An elderly El Cerrito woman who suffered extremely critical injuries when she was hit by a bicyclist while walking across Arlington Boulevard about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday died just before midnight Wednesday night, authorities said.
The Contra Costa County coroner's bureau identified her as Mary Jean Smith, 92, of El Cerrito.
She was crossing Arlington near Brewster Drive near Arlington Park, not in a crosswalk, and had nearly finished crossing the street when the bicyclist – a 57-year-old El Cerrito man – collided with her, according to El Cerrito police.
The cyclist, who was northbound downhill in the bicycle lane, spotted her from about 70 feet away and yelled at her several times, Police Chief Sylvia Moir said. Smith panicked and stopped, started going forward and the stopped again, Moir said.
She suffered severe head trauma and was taken by ambulance to Cerrito Vista Park and airlifted by medical helicopter from there to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, Moir said.
Smith, a resident of the area for more than 45 years, had been out for her regular late afternoon/early evening walk, according to a notice distributed today, Thursday, on the Arlington Neighbors email list.
"Jean was a lovely lady," the notice said. "Even though she was 92, she was sharp, witty, always smiling, gracious, and very fit."
Smith died about 11:40 p.m., the coroner's bureau said.
The police department is conducting an investigation into who was at fault in the accident, Moir said.
Moir said collisions between bicyclists and pedestrians have become a problem in El Cerrito and that the police department is preparing safety information and advice for release to the public in the near future.
"We've had several collisions of bicyclists and pedestrians," she said.
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