A 76-year-old woman walking to her exercise class Wednesday morning was killed when her neighbor apparently reversed her car over her, authorities said.
Neighbors said Hideko Terada, a resident on East Santa Inez Avenue,was walking to an exercise class around 7:45 a.m. when a neighbor, reversing a small sport utility vehicle out of a driveway, struck her but then rolled over her again as she drove forward. Hours after the accident, green paint on the driveway and sidewalk marked where the fatality occurred.
The driver told police on scene that she did not see the victim, San Mateo police Lt. Mike Brunicardi said. He said no citations or arrests have been made, but that an investigation is ongoing.
A woman living in a white and blue house on East Santa Inez Avenue identified herself as Bertalina Escalante and confirmed she was the driver of the car. She said her two young daughters, who witnessed the incident, are OK.
One neighbor, who declined to be identified, heard the incident and ran out of his house with his family. He said he’d heard Tereda yell for help and said she was still responsive.
By the time medical support arrived a few minutes later, she was barely breathing, San Mateo Fire Department Battalion Chief Joe Novelli said. Novelli said that while the victim was in the ambulance en route to Mills-Peninsula Hospital, her heart stopped.
Neighbor Sara Cruz said Escalante’s two daughters, one of whom is 7 years old, were taken to the hospital because they were so upset.
She said she’s been “paranoid” about backing out of her driveway and that now she’ll be even more careful.
“It’s really hard to see people. The sidewalks are really narrow and there’s a lot of cars parked and driving — a lot of activity,” she said.
Angela Miller, who works at the King Recreation Center a few blocks away from Terada’s home, said Terada and her husband both come to the center almost every morning. She said Terada performs tai chi while her husband usually plays pool.
“She was an absolutely wonderful person with a beautiful smile. Every time you pass by her, she’s nothing but good words,” she said.
Asked whether Terada was healthy, Miller laughed. “Yes. Anyone who can kick as high as she did is in good health,” she said.