A 24-year-old Lafayette woman was struck and killed after running onto eastbound Highway 24 in Lafayette this morning, prompting the closure of multiple lanes of the highway and triggering an investigation by the California Highway Patrol.
The collision was reported at 11:05 a.m. near the on-ramp to eastbound Highway 24 from Pleasant Hill Road. Witnesses reported seeing the victim, identified Thursday as Anja Simonsen, 24, of Lafayette, standing on the adjacent shoulder and told investigators she appeared to look back at oncoming traffic before stepping out into the slow lane, where she was struck by a white Econoline van.
Bystanders located Simonsen lying in the two righthand “slow” lanes as horrified drivers streamed past.
A recent UC Davis graduate and research assistant at Children’s Hospital, Oakland, Simonsen lived in the immediate area. No car or other conveyance was found nearby, investigators said. She appeared to have walked to the freeway.
The driver of the van that hit her pulled over immediately and was cooperating fully with the investigation. Investigators could shed no initial light on how or why Simonsen came to be on the highway.
If you witnessed this incident or have any information regarding it, please contact Contra Costa CHP in Martinez, (925) 646-4980, and ask for investigating Officer Vigus.