Barstow man shot and killed in retail parking lot, fueling local complaints about road hazards

A 79-year-old man in Barstow died last week after a driver hit him in the parking lot of a retail store, prompting some residents to reiterate their complaints about the dangers on local roads.

San Bernardino County Coroner has identified Barstow resident Jerry Lee Ellington as the victim of a fatal collision between a vehicle and pedestrians.evening of November 17 in the parking lot of Stater Bros. Markets next to Armory Road.

The driver who struck Ellington remained at the scene, Barstow Police Captain Chris Kirby told The Daily Press. Kirby said on Sunday that BPD’s investigation into the incident was ongoing and no arrests had been made.

Officers received a report of the collision “outside 957 Armory Road” at 6:08 p.m. Wednesday, according to the coroner. Ellington was pronounced dead at the scene approximately 10 minutes later.

Barstow PD did not identify the driver or provide further details on how the incident happened.

Several residents who say they witnessed the scene that night recalled the closure of Armory Road outside Stater Bros. and a body covered in the street, surrounded by first responders.

Some residents have taken to local Facebook groups to lament what they describe as a broader issue of reckless driving in and around crowded retail spaces.

“Jesus, I know you all want to get in and out of the store as fast as you can, but it’s a parking lot, not a race track,” said a Stater Bros. employee, who declined to be named for this article, published in a group on Friday. It is not clear whether the worker was referring to a specific incident.

Other residents say they have almost been hit by cars in parking lots on recent occasions. Some have expressed concerns about children, whose small stature and spontaneous nature make them more difficult for drivers to notice.

Another problem that some residents have reported is lighting, which they say is insufficient near roads and creates poor visibility for local drivers, which has a dangerous effect.

“It is so dark in many parts of the community and people have asked for better lighting,” said a resident of Vanessa Pack.

The Barstow incident is not the first of its kind among recent fatal collisions in the High Desert.

A four-year-old girl from Apple Valley died on October 16 after being hit by a car in the parking lot of the Vons supermarket in Victorville. The driver of the incident, which occurred shortly before 3:30 p.m. on a Saturday, also remained at the scene after the collision.

San Bernardino County has seen an increase in the number of injuries and deaths resulting from vehicle collisions in recent years.

That includes 710 pedestrians who were injured or killed by vehicles in 2019 – the highest number of such casualties since 2009, according to the latest data released by the county.

Charlie McGee covers the town of Barstow and its surrounding communities for the Daily Press. He is also a member of the Report for America corps of the GroundTruth Project, an independent, non-partisan, non-profit news organization dedicated to supporting the next generation of journalists in the United States and around the world. McGee can be reached at 760-955-5341 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @bycharliemcgee.

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