Pedestrian killed on Highway 101 in Nipomo identified

July 23, 2015

CHP@More than a month following the fatal accident the California Highway Patrol has identified 31-year-old Richard Cruz as the pedestrian killed in a hit-and-run on Highway 101 in Nipomo. [KSBY]

Cruz was from Mexico, but his last known address was in Santa Maria. He did not have any identification when police found his body, and the CHP used fingerprint analysis to identify him.

Officers found Cruz’s body on southbound Highway 101 near the Tefft Street offramp shortly after 9 p.m. on June 13. The CHP was responding to a report of what a motorist described as a dead animal in the slow lane of the highway.

CHP investigators believe Cruz was walking on the highway and was hit by multiple vehicles. Investigators have not identified any drivers involved in the hit-and-run, though.

It is illegal to walk on the highway where Cruz was reportedly hit. Still, no witnesses have come forward, the CHP says.

On the night of the hit-and-run, CHP officers asked Santa Maria police to look out for a damaged vehicle headed southbound. One vehicle was stopped, but it was not connected to the case.

The CHP managed to identify Cruz after his fingerprints matched those from an arrest. Cruz’s family has received notification of the death.

A CHP investigation into the hit-and-run is ongoing. Investigators are requesting that anyone with information about the incident contact the CHP.