Second Victim in Fatality Accident ID'd As Jean Gastelum, 77 of La Mesa

Gastelum succumbed to her injuries just three days after her friend, Dorothy Stephens, 83, also died.

Authorities released the name Friday of a 77-year-old woman who was fatally injured, along with a companion, when a van hit them as they tried to cross a street in unincorporated La Mesa.

Jean Gastelum of La Mesa died in a trauma center shortly before 8:30 p.m. Thursday, three days after the collision in the 10800 block of Calle Verde, according to the county Medical Examiner's Office.

Gastelum and her friend, Dorothy Stephens, 83, were walking across the roadway just north of State Route 94 when a Chevrolet Express 3500 hit them about 6:30 p.m. Monday, according to the Medical Examiner's Office and California Highway Patrol.

Emergency crews took Stephens, 83, to a nearby park in preparation to be flown to a hospital, but before the arrival of an air ambulance.

Gastelum was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where her condition deteriorated despite physicians' efforts to save her life.

The accident remains under investigation as of Friday afternoon, and it was unclear if the involved driver, a 55-year-old La Mesa man, was at fault, CHP public affairs officer Brian Pennings said.

Witnesses said the motorist did not appear to be speeding when the women were struck, Pennings said.

– City News Service contributed to this story.

Elizabeth August 18, 2012 at 02:55 AM
How sad. Not even safe to take a walk...
John Pilch August 19, 2012 at 01:29 AM
How about inattention to what was around and in front of him as the cause of the accident? It's not always speed that causes incidents such as this. Plus, the crosswalk is dangerous, as are most in the State of California. Any pedestrian who feels safe, due to being in a crosswalk, is mis-guided.
DWG August 23, 2012 at 02:50 AM
John, are you the same John Pilch who worked at Industrial Indemnity in the mid-eighties? If so, you have a connection to this woman, because I worked with you, and she was my mother.


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