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Woman fatally struck by SUV was co-founder of San Jose health care organization

South Bay mourns death of community activist struck while crossing street
South Bay mourns death of community activist struck while crossing street 03:52

SAN JOSE (CBS SF/BCN) – A SUV hit the co-founder of a San Jose health care organization and killed her Wednesday evening, according to city officials. 

Maria Marcelo, 47, died in the collision reported around 7:30 p.m. in the area of Little Orchard Street and Perrymont Avenue, police said.

Mayer was the co-founder of Healing Grove Health Center, and at the time of the collision was leading a procession of the Virgen de Juquila, a Oaxacan traditional Christmastime celebration, the center's executive director Brett Bymaster wrote on social media.

Maria Marcelo, co-founder of Healing Grove Health Center, speaking at a press conference KPIX

 "No doubt about it, Maria died in the line of duty doing exactly the thing she loved the most -- practicing Healing Grove's mission: Sharing the love of Jesus through health care, soul care, and culture care, in order to bring the 'healing of the nations' to our community," Bymaster wrote.

San Jose police said a man was driving a 2004 Buick SUV north on Little Orchard Street when it hit Mayer, who died at the scene. The Buick driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, who do not suspect impairment as a factor in the collision.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo wrote on Twitter to mourn Marcelo's death.

"With Maria Marcelo's passing, our community lost a tireless champion, & many lost a dear friend," Liccardo wrote. "Maria fought for the health & safety of immigrant families in Washington-Guadalupe & @CityofSanJose. Our hearts break for Maria's family & friends @HealingGrove."

The fatal collision was the 59th in San Jose so far in 2022, according to police. Marcelo was the 31st pedestrian killed and the 61st person killed in a traffic collision in the city this year, breaking a record of 60 traffic deaths set last year.

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