Pedestrian killed on Arnold Drive

Posted on May 25, 2012 by Sonoma Valley Sun

A Napa man driving northbound on Arnold Drive near Grove drifted into the bike lane Thursday afternoon, striking and killing a Sonoma pedestrian.

Pedro Velez Hernandez, 32, was hit from behind by a 2004 Toyota Prius driven by Thornton Bunch Jr., 74, according to the CHP.

The accident occurred about 3 p.m. as Bunch’s car drifted out of its lane and onto the shoulder. It hit Hernandez and plowed through a fence before coming to a stop in a residential back yard.

Bunch was uninjured. No other vehicles were involved in the collision.

There was no immediate explanation for the car to travel into the bike lane, according to the CHP.

Bunch was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He was not arrested, but is subject to charges depending on the outcome of the ongoing investigation.

The emergency response closed Arnold Drive between Grove and Center streets for several hours.

5 thoughts on “Pedestrian killed on Arnold Drive

  1. How very sad. It reminds me that, as a child, we were taught to ALWAYS walk facing traffic. It gives one a chance to avoid being run down.

  2. The traffic on Arnold is WAY too fast, and people are always passing on the right instead of waiting for left turners. The street needs more stop signs, lights, speed bumps or something. There are tons of accidents all year long.

  3. Things haven’t changed much in 30 years….I was hit by a car @ the corner of Arnold & Grove while riding a bicycle. Split my face open, but I survived! This was pre- bike lanes. Doesn’t seem to have made a lot of difference if people are STILL getting hit there! Don’t know what it would be, but there sure needs to be SOMETHING done to make it safer. But then, inattentive drivers are inattentive no matter what precautions have been taken.

  4. I live near there, was on the way home from work and had to circle because the corner was closed off. At the Stop “N Go I heard someone say the driver had to swerve to avoid another vehicle doing something illegal. I saw the fence he went through; it wasn’t a clip but he left the roadway completely which tells me the info I got was reliable. Speed is almost always one of the main culprits in accidents, and it seems so here. The driver was going about 40-45, the limit is 35; most vehicles go around 35-40 which in itself is not bad. The problem is our reaction time and presence of mind to react appropriately. A 74 year old man is not necessarily old, but his reaction time has probably diminished considerably over the years. Also, his ability to react more decisively, because of his age, may have had something to do with it.
    Walking facing traffic IS the law, but one is permitted to walk with traffic if crossing the street would be more dangerous. In this case the man was about 20 yards from the market.
    If one were to glean anything from this tragedy it’s that we should always obey the rules of the road, whether as a driver or a pedestrian. Slow down because speed kills. Watch, be aware, be courteous.

  5. It’s the drivers that need to change as much as the road conditions. I live on Olive Avenue and was shocked at the speed of the cars that raced down our street after being diverted from Arnold Drive. The detour could not have caused more than a 10 minute delay, but the drivers were acting as if they were racing at Infineon. Slow down! Obey the traffic laws and be aware!

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