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2nd homeless in 38 months dies crossing 120 Bypass
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A woman is the latest homeless individual killed while walking across the 120 Bypass.

The victim, known to be a local homeless woman by Manteca Police, was struck by at least two cars Tuesday at 4:52 a.m. in the westbound lanes near the Main Street interchange.

The first car to strike the woman was traveling at 65 mph, according to the CHP.

It was near where a homeless man walking across the 120 Bypass but in the eastbound lanes was struck and killed by a City of Manteca garbage truck at 8 a.m. on March 3, 2021.

The homeless for years have erected makeshift encampments within the four triangles formed by the ramps and the freeway.

There are particularly drawn to shrubs and small trees they can use to help anchor makeshift shelters.

The homeless also have been known to erect encampments on the south side of the freeway along the 120 Bypass fencing east of the Main Street interchange.

It is not uncommon to see homeless walking across the Bypass or on the shoulders.

Several times motorists have reported seeing the homeless carrying large jugs of water across the freeway adding another treacherous element for motorists as they approach the notorious split where the outside eastbound lane of the 120 Bypass feeds into the transition ramp into southbound Highway 99.

And there was a time before the McKinley Avenue interchange work started and effectively narrowed the travel lanes on a temporary basis that a homeless man used the westbound shoulder to bicycle to and from his homeless encampment on the east side of the McKinley overcrossing.

It is illegal to walk or bicycle along freeways except in a few rare cases such as on Interstate 80 in a few sections along the freeway where there are no nearby roads.

It is also illegal to camp in a freeway right-of-way.

Caltrans does clear out the encampments.

Keep in mind, though, they are required in cases where there is not an immediate danger to safety to go through a court-imposed process of posting notices and waiting a set number of days before cleaning an area out.

At the same time Caltrans has a lot property throughout the region that the homeless camps on. Caltrans also has limited staffing and resources.

Homeless pedestrian deaths aren’t limited to the 120 Bypass.

In the last 10 years, there have been three homeless among pedestrians killed on city streets.

A homeless woman was killed in February of 2019 at 8 p.m. when crossing Moffat Boulevard beneath the 120 overcrossing.

There was a large concentration of homeless encampments along the freeway on both sides of Moffat at the time.

Since then, illegal camping between soundwalls behind the Juniper and Tesoro apartment complexes and the freeway embankment has been eliminated after Caltrans installed wrought iron fencing.

Several years before the Moffat incident, a homeless man pushing a shopping cart was struck and killed while crossing Center Street east of Main Street.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email