A Calabasas man was killed Friday evening while attempting to cross Pacific Coast Highway on foot. The collision happened at 21371 PCH (near Rambla Vista) at 7:15 p.m.—dusk, when visibility begins to sharply decline. The victim, identified as 76-year-old Ronald Fuote, had just parked his car and was trying to meet his wife across the street at a restaurant opening.
Fuote apparently emerged from the south side of PCH when the driver of a Mini Cooper traveling eastbound (southbound) struck him in the right lane. The victim was hurled about 10 feet from the collision to land just near the sidewalk on the south/east side of the street. Fuote appeared to have died on impact. No lifesaving attempts were made on scene.
Fuote’s identification was confirmed by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Department, with cause of death listed as blunt trauma.
The driver of the Mini Cooper cooperated with authorities and stayed on scene for more than an hour until a field sobriety test was conducted. Lieutenant Jennifer Seetoo of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station said as of Monday, it appeared no drugs or alcohol were involved. Witnesses on scene said the driver agreed to have a blood sample taken as well. The driver appeared shaken and may have had cuts to his hands after his windshield was shattered and glass was driven into his hands, as well as face and beard.
The driver could be seen taking a field sobriety test and appeared to be steady on his feet and in his demeanor. It did not appear excessive speed was a factor in the incident.
One witness told The Malibu Times that Fuote had dropped his wife off at the restaurant and that she could be heard saying after the crash, “I told him not to park there and cross the street. I said don’t do it, but he kept assuring me, ‘I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about me.’”
A friend of the victim was seen running across the highway to check on the victim’s identity. Upon realizing it was his friend, he held both hands to his head in shocked disbelief.
Both directions of traffic were stopped for 45 minutes while first responders came to the scene. By 8:15 p.m., police were able to open one lane of traffic in both directions on the north side of the highway. The full closure had traffic backed up heavily in both directions.