BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A double tragedy occurred on a south Bakersfield street this afternoon.
A 19-year-old and his 10-year-old sister were struck and killed by a car that ran off Panama Lane and careened over the sidewalk. The tragedy worsened Kern’s already-record number of pedestrian deaths.
The man and the girl were standing on the corner of Panama and Hammond Way at about 1:16 p.m. when the westbound sedan crossed the eastbound lanes and jumped the curb on the south side of Panama.
After striking the pedestrians, the car hit a tree and was still there, its hood crumpled, two hours after the crash.
The victims were declared dead at the scene.
Bakersfield Police Sgt. Chance Koerner said the 19-year-old was apparently walking his sister home from school.
“That’s exactly what it appears to be,” Koerner said. “He came to pick her up and tragedy occurred.”
Families members said they believe the girl had been dropped at the corner by a school bus and her brother met her there on a bicycle when the car hit them. A bicycle was still at the scene of the crash, lying on the grass right behind the car’s rear tires.
Police didn’t immediately know why the car left the roadway. The driver, identified only as a woman, driving alone, suffered minor to moderate injuries.
Panama Lane is still closed for the investigation and offices said it would remain closed from Monitor Street to South H Street for several hours.
The two fatalities raised the number of pedestrians killed on Kern County roads this year to 53.
That grim count is the worst year on record.
Anyone with information on the crash is asked to call Bakersfield Police Department at 661-327-7111.