Yesterday evening, Ukiah rang out with the sounds of sirens after emergency personnel responded to what was initially reported as a possible fatal traffic collision on South State Street. The collision would leave a wheelchair-bound man with major injuries requiring an air ambulance and hospitalization.
CHP Public Information Officer Olegario Marin told us officers were dispatched at 5:26 p.m. to the corner of South State Street and Laws Avenue and initial reports stated that a motorcyclist had struck a man in a wheelchair in front of Chavez Market. Initial information suggested the collision was a “possible fatality.”
Once on scene, emergency personnel and law enforcement determined a 2014 Honda Accord driven by 31-year-old Ukiah resident Janely Martinez hit the motorized wheelchair.
The wheelchair-bound man was identified as 68-year-old Ukiah resident Vernon Ross who was transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital via air ambulance for major injuries.
At this point, investigators are still looking into the accident. They have not found any indications that alcohol or drugs are factors in the collision.
This story is also a real-time example of the fluid nature of reporting on breaking news. Our coverage yesterday evening identified the victim as a cyclist based on scanner traffic. Through follow-up work, we found accurate information and updated accordingly.
“Person using a wheelchair” is a more respectful descriptor than “wheelchair-bound,” per the late lamented Rainbird, mighty longtime Albion disability rights advocate. She used a wheelchair for over half her active, productive, zestful life.
Horrific, tragic accident! Please be watchful & give space when out in traffic.
South State St is terribly lit with old paint and reflectors. In the rain and dark it’s very hard to see. There is no side walk on parts of the west side of the street. Will we fix up South State before there’s another accident?
Not holding my breath for safer pedestrian conditions as streets fixed up. While State St is flush with pedestrian cross walks in the core area, the new Dora St areas have actually lost crosswalks. And even if you are in a cross walk, drivers often don’t even look for you. Then there are pedestrians who think they own the street, even with sidewalks available, they don’t move for traffic. The worst are moms and strollers who walk in the streets, and don’t move out of traffic. What the hell?
When there’s no side walk or wheel chair ramps for side walks, people in wheel chairs and stroller pushing moms get into the street.
The City has used a LOT of Measure Y money to pave all the residential streets on Ukiah’s “prestigious” west side, and they’ve put in new wheelchair-riendly corners there, too.
What? Don’t live on the prestigious west side?
Sucks to be you.