El Centro, California - Today, at approximately 12:30 in the morning, ECPD Officers were dispatched to the area of 4th Street and Desert Gardens Drive, for a call of a traffic accident involving a vehicle vs pedestrian. The pedestrian, later identified as a 54-year-old transient resident of El Centro, was found on scene unconscious and had obvious signs of head trauma as a result of being struck by the vehicle. Medical personnel arrived on scene shortly thereafter and attempted to resuscitate the man however to no avail. The man had succumbed to his injuries and was later pronounced dead.
The driver of the vehicle, identified Manuel Lopez of El Centro, was traveling north on 4th Street, in the number one inner most lane, when the accident occurred. Mr. Lopez immediately pulled over after colliding with the decedent and attempted to render first aid. Lopez was fully cooperative and understanding during the conducting of our investigation. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are not suspected to be a factor in this case.
Initial information indicates the decedent appeared to be crossing 4th street from the west to the east and was outside of any of the crosswalks in the area. He was also wearing dark clothing making it very difficult to see him in the roadway during hours of darkness. Witnesses advised the decedent was a local transient who appeared drunk as he stumbled with his pants down just prior to entering/wandering into the roadway. The collision remains under investigation. The El Centro Police Department has made an effort to inform the community of the disproportionately high number of accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians.
Further inquiries as to the identity of the deceased will need to be directed to the Imperial County Coroner’s office who make the necessary notifications pending the notification of the next of kin. ECPD would not be able to provide information with regard to this process.