Chico Police say they now believe that the pickup driver who struck and nearly killed a Chico State student as he was walking home late night from downtown is to blame for the accident.
The following is the Chico press release narrative on the Dec. 8th incident that left 21-year-old Chico State construction management student Brandon Fisher recoverying from serious brain injuries.
The Chico Police Department is releasing updated information regarding the auto vs pedestrian traffic collision that occurred on Dec. 8, 2012 at Walnut St and W. 1 St. The collision left Chico State student Brandon Fisher with significant injuries. Mr. Fisher has since been released from a local hospital and transferred to a rehabilitation center outside of Chico.
The Chico PD Major Accident Investigation Team continued to investigate the collision and obtained a copy of surveillance video from a nearby business that captured the collision. In reviewing the video, it became apparent that neither witness who provided statements regarding the collision was able to provide accurate information. According the video, the following information was determined regarding the collision:
• Mr. Fisher was on foot traveling west on the north side of W. 1st St adjacent to the CSUC facilities maintenance yard.
• Mr. Lambert was driving his pickup southbound on Nord Ave and continued over the Big Chico Creek Bridge and onto Walnut St.
• Mr. Fisher approached the intersection of W. 1 St and Walnut St. and stopped at the triangular median as he prepared to cross Walnut St. He then appeared to be monitoring traffic on Walnut St, allowing approaching traffic to pass. He then started to jog across Walnut St. towards the northwest corner of the intersection.
As he approached the west side of the street, it appears that Mr. Fisher started moving in a southwest direction away from his original destination, possibly in an attempt to avoid being struck by the pickup.
• The pickup struck the pedestrian in the southbound lanes within the intersection.
Through the investigation the following information was determined:
• The pickup was traveling between 5-15 mph over the posted 35 mph speed limit.
• A driver would appear to have ample time to observe and react to a pedestrian in the roadway (at W. 1st St) as their vehicle came over the Big Chico Creek bridge, even at a speed similar to the speed this vehicle was traveling.
• It appears that this collision was caused by Mr. Lambert driving under the influence in combination with the speed of his vehicle and/or being distracted to some degree.
Based on the additional information, the case will be forwarded to the Butte County District Attorney's Office to determine if there is sufficient evidence to prosecute Mr. Lambert with driving under the influence causing great bodily injury. The investigation into the collision continues.