The hit and run death of Amber Schei on June 21st just outside of OB is a grim reminder that the freeway ramps are dangerous areas. Schei’s death is the second in a two year period right around the entrance and exit of I-8, including Nimitz and Sunset Cliffs.
In March of 2012, Sho Funai was also killed in a hit and run incident at OB’s entrance. The driver was eventually found, and on July 27th, she was sentenced by to one year in prison, plus the standard five years of probation.
It was a double whammy for Schei’s mother, Tammy Wilson, who had been happy as she had just returned from Afghanistan where she was employed as a contractor. Four days after her returned, while on the East Coast, the former military vet Wilson learned of her 27-year old daughter’s death. She spoke to NBC7, saying that Amber was:
“Fun-loving, carefree, just loved life. She was very smart.”
She said that Schei had moved out to San Diego and enrolled at ITT Technical Institute to take computer engineering classes, going for an associate’s degree. Schei was also seeking to have more time with her 10-year-old daughter, who lives with her father. Her skateboarding daughter however had left school and was staying in a group home due to a disorder. Wilson said:
“She was in a — I wouldn’t call it a half-way house — but one of those homes that they have for… she was diagnosed with a disorder where she had assistance, where they gave her meds and assistance through the state”.
Wilson also stated that the last time she spoke to Amber, she seemed fine, and urged her to go back to school:
“She said ‘Mom, I just need a little bit of money, but I’m doing great. I’m skateboarding all the time, going to a skateboard park,’and she just was living life. She was enjoying herself.”
A local ceremony for Schei is set for Friday, June 27 at 11 a.m. at Santee Lakes. The investigation into her death will continue, as police say her injuries were consistent with being hit by a vehicle. Police also say that the suspect’s vehicle likely has significant damage to its front.
Yet, still – two hit and run deaths at OB – is something that OBceans ought to ruminate upon.
Schei’s death, the Voice of San Diego, reminds us that, hit and run deaths are mounding in San Diego:
In the past five years, 59 pedestrians and bicyclists have been killed countywide by drivers who fled the scene, according to numbers from the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office. Between 2009 and 2013, hit-and-run pedestrian fatalities ranged from five to 12 victims a year. Less than six full months into 2014, 13 pedestrians have been killed.
The Voice also summarized that:
Most occur on or near freeways (Schei’s body was found near an onramp to the I-8 and I-5 freeways).
That area right outside OB is very dangerous, especially if you’re on a bicycle, walking or on a skateboard. One traveler of OB’s roads commented:
“You have this blind corner, and people coming down Nimitz going 40mph or more to get on the freeway and if there’s someone crossing the freeway entrance you don’t have much time to avoid them. It seems kind of dark in that area – I don’t know if there’s a street light there.”
News source: Voice of San Diego: