Sonoma State student killed in Rohnert Park collision

ROHNERT PARK, Calif. (KRON) – A 21-year-old student was was killed in a collision in Rohnert Park on Monday, according to the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety.

Around 12 p.m. on July 5, authorities received reports of a hit-and-run collision involving a pedestrian near 1702 E. Cotati Avenue.

Witnesses said a black car hit a pedestrian crossing the street and then drove off.

Minutes later, the driver called authorities saying that he was pulled over on Roman Drive and had been involved in a collision.

An officer arrived to find a victim dead in the eastbound lanes. Other officers responded to where the driver was.

The victim has been identified as a 21-year-old male student of Sonoma State University. His name has not yet been released.

The driver of a 2015 Ford Fusion, identified as 19-year-old Ronald Gaither of Penngrove, was cooperative during the investigation.

Investigators say the victim was not using a crosswalk at the time of the incident. They say it appears that he stepped off the center median in front of the car.

Authorities say Gaither was unable to stop and avoid hitting the victim.

At this time, it is unknown if the driver or pedestrian was distracted prior to the collision. It also remains unknown how fast the car was traveling.

Gaither was taken to a hospital for a medical evaluation. An investigation was done to determine whether he was impaired at the time — It does not appear that drugs or alcohol were a contributing factor.

For about 3.5 hours, E. Cotati Ave. between Bodway Parkway and the 7-11 entrance was closed.

Officials remind pedestrians to use the crosswalks and to make sure they have contact with the driver to ensure they see you.

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