Pedestrian Fatally Injured by Sheriff’s Patrol Vehicle Identified

City News Service Pristine Villarreal

MORENO VALLEY (CNS) – A pedestrian who was fatally struck by a Riverside County sheriff’s patrol deputy driving near March Air Reserve Base in Moreno Valley was identified Friday as a 27-year-old resident of the city.

Rafaela Salazar Ruiz was hit about 3:55 a.m. Thursday on Cactus Avenue, just west of Heacock Street, roughly a block east of the air base, according to the sheriff’s department and California Highway Patrol.

Preliminary details indicated that the woman was walking on Cactus where there is no marked crosswalk along the four-lane corridor and was struck by the patrol vehicle, which is an SUV.

“The deputy was not operating his vehicle in an emergency response mode at the time of the collision,” according to a sheriff’s statement released Thursday. “Deputies immediately rendered medical aid to the pedestrian until paramedics arrived.”

Ruiz was pronounced dead at the scene. The deputy, whose identity was not released, was not injured.

The CHP is handling the investigation under a long-standing sheriff’s policy that tasks the agency with overseeing independent evaluations whenever sheriff’s vehicles are involved in traffic-related incidents involving property damage, injuries or deaths.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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