A pair of pedestrians were struck and killed by a Kern County’s Sheriff’s deputy whom witnesses said was speeding. Speeding is a common occurrence, said area residents still struggling to come to terms with the deaths after the fatal accident.

The man, 24, and the 30-year-old woman were crossing Norris Road near Diane Drive in Oildale, north of Bakersfield, when the fatal accident occurred. Witnesses described a gruesome scene and said the two appeared to have been killed immediately.

The man’s motorcycle had run out of gas, so he began to push it to a relative’s house. Along the route, he happened upon the woman, a friend, and they walked together.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the accident. The agency identified the driver of the patrol car as a 34-year-old deputy. He was transported to a local hospital and released.

The speed limit along that stretch of Norris Road is 45 mph, but witnesses said the deputy could have been driving as much as twice that rate. The pedestrians were trying to cross four lanes of Norris.

Area residents said law-enforcement officials frequently speed through the area where the accident occurred, ignoring the speed limit. One man said he has called to complain through the years about excessive speed, but never can furnish a license plate number, as requested, because the cars are traveling too fast to see the plate.

Witnesses said the deputy was driving without headlights or emergency lights, but the CHP could not confirm their reports or the deputy’s rate of speed.

The deceased man leaves behind a fiancée and two small children.

Bakersfield.com, “Outrage in Oildale after crash,” Jason Kotowski AND Steven Mayer