Girl loses life while walking on Highway 101

On March 6, a memorial grows near the site of the collision. (Photo by Elizabeth Enriquez-Phillips)

Memorial grows near where collision took place

TEMPLETON — A 17-year-old Paso Robles girl walking northbound along Highway 101 on Tuesday, March 5, was hit and killed by a car, the California Highway Patrol reported.

It had been a rainy and windy night when the driver, Bruce Wayne Eddy, 60, from Atascadero was driving his 2010 Chevrolet Impala northbound on Highway 101. Eddy was reportedly going approximately 60 mph when the teenager, who was walking on the right-hand shoulder, for reasons unknown suddenly stepped into the path of his vehicle. The collision occurred just north of Las Tablas Road at approximately 10:50 p.m.

As a result, the girl was struck by the right front fender and the windshield area of the Impala. She suffered fatal injuries from the collision and died at the scene.

CHP had not yet released the name of the girl, who is believed to have been a student in Paso Robles.

As of Wednesday, March 6, a growing memorial for the teenager appeared on the side of Highway 101 just north of the Las Tablas Road exit. The memorial features a cross with pink flowers and the name of a young girl, Emilee Ruiz. Along with white star balloons, stuffed animals, a framed photo of a girl, notes and a multitude of flowers surround the memorial site that loved ones have created for the girl.

Paso Robles Joint Unified School District officials said that arrangements were being made for any student at Paso Robles High school or Liberty High school who may need counseling at this time.

"The most important thing in times of crisis is to establish feelings of safety, security and connectedness. This is done through normalcy of routine. We also want to address feelings of grief and loss as they present themselves," reads a statement on the Paso Robles School Facebook page. "Please continue to keep this family in your thoughts as well as our students/staff at LHS."

The collision is still under investigation by the CHP Templeton Office. No charges have been filed. CHP does not believe alcohol or drugs were a factor for the driver of the vehicle.

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