to get where we needed to go, so we had to walk," Roberts said.

They ended up nearly two miles away, walking along the edge of Doolittle Drive -- a remote, two-lane road on the outskirts of the Oakland airport. Just after 6 a.m., a driver ran into 42-year-old Arnold James, killing him

"I heard somebody yell, I seen this guy pull up behind us with a crumpled, busted windshield; he said he hit somebody back there," Roberts said.

"Oh, it's tragic, there's absolutely no question, it's tragic," Lynch said.

Lynch emphasizes that the group was left in a safe, well-lit area of Alameda.

The accident is being investigated by the Oakland Police Department.