“It really echoes the fact that we need much more traffic enforcement to slow people down,” said Chief LeRonne L. Armstrong, Oakland Police Department.
This time the family of 28-year-old Hayward resident, Lolomanaia Soakai, leaving flowers and candles just feet from where he lost his life.
His brother said he was walking back to his car after getting food when he was struck by a vehicle early Sunday morning.
“Prior to the collision, two officers attempted to stop the vehicle traveling at nearly 100 miles an hour. The officers could not keep up with the vehicle and the officers disengaged with the vehicle. The vehicle continued on International Boulevard where the Nissan struck another vehicle in the roadway. causing that Nissan to speed out of control. The Nissan struck several parked vehicles and motorcycles within the 5400 block of International Boulevard which then struck a pedestrian that was on the sidewalk,” said Chief Armstrong.
According to Chief Armstrong, three pedestrians were also injured.
Officers arrested a 19-year-old male who police say was previously involved in a sideshow.
Chief Armstrong bringing up another incident where an innocent cyclist was killed 11 days ago by a high speed vehicle.
“A resident of our city lost his life in front of his children. The speed in which people are traveling in cars whether related to sideshows or just driving in our community is just far too fast. It’s unsafe and putting the public at risk,” said Chief Armstrong.
Oakland councilmember Carrol Fife said additional funding went into traffic measures last year, but the city’s department of transportation is understaffed.
“Our speed bump team, the individuals who install speed bumps has been deactivated. So they are not operational right now in the department of transportation,” said Councilmember Fife.
Councilmember Fife is demanding for an increased urgency for street safety.
“In the same way that there was a state of emergency call to bring in a highway patrol. We need a state of emergency to address the challenging conditions with our roadways,” said Councilmember Fife.
Police say the driver had just left a sideshow in another part of East Oakland before the crash happened.
Two Oakland police officers have been placed on administrative leave in connection with this incident. Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong says they believe the officers may have engaged with the 19-year-old driver before the crash and the department is looking into whether the correct protocol was taken.
The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call OPD’s traffic investigators at 510-777-8570.
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