A 35-year-old Merced woman in a Halloween costume was struck by a car in north Merced on Tuesday, police said.
The woman was walking with friends across the 900 block of Loughborough Drive about 6:30 p.m. when she was struck by a Toyota Camry headed west, Sgt. Robert Solis said.
The woman slid on the asphalt for about 80 feet, police said.
She suffered “life-threatening” injuries to her head and other parts of her body, police said, and was taken by helicopter to a Modesto-area hospital.
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The driver, a 72-year-old Merced woman, stayed on scene and spoke with police, officers said. No DUI or excessive speed was suspected, police said.
Lt. Jay Struble identified the woman struck by the car as 35-year-old Sia Xiong of Merced. Xiong was said to be in critical condition Tuesday night, but by Wednesday afternoon she “was stable and expected to recover,” Struble said in a telephone interview.
“Due to the nature of the injuries, it’ll be a long road to recovery,” he said.
The group of friends was returning from a Halloween event at Merced Mall when they crossed the street to an apartment complex, according to Jason Clare, who said the injured woman is his wife.
“They seriously need to put a crosswalk right there,” he said, standing outside the apartments. “There’s too many kids in here.”
Solis said drivers should remain “extra careful” on Halloween. “People should still even slow down below the speed limit because of the increased pedestrian traffic,” he said.
Struble noted that Xiong was wearing dark-colored clothing and was crossing the street in a poorly-lit area with no crosswalk.
“Pedestrians need to use the crosswalks, they need to cross the street in areas where there are crosswalks,” Struble said.
No arrests are expected in the case.