An accomplished medical student was killed while crossing a northeast Fresno intersection Friday night. Investigators say the woman was walking with another man when a vehicle hit her. Authorities however have not released specific information about the accident.
Melissa Dowd, the woman killed in the accident was known for her philanthropic character. She spent periods of her time working with orphans in Africa; she held a master’s degree in public health and the latest in her conquests was training to become an emergency room physician.
Authorities are searching for answers to the accident that happened on a street that also claimed the life of a 7-year-old while he was crossing with his family. Dowd was struck sometime around 11 p.m. at the Shepherd and Cedar avenues intersections. The boy, Donovan Maldonado, was struck and killed half a mile east of the Sugar Pine Trail crossing by a suspected drunk driver in July while bicycling with his family.
Dowd was walking southbound with a male pedestrian and across Shepherd Avenue when an eastbound vehicle hit her. Fresnobee stated in an article that the driver that struck and killed Dowd on Friday has been cooperating with the police investigation.
Fresno Lt. Anthony Martinez on Sunday told the publication that police believe the couple was in the crosswalk prior to the crash but might have been crossing against the red light. Lt. Martinez, however was unable to provide further information regarding the accident as in what part of the intersection the pair was walking across, or what legal consequences the driver will be facing. A Fresno injury lawyer will be appropriate for her male counterpart if he was hurt during the crash.
Dowd from Grafton, Va. was 30-years-old at the time of the incident and had a resume of impressive accomplishments. She had been a musician and humanitarian that loved people according to Doctor Jim Comes, director of the University of California at San Francisco-Fresno Medical Education program. He had interviewed Dowd last year for one of 10 residency positions in Fresno.
“She just stood out as an extraordinary human being,” Comes said.
In 2005, Dowd graduated summa cum laude from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, where she studied biology and psychology. At Virginia Tech Dowd was a member of the marching band and played a range of musical instruments such as the oboe, the flute and the euphonium.
After Virginia Tech Dowd attended medical school at Boston University and was a health fellow at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. She even worked with HIV-positive orphans in Kenya and Tanzania.
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