Man killed on Green Valley Road
The early shift of barbers at World Famous Barber Jon’s on Green Valley Road first heard then witnessed the outcome of a fatal traffic accident on the morning of Oct. 16.
Greg Benson, 52, was crossing Green Valley Road on foot, south to north, roughly 150 feet east of the barbershop when he was struck by a 2002 Dodge Dakota pickup driven by Darren Vitt, 28, according to a press release from California Highway Patrol officer Jasper Begay.
Barber Ernest Kilmer of Folsom was working that morning and described hearing a faint thud, then a sound like “a bag of leaves landing in the lawn.”
The next sound was a woman’s scream. Outside, bystanders gathered in a landscaped area in front of the barbershop where Benson lie gravely injured, his body mangled, limbs akimbo, but still breathing.
According to the accident report, Benson was struck on his right side.
Kilmer said he used his straight razor to cut Benson’s backpack off. The CHP has confirmed that Benson was a transient, and is still investigating why he was in El Dorado Hills.
Green Valley Road was recently widened to provide two traffic lanes in each direction, a turn lane, and bike paths on either side. The posted speed limit is 50 mph. The CHP does not think that excessive speed was involved, although it is clear that Benson was struck at a high speed.
The CHP press release indicates that Vitt was driving westbound in the right lane and swerved left to avoid Benson, then struck him on the right side of his truck.
Skid marks on the pavement start on the “fog line” between the right lane and the bike lane, roughly 150 feet from where Benson landed. They continue through the left lane into the median.
The barbers who witnessed Benson’s broken body wondered how he walked across almost five lanes unnoticed by Vitt, who apparently was still going at or near the speed limit. Attempts by Village Life to reach Vitt were unsuccessful.
Paramedics were dispatched from El Dorado Hills Fire Station 84 at 9:59 a.m. and arrived at 10:02 a.m., according to Deputy Chief Jim O’Camb, who explained that an “air ambulance” was dispatched automatically when the call came in.
Benson was still breathing when the paramedics got him into the ambulance. The helicopter was routed to nearby Promontory Park, but Benson “coded” in Medic 85 before they got to the park. In such cases the ambulance is routed directly to the closest hospital, which was Mercy Folsom, where Benson was pronounced dead.
Vitt was uninjured and sober, according to the CHP. Witnesses reported that his truck sustained damage to the right front and a broken windshield.
The toxicology for Benson won’t be available until the coroner’s report, roughly 30 days out.
Reached by phone on Friday, Begay said the accident is still very much under investigation and that no determination of fault has been made.