Home NEWS Police/Fire Lafayette Woman Struck, Killed, By Car After Running Onto Highway 24 Wednesday

Lafayette Woman Struck, Killed, By Car After Running Onto Highway 24 Wednesday


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.

Anja Simonsen

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.


  1. This is very sad news. Am very sorry for the victim and her loved ones.
    Today was a bad day for traffic in the Bay Area. Be safe, everyone.

  2. None of us know what trouble others have until it is often too late. I am so very sorry to hear about this. She seemed like a lovely girl.

  3. This is so sad. Hard to believe she took her own life — I can see why people are trying to figure this out. Some sort of dispute or fight with a boyfriend? Terribvle when we lose people but even worse when we lose people with promise.

  4. She was certainly well known and obviously loved for such a young person. May her family find some peace and comfort in the memory of her time with us. Not now but sometime in the future. Condolences.

  5. Incredibly sad and distressing news. She was obviously well liked and loved. There had to be something to cause her to do what she did.

  6. I was heartsick all day after hearing this and I didn’t know this girl. I can not imagine what her parents and family are feeling. Thinking of all involved.

  7. The driver who hit her and others said they first saw her standing on the side of the freeway as if she was looking for something and then step out or run in front of their truck? So difficult to comprehend and I can see why people are having a difficult time processing this news. I did not know her. Hearing other people talk I wish I did.

  8. I guess it is time to start calling this what many of us don’t want to recognize – someone taking their own life. The only thing we can take from it is that even the most seemingly ‘together’ people can be suffering inwardly in some way and that if we care about about them, family or friends, we need to recognize the warning signs. I am so sorry about this. I was on the freeway that day. I didn’t see anything and learned what happened here. It effected me deeply. Life is precious and very fragile.

  9. This seems to happen fairly regularly and even so it is so hard to understand. My immediate thoughts are for her family and then the man or men in that van. There was apparently a moment’s connection when she made her choice. Devastating and heartbreaking. Condolences to all.

  10. Rest in peace Anja. I remember Anja from Lamorinda Soccer Club. She was friends with my niece. She also attended Alcalanes and UC Davis with my cousins daughter. I’m hearing warm, wonderful things about her. Blessings to her family and friends.

    • @Danielle – Yes. Spoke with her twice. Once at Acalanes and the second time on the sidelines of a soccer game. She talked about her plans and we were impressed by her demeanor and good spirits.

  11. I can remember Anja doing a zipline in her backyard, and even though she only had one arm, she wouldn’t let anyone help her. It was so inspiring! She had the sweetest smile. Sending prayers.

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