57-year-old pedestrian killed in Fremont, witnesses needed to come forward

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ByChris Nguyen KGO logo
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Pedestrian killed in Fremont, witnesses urged to come forward
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Police are looking for additional witnesses to a fatal traffic collision on Fremont Boulevard Wednesday morning that claimed the life of a 57-year-old man.

FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- One man is dead after being hit by a car in Fremont. It happened during the early morning commute on Fremont Boulevard, just south of Ice House Terrace.

Police are still trying to determine what exactly happened. The victim has been identified as 57-year-old John Willingham III of Fremont.

Investigators cleared the scene by 4 p.m., but they hope that witnesses will come forward to share what they might have seen.

Fremont resident Ninna Baniani and her friend, Gwen Crozier of Hayward, frequently drive on Fremont Boulevard. They say Wednesday's early morning accident was no surprise.

"People are not just paying attention, and they're going way, way too fast," said Baniani.

Just before 7 a.m. Fremont police say a woman driving a Lexus sedan struck a pedestrian while going south in the right hand lane. She initially drove off, but after examining her car at work, returned to the scene, where police say she cooperated by providing a statement.

Willingham is a transient who police say had a part-time job in Fremont. He was was rushed to a trauma center, but later died from his injuries.

"We don't know at this point whether he was jaywalking, or walking in the roadway, we're not sure, we don't know the exact point of impact," Fremont Police Sgt. Tony Tassano said.

Those familiar with the area says people need to slow down.

"They're thinking of it almost like a freeway, I think, you know to commute on, as opposed to a street in the suburbs where there are houses there, where people live, and there's children there," Crozier said.

Crozier says as the population grows in Fremont. Traffic is getting worse, and drivers are becoming more aggressive. She said, "It's taking like a half hour to get from one side of Fremont to the other. You start to not be conscious of how fast you're going after a while, just to get right to the place you're doing."

In fact, police tell us that a couple of drivers may have seen the accident happen, but just kept on driving. Baniani is heartbroken and hopes that others will learn from this tragedy. "At least call 911, at least, and be there to give evidence as to what happened because the police need to know."

This is the city's sixth traffic-related fatality of the year.