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Coroner ID’s pedestrian killed Friday as homeless

One person was killed on the northbound side of Highway 14 south of the Golden Valley Road off-ramp, April 12, 2019. Austin Dave / The Signal.

Investigators with the medical examiner’s office have identified the pedestrian killed Friday near  a Highway 14 off-ramp as a homeless man, 61-year-old Gerald David Fruichantie.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner revealed that Fruichantie died as a result of blunt force trauma.

“He’s listed as homeless,” Lt. Larry Dietz, coroner spokesman, said late Tuesday afternoon.

Fruichantie was struck and killed by a motorist Friday, marking the second time in just over a month that a pedestrian has died in a Santa Clarita Valley traffic collision.

Shortly after 9:15 p.m. Friday, a man — later identified as Fruichantie — was seen walking northbound on the right shoulder of the northbound Highway 14, just south of Golden Valley Road, Investigating Officer Robert Gomez of the California Highway Patrol wrote in his report.

About 20 minutes later, CHP received calls from more people reporting the same man walking in the slow lane of the highway.

About 9:53 p.m., the driver of a 2002 Honda Accord, identified by CHP officers as a 25-year-old Tustin man, was driving northbound on Highway 14, to the Golden Valley Road off-ramp.

While the pedestrian was walking in a northwesterly direction within the off-ramp, the Tustin driver took evasive action, according to Gomez, by steering toward the left.

The driver was unsuccessful, however, in avoiding the pedestrian, and struck him, Gomez wrote in his report.

Pedestrians struck

On March 3, shortly after 6:15 p.m., Cecilio Vasquez, 61, of Newhall, was hit by a vehicle on Railroad Avenue at Lyons Avenue.

The victim was identified as a 61-year-old homeless man named Cecilio Vasquez, according to investigators with the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.

The March fatality happened two days after 62-year-old Newhall resident Teresa Mae Angeli was struck by a car while riding her bicycle on Railroad near 15th Street.

The driver of the Honda was reportedly arrested Friday, not on charges of hitting the pedestrian, but for having outstanding warrants for his arrest, said Daryl Everts, a jailer at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

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