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Alcohol Believed a Factor in July 4 Clovis Pedestrian Death. Victim ID’d.



CHP report: "It is believed the use of alcohol was a factor in this collision on the part of the pedestrian, pending toxicology results." (Shutterstock)
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The initial California Highway Patrol investigation into the death of a pedestrian struck by a Clovis Fire Department truck responding to a call on Tuesday night states that the suspected use of alcohol by the pedestrian was “believed” to be a factor in the fatal collision.

The Fresno County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office identified the dead man as Melchor Mendoza, 62, of Clovis, on Wednesday.

A fully marked Clovis Fire Department Ford F-250 pickup truck driven by a fire department supervisor was responding to a call for service with emergency lights and siren activated. The truck was going northbound on Clovis Avenue north of Barstow Avenue, the CHP said.

At about 9:30 p.m., Mendoza and a woman left a mini-mart on the northwest corner of Clovis and Barstow avenues. Both walked toward Clovis Avenue. But while the woman stopped along the sidewalk as the emergency vehicle approached, Mendoza stepped directly in front of the truck.

Stated the CHP report: “Due to the sudden movement of the pedestrian into the roadway, the driver was unable to avoid colliding into the pedestrian. The Ford struck the pedestrian inflicting critical injuries. Despite lifesaving efforts, the pedestrian succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

“It is believed the use of alcohol was a factor in this collision on the part of the pedestrian, pending toxicology results.”

The report also pointed out that the man entered the road about 200 feet from the nearest crosswalk.

The CHP says that the investigation is ongoing.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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