A Fresno Unified elementary school teacher was recuperating Sunday after a brief walk across the street to pick up mail led to a horrific accident Saturday night north of Clovis that severed her leg and killed one of her dogs.
Joan Palmieri, 61, remained hospitalized at Community Regional Medical Center a day after she was struck by a motorcyclist on the 11400 block of Armstrong Avenue.
The motorcyclist, Shane Speake, 22, told the California Highway Patrol that he was driving home at 30 mph about 7 p.m. Saturday and did not see her crossing the street, said CHP Sgt. Craig Hinch. The CHP was continuing its investigation Sunday.
The streets are not lighted in the county area north of Clovis, but Hinch said that "you should be able to see what's in the road" with headlights on and traveling 30 mph.
Speake, who lives near where the accident occurred, declined to comment Sunday.
Palmieri's husband, Ron, said Sunday that he doubts Speake was driving 30 mph because of the injuries to his wife and dog.
"Exactly what happened, I don't know," Ron Palmieri said. "There were no skid marks and no sign that he was trying to stop."
Joan Palmieri's leg was amputated below the knee after being torn off in the accident, he said. She also had a split pelvis, a serious cut to her forehead and part of her lip that had to be sewn together. Joan Palmieri teaches second grade at Lowell Elementary School in Fresno.
"She looked like she was through a meat grinder," Ron Palmieri said.
Ron Palmieri said his wife told him the dog, named Beauty, may have saved her life by taking the brunt of the impact from the motorcycle.
Ron Palmieri is a dog trainer, and Beauty was his demonstration dog. He said Beauty survived for several hours before dying Sunday.