Police say search continues for suspect in fatal San Jose hit-and-run

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The sisters of Jesus Orozco Plancarte, 44, came out to pray and place flowers and candles at the intersection where their brother was hit and killed in San Jose on Thursday.

San Jose police say around 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, the driver of a gold Chevy Suburban hit a Chevy Silverado near Story Road and South Jackson Avenue in east San Jose.

The driver then fatally hit Plancarte, who was in the crosswalk with his bicycle. Police say the driver fled the scene, taking off running.

In an email to ABC7 News, San Jose police say that the search for a suspect continues.

RELATED: Victim ID'd in deadly hit-and-run in San Jose, search for driver continues

A nearby gas station employee heard the crash. She says a customer told her that someone was killed on scene.

"Then I started crying because I thought, 'Oh, maybe it's a customer.' I have been a here a long time, so I know my customers. I feel so sad," says the gas station employee.

She says drivers running red lights and speeding are always a problem at this intersection.

"This street is crazy!"

For the past few years, City Councilman Johnny Khamis has been working with others on "Vision Zero."

Vision Zero is a city-wide initiative to reduce the number of accidents especially on some of San Jose's most dangerous streets. Story Road, the scene of Thursday's fatal hit-and-run, has been identified as one of those streets.

"If somebody runs a red light, it's really difficult to stop that kind of accident from happening. It's about paying attention to your driving. Focus on your driving. Don't cause an accident. Don't kill somebody," says Khamis.

But Khamis adds, with the help of Vision Zero, things are starting to improve. Part of what has been done is to narrow vehicle lanes, add radar signs to post driver's speeds and to increase police patrols.

The City has also added more bike lanes, widen existing ones and create buffer zones between cars and bicyclists.

There are even new bike lanes at the intersection of Thursday's fatal crash. Some local residents say these new bike lanes have helped.

"I love it. It has helped me to be more aware of the bikers," says Mary Kelley, who lives in the neighborhood.

"(It is devastating). Those are things that shouldn't be happening on small streets like this, residential area," says Janet Valencia about the fatal hit-and-run.

Valencia lives just a few houses down from the crash scene. She thinks the new bike lanes have helped her, but she isn't confident the bike lanes have made a big difference.

"For me it has helped because I notice and I try to be a little bit more careful. But I don't know if it's working for other people," she explains.

She says she sees drivers using the bike lanes as turning lanes. But her bigger concern is speed. She says Story Road is more like a raceway.

"I do see (people speeding) all the time. All the time! (People running) red lights, drunk people," says Valencia.
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