Sadly, a well-loved San Diego woman has died a day after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Mission Beach.
Sixty-nine-year old Maruta Gardner had reportedly gotten off her three-wheeled bike to remove some graffiti at the entrance to the jetty at 800 San Diego Place around 5:45 pm Friday, when an alleged road raging driver sped around to the right of another car, driving on the shoulder and slamming into Gardner.
She was hospitalized with a skull fracture and life threatening injuries, and passed away before 11 am Saturday.
The 23-year old driver, who has not been publicly identified, reportedly got out of his car to check the damage, and paused to look at Gardner before getting back into his car and speeding away. He was stopped by police a short distance later and was arrested suspicion of driving under the influence.
A retired educator, Gardner was well-loved within the local community, and recognized forgoing out of her way to help make it a better place. She had been honored by the city council last November for her years of service to the city.
She made a habit of riding her tricycle along the beach looking for graffiti with cleaning materials in tow.
Friday, it cost Gardner her life.
This is the 15th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in San Diego County.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Maruta Gardner and all her loved ones.
Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.