General Crime

* Bruce Ricketts of Benicia cited for driving at an unsafe speed after hitting teens Jorden Herbert and Lacey Wilson

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Benicia police said today they will issue citations to the driver of a van that struck two teens, critically injuring one, at an intersection earlier this month.Bruce Ricketts, 49, of Benicia will be cited for driving at an unsafe speed for the conditions at the time and failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, Lt. Mike Daley said. Both offenses are infractions punishable by fines.Ricketts was not exceeding the 35 mph speed limit when his 1997 Ford Aerostar van struck 14-year-old Jorden Herbert and 15-year-old Lacey Wilson, both of Benicia, in the Military West and West 2nd Street intersection on July 1.But Lt. Mike Daley said Ricketts should have reduced his speed so he could safely see if anyone was in the crosswalk. The sun was setting at the time of the accident, which occurred at about 8:20 p.m. Herbert and Wilson were taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek after the accident. Herbert was released, but Wilson remains in the hospitalized, Daley said. The hospital would not provide information this afternoon about her condition without her parents’ authorization. Benicia police and the California Highway Patrol investigated the accident.The Benicia Public Works and Community Development Department conducted a safety review of the intersection, which has no traffic light or stop sign, after the crash, Daley said. In a prepared statement, the department’s director, Charlie Knox, said, “All traffic control devices were fully functional and installed in accordance with the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which establishes the national standard for traffic control devices such as crosswalks, crosswalk warning signs, and the like.” Benicia police also placed devices at the intersection on July 3 to monitor the speed of vehicles traveling through the intersection, Daley said. Initial findings showed the average speed there was 21 mph, and the majority of vehicles traveled under 25 mph, Daley said. Police will keep the devices in place through Thursday.Daley said that during the past 2.5 years, there has been only one traffic accident at the intersection, and it was not related to the crosswalk. There have been no pedestrian accidents at the intersection since 2000, Daley said.The intersection meets all current safety standards and does not meet the minimum requirements to add any additional traffic control devices,Daley said.

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