SALINAS, Calif. - UPDATE: 12/11/2017 6 p.m.: Two men were killed in separate crashes Sunday evening, both near the North Main Street corridor.
Jay Bradley, 27, was killed at East Laurel Drive at Terra Drive at 5:35 p.m. Sunday. Police say the man, who they believe was homeless, was pushing a shopping cart across the street when the driver hit him. Police say the driver is cooperating with authorities and is not facing charges at this point.
At 7:04 p.m., less than a mile away, Alan Ellis, 52, was struck when he was crossing North Main Street at Rochex Avenue. The driver sped off but later called authorities and turned herself in.
Police say the driver is Sonia Cano, 36, a probation officer from Monterey County. Cano has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, hit and run causing death and driving under the influence. Bail could be set around $300,000.
Without identifying the employee, probation officials confirmed a nine-year veteran was arrested Sunday night. That employee, who supervised adult probationers, is now on administrative leave.
Pedestrian deaths continue to plague Salinas. So far this year, of the ten traffic deaths, seven were pedestrians. That’s compared to 12 deaths last year, where six were pedestrians.
"You're talking 70% this year to 50% last year, that's way too high,” said Sgt. Gerry Ross. “The national average is about 18% of pedestrians so we are really trying to figure out what else we can do to make these streets safer.”
Police say homeless people make up half of the pedestrian deaths. The North Main corridor has traditionally been a hot spot for these crashes.
"There's a lot of homeless people that live in that area of North Main Street,” Ross said. “North Main Street is a very busy street and cars are driving 35-45 miles per hour. And then you add to that a homeless population in the area that has often been drinking or using drugs and they're crossing outside the crosswalk."
UPDATE: 12/11/2017 12:06 p.m. Salinas Police are now confirming that a Monterey County probation officer has turned herself in after a fatal hit-and-run Sunday night on North Main & Rochex.
Sonia Cano, 36, faces charges for DUI, felony hit-and-run, and vehicular manslaughter according to Salinas Police.
Cano was off duty when she struck and killed 52-year-old transient Allan Ellis and fled the scene. She turned herself into police three hours later.
Investigators are still trying to determine whether Ellis was in the crosswalk when he was struck by Cano's vehicle.
The Monterey County Probation Department said Cano is a 9-year veteran officer, who supervised adult offenders. She has been placed on administrative leave. An internal investigation could happen later.
Cano's bail has been set at $300,000.
This is one of two fatal accidents that occurred on Sunday night in Salinas.
KION's Mariana Hicks will have the story at 5 and 6 p.m.
The Salinas Police Department is investigating two Sunday night vehicle versus pedestrian fatalities.
The first happened at around 5:30 p.m. when a 27 year-old man was pushing a shopping cart southbound across the eastbound lanes of East Laurel Drive, east of the intersection at Terra Drive.
A female traveling eastbound on East Laurel Drive did not see the pedestrian and hit him. The victim, identified as Jay Bradley had severe head trauma and was taken to Natividad Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
The second was a hit and run that happened at around 7:00 p.m. Sunday night.
A man described to be in his late 40s to early 50s was walking across the southbound lanes of North Main Street south of Rochex Avenue, when he was hit by a vehicle also traveling southbound.
The driver left the scene and later turned herself in. Salinas Police identified the driver as Sonia Cano, and told KION she is a probation officer. Cano has been arrested for DUI, felony hit and run and manslaughter.
The victim in that hit and run accident also suffered severe head trauma and was taken to Natividad Medical center where he was pronounced dead. He has not yet been identified.
The Salinas Police Department says neither of these fatalities are related to one another. Both investigations are on-going.