A Santa Barbara pedestrian was struck by a pickup truck on Shoreline Drive near SBCC on Friday morning, Santa Barbara police said. The woman suffered a severe skull fracture and was later declared “brain dead” after being rushed to the hospital.
Police said Janette Zuzalek, 56, and her mother were crossing Shoreline at Loma Alta Drive near Ledbetter Beach at about 8:05 a.m. Friday. According to police Sgt. Noel Rivas, Sean Cornelis, 20, was driving a 1999 Ford F-150 4×4 and turned left onto eastbound Shoreline from Loma Alta. Rivas said Cornelis told officers that the sun was in his eyes, and he suddenly felt “a thump” and saw Zuzalek’s mother standing in front of his pickup.
Rivas said Cornelis stopped immediately and saw Zuzalek lying in the street. Several witnesses and bystanders, including off-duty medical personnel, rushed to start CPR on the woman, who was not breathing and had no pulse. An AMR ambulance transported Zuzalek to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where she was found to have a severe skull fracture and no brain activity. Zuzalek was declared “brain dead” shortly after noon, but she was being kept alive by a ventilator until out-of-town family members could arrive, Rivas said.
Rivas said Zuzalek and her mother were walking two to three feet outside of the crosswalk, but had the right-of-way because they had “established their position in the roadway.” The police Collision Reconstruction Team is investigating and it is not yet known if any charges will be filed.