A 53-year-old Petaluma man was struck and killed by a car on North McDowell Boulevard Saturday, and Petaluma Police are investigating the incident as a hit-and-run.
Police said they have identified the vehicle that hit Charles Ralph Kauffman, who was found Saturday night laying on his back in the middle of the northbound lanes just north of Scott Street. He was dead when Petaluma firefighters arrived at 11:40 p.m., and his Mazda Miata, still running, with the driver’s side door open, was located in the southbound lane of North McDowell Boulevard, police said.
Using the serial numbers from undercarriage parts found 10 to 15 feet north of Kauffman’s body, police were able to identify the vehicle that struck him, a 2005 Chevrolet Corvette owned by a west Petaluma resident.
As police were zeroing in on the car, an attorney contacted the police department representing a client who said they had struck something in that area, Lt. Tim Lyons said. The PPD served a search warrant Tuesday afternoon and seized the car for evidence.
Police officials are not releasing the name of its owner with the investigation still ongoing.
“We’re in the process right now of processing (the car) for evidence,” Lyons said. “The subject we talked to, he’s been cooperative.”
Based on how they found Kauffman’s body, police said it’s unclear how or why he was hit. There were no pieces of broken glass or other obvious signs that there had been a blunt force impact, Lyons said, and it appeared Kauffman had been lying down when he was run over since there were tread marks visible on his clothes and body.
Police are currently obtaining surveillance footage from businesses along North McDowell Boulevard from Corona Road to Old Redwood Highway.
“We’re still investigating the collision portion and what circumstances led to our victim being in the roadway at that time,” Lyons said.
An autopsy was conducted on Tuesday, and “there was nothing unusual” like an additional wound or anything that would illuminate why he would have gotten out of his vehicle, Lyons said.
The coroner’s report had not been completed as of Wednesday afternoon.
Police asked anyone with information to contact the department at 778-4372.
(Contact News Editor Yousef Baig at firstname.lastname@example.org or 776-8461, and on Twitter @YousefBaig.)