A woman was killed after being run over by a vehicle she was attempting to exit while it was still moving Saturday afternoon in El Cajon.
According to the San Diego Police Department and the County Medical Examiner’s Office, 51 year old Maria Josephine Newman of La Mesa was a passenger in an older model pickup truck heading northbound in the 300 block of Orlando Street near East Main Street just after noon when she attempted to exit the vehicle while it was still in motion.
Witnesses reported seeing Newman hanging onto the passenger side of the truck before finally falling to the ground and being run over, at which point the vehicle fled the scene. She was pronounced dead at the scene by responding officers who were unable to revive her.
The accident was initially reported to the police as an accident with a pedestrian.
The driver of the vehicle Newman attempted to escape from is still at large, though his identity is unknown. His vehicle is described as a light blue 1969 to 1972 model year Chevy pickup with a white stripe and faded white camper shell that may also have some kind of construction logo on the driver’s side door.
Police are asking for anyone with information that can help lead to an arrest of the suspect to notify the SDPD as soon as possible.
At this time there is no word on why the woman was attempting to exit the moving vehicle, though residents in the area believe she may have been trying to escape from the driver.
“The fact that the driver split the scene, left the victim there alone and dying, probably didn’t even call for help, and is not turning himself in is very suspicious,” said one bystander.
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