Surveillance footage shared with ABC7 News shows the suspected driver involved, only moments after the collision.
He’s seen turning from Ocala Avenue onto Wesley Court in East San Jose.
“He tried driving into my street in order to flee faster,” Edeline Paulet said. “However, my street is a dead end street.”
VIDEO: 2 women pedestrians killed in San Jose hit-and-run, police say
Seconds later, Paulet’s cameras also captured the driver speeding off and out of the cul-de-sac. The driver, who police believe is a man, drove away from the scene.
“How can you take two innocent lives and then just flee? It’s pure selfishness,” Paulet told ABC7 News. “It’s very inconsiderate. It’s ultimately a huge tragedy.”
Just before 6:30 pm Thursday night, the women were walking in a painted crosswalk along Ocala Avenue and Oakton Court. The red truck then hit them and took off.
As of Friday evening, the driver remained at large.
“That could have been any of our family members out there, right? I mean, and that’s the reason why we want to find and arrest this person,” Sgt. Christian Camarillo with SJPD said. “I mean, they’re responsible for two counts, right now, of vehicular manslaughter.”
Neighbors said the victims were related- a mother and her adult daughter.
Paulet lives directly across the street from the women and was familiar with their evening strolls around the neighborhood.
“This was an every day thing. So, the fact that yesterday, their daily activity ended up with them deceased is just, it’s insane,” she added.
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Other neighbors shared outrage. Angel Guzman said she feels the safety of East San Jose residents isn’t being prioritized.
She told ABC7 News, “This could’ve been prevented! This could’ve been prevented! This should’ve- no reason why- there’s no safety for us!”
“This is a residential area with schools. I’m infuriated at the fact that this isn’t the first time that it’s happened,” Guzman said. “And as long as this keep continuing, as long as their isn’t any safety infrastructure for pedestrians, this is going to keep
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According to the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT), there is a safety improvements project already in the works.
“It’s called the Mount Pleasant Safety Improvements Project. We expect it to be done in fall of 2023. It’s still in the design phase now,” Colin Heyne with San Jose’s DOT said.
“It will have curbs bulbed out so the crossing distance is shorter. It’ll have a pedestrian refuge island in the middle of the street, and it will have those flashing beacons,” Heyne told ABC7 News.
He continued, “It seems like we can’t build these safety improvements fast enough to keep up with the pace of collisions and fatalities.”
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Heyne said between 2016 and 2020, there were three crashes at Ocala and Oakton, which resulted in two minor injuries.
He said across the city, there have never been this many traffic fatalities by this point in the year. Heyne added, last year the city reported 11 cases by this time of the year.
“It’s hard to find the superlative right. It’s devastating and it’s unprecedented. At this point this year, we’ve now lost 26 community members to traffic violence to crashes on our streets,” Heyne said.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo told reporters during a Friday morning press conference, “We have been pushing on many levers to improve road safety in our city. And obviously, we have a lot more work to do.”
Thursday’s deadly hit-and-run marks San Jose’s 24th fatal traffic incident this year, and the 13th and 14th pedestrian deaths.
“They were doing what they should. They were doing what we asked people to do to keep themselves safe,” Heyne said. “This is clearly the fault of the person driving the vehicle who of course, not only collided with them, but then fled the scene. And it’s completely unacceptable.”
Sgt. Camarillo with SJPD told reporters, “It looks like a crew cab pickup truck with a bed cover on it. It’s a newer model. It’s pretty clear in the images, I think it’s a GMC.”
The suspect was last seen driving north on Capitol Expressway.
This incident is now being investigated as a felony hit and run.
The identity of the victims will be released by the Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office once they confirm the victims’ identity and notify next of kin.
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