Novato Woman Killed by Dump Truck at Hetherton and Third Street

The early afternoon crash left another pedestrian hospitalized with major injuries.

The driver of a dump truck that ran over two pedestrians told authorities he didn't see the couple in the crosswalk.
The driver of a dump truck that ran over two pedestrians told authorities he didn't see the couple in the crosswalk.

By James Lanaras

Bay City News Service


A Novato woman was killed and a man was injured when they were struck and run over by a dump truck in a San Rafael crosswalk early this afternoon, police said.

At 12:17 p.m., the couple was walking west on the south side of Third Street and was crossing Hetherton Street in a crosswalk when a loaded dump truck traveling west on Third Street turned left onto Hetherton and struck them, San Rafael police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher said.

The woman, identified as 67-year-old Olga Rodriguez of Novato, died at the scene and the man was taken to Marin General Hospital with major injuries, Cpl. Justin Graham said.

Both the pedestrians and the truck had a green light but the driver should have yielded to the pedestrians, according to Rohrbacher.

The truck driver said he didn't see the couple in the crosswalk, but stopped after he heard a sound and looked in his rearview mirror, Rohrbacher said.

"It was just horrible, it's heartbreaking" said Andy Falk, who was near the intersection at the time of the crash.

"That's just a really dangerous intersection, I cross there every day and people are always dodging cars."

Graham said it appears that alcohol is not a factor in the collision. It took place in a busy section of city streets, and San Rafael police are asking any witnesses to call them at (415) 485-3000.


Gideon Rubin contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2014 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

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David M Lowe January 04, 2014 at 04:06 AM
The whole area from the Transit Center to San Rafael High School along 3rd St & Mission Ave are very dangerous for pedestrians, including all the street going North & South between those streets. I am surprised that with all the older residents in our neighborhood who walk daily to stores in the Monticeto area and the SR High students out for lunch that their aren't more pedestrian accidents and deaths. Most of us older folks in this West of the Transit Center neighborhood get reminded everyday how dangerous people drive around here. I can honestly say i have almost been struck a number of times by drivers who apologize and say, "Sorry, I didn't see you." AND THAT'S IN THE DAY TIME. And most of them aren't even distracted by cell phone use. THEY JUST DON'T PAY ATTENTION TO PEDESTRIANS - WHO DO HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY - BUT ONLY PREVENT MORE ACCIDENTS BY JUMPING OUT OF THE WAY, WAVING OUR ARMS OR YELLING STOP ! It's also very dangerous crossing Mission Ave between the Transit Center and SR High School EVEN IN THE CROSSWALKS especially with drivers coming off the hill behind the High School at high rates of speed racing towards wherever. ALL my acquaintances whom I pass on the streets everyday around this neighborhood were only shocked today that it hasn't happened more often. The response of most drivers backed up on 3rd Street & on Mission Avenue today were rounds of horn honking and rude driving around all the side streets in our usually quiet neighborhood because they had encountered more traffic than usual during the noon time hours. TRUTH BE TOLD many of us WALKERS in my neighborhood very seldom dare go out during the evening rush hour and plan our days to get home before the real crazy inattentive driving begins around mid-afternoon. Our neighborhood has hundreds of students walking to and from San Rafael High School, a low income senior housing complex behind Whole Foods of which many walk daily to the area stores, a well known assisted living facility known as Aldersely with many residents who also walk to area stores and then a number of group and continuing care homes for the emotionally disabled. WE LOVE HAVING MANY PLACES NEARBY TO SHOP AND ENJOY A MEAL AND BEING ABLE TO WALK TO THESE PLACES. PLEASE SLOW DOWN AND RESPECT OUR NEIGHBORHOOD AND IT'S RESIDENTS WHEN YOU COME OVER HERE TO TAKE ADVANTAGES OF WHAT SERVICES BEING OFFERED. Most of us may be a bit older and slower walking these days, but we still would like to be able to safely walk our neighborhood without the fear of YOU running us over because your poor planning and time management has you running behind and wanting us to be in a hurry or not even be on the street. We also don't want any of our High School students killed snuffing out a teenage life because you are in such a hurry to race off the hill and down Mission Avenue or Third Street. SLOW DOWN AND KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN AND YOUR MIND ON THE TASK AT HAND WHICH IS TO DRIVE SAFELY. THANKS.
Julie Beach January 04, 2014 at 11:09 AM
and our SR city council has allowed Whistlestop to raze the historic train station they own and develop it into high rise senior housing - can you imagine more elderly in that area trying to get around to food shopping and services, crossing heatherton or trying to take public transit there will be hell for them. plus-the train is coming in that area, I just dont think all the highly paid city planners for san rafael and county of marin give a damn about what they do to our area.


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