Crime

Merced pedestrian killed in hit-and-run identified. Driver still sought, police say

A woman was killed near 18th and G streets when she was struck by a car about 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, Merced police said. The car was caught on surveillance video.
A woman was killed near 18th and G streets when she was struck by a car about 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, Merced police said. The car was caught on surveillance video.

Few details are known about the driver and the vehicle involved in a hit-and-run crash that killed a Merced woman last week, police said Wednesday.

The 50-year-old woman was killed near 18th and G streets when she was struck by a car about 6 p.m. Friday, police said. The woman was identified as Natalia Wood of Merced, the Merced County Coroner’s Office said on Wednesday.

Witnesses described the car as a small sedan that was either gold or tan, Merced police Sgt. Dan Dabney said. Surveillance video appears to back up that description of the car, he said, but the license plate was not visible.

No witnesses have given a description of the driver. “Male, female, young or old. We don’t know,” Dabney said. “This is a tough one.”

Officers arrived to find the woman lying in the roadway with major injuries, police said. She was taken to a local hospital where she later died.

The vehicle that struck the victim was last seen going north on G Street from 18th Street, police said. It likely had noticeable front-end damage, police said.

Dabney said there were 11 traffic-related fatalities in Merced in 2018, which is significantly more than the three from 2017. Nine of 2018’s fatalities involved victims who were on foot or on a bicycle, he said.

Merced Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this crime to contact Sgt. Dabney at 209-388-7719, Merced Police Dispatch at 209-385-6905 or the Merced Police Department Tipster Line at 209-385-4725. The public can send information via anonymous text messages to police department by dialing “TIP411” (847411) and including the word “Comvip” as the “keyword” in the text message.

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