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By Dave Boyce
Almanac Staff Writer
One of two men who were crossing El Camino Real in an easterly direction at about 6:15 a.m. this morning (Friday, Oct. 15) was struck and killed by a car in the middle southbound lane near the intersection with Watkins Avenue in Atherton, police said.
Honofre Mendoza, a 55-year-old homeless man, was pronounced dead by medics from the Menlo Park Fire Protection District almost immediately upon their arrival on the scene, Lt. Joe Wade told The Almanac.
Mr. Mendoza was a familiar presence in Atherton and known to the police. "It was not out of place for him to be there," Lt. Wade said, adding that the roadsides of El Camino are popular with homeless people traveling between Redwood City and Menlo Park.
Mr. Mendoza's companion, the only witness to the incident, was not injured and was interviewed by police, Lt. Wade said.
The driver of the car, a Toyota Camry, had been traveling alone and volunteered to be tested for drug or alcohol abuse. Test results were negative, Lt. Wade said.
The driver is a 44-year-old man and a resident of Atherton, Lt. Wade said.
Police closed traffic on El Camino for four hours in the southbound direction and three hours northbound while investigating and recording evidence at what had been designated as a crime scene.
"That's what we classify it as when we have a fatality," Lt. Wade said. "Just to make sure that all the evidence is preserved as best as possible."
Police reported around 10:50 a.m. Friday that El Camino Real has reopened.
This is the second fatality on El Camino Real in Atherton in the past three weeks. On Sept. 30, Christopher Chandler was killed while riding a bicycle across El Camino Real at Isabella Avenue.