The CHP has identified the girl who was killed Tuesday night after walking into traffic on Highway 101 near Templeton as 17-year-old Emilee Ruiz. [KSBY]
Shortly before 11 p.m., Ruiz, of Paso Robles, was walking on the right shoulder of northbound Highway 101, just north of the Las Tablas Road off-ramp, when she stepped in front of a vehicle being driven by a 60-year-old Atascadero man. The right front fender of Bruce Eddy’s Chevrolet Impala then struck the teen, according to the CHP.
First responders pronounced Ruiz dead at the scene. Investigators did not suspect the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and an investigation into the fatal crash is ongoing.
Edwin Martinez, who was Ruiz’s fourth grade teacher, said the teen was enrolled at Paso Robles High School and also taking some courses at Liberty High School at the time of her death. Following Ruiz’s death, Martinez published a montage on YouTube consisting of fourth grade photos of the girl.
Martinez said Ruiz’s big smile and positive attitude made her stand out, and her big heart made her unforgettable. Ruiz’s class was very special to him because, when he got married, the students planned a classroom wedding for he and his wife, Martinez said.
The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District is offering counseling to classmates and teachers of Ruiz. A memorial for Ruiz has been set up along Highway 101 next to the location where she was killed.