Homeless man dies from injuries in Highway 49 collision

Driver jailed, facing DUI charges in connection with incident
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - A pedestrian injured Friday on Highway 49 in North Auburn in a collision with a van driven by a suspected drunken driver has died in hospital.

A Placer County Coroner’s Office spokeswoman said Thursday that Ronald P. Ennis, 64, died earlier in the day Thursday at Sutter Roseville Medical Center from head injuries suffered in the crash.

The California Highway Patrol initially reported that the driver of the van had not been cited after a determination that he was not at fault.

But Officer David Martinez said Thursday that 56-year-old Dean Barnidge of Auburn had been arrested after the accident on a felony charge of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury.

Barnidge was booked into Placer County Jail in North Auburn early Saturday morning. Jail records show he remained in jail Thursday on the felony drunken driving charge, with bail set at $100,000.

The Highway Patrol reported Ennis was struck by a van while onfoot in the fast lane of southbound Highway 49. The collision took place at 10:30 p.m., about 350 feet north of Cottage Drive. He was taken by Cal Star air ambulance to the Roseville hospital in critical condition and was pronounced dead Thursday just after 8 a.m.

Coroner’s Office spokeswoman Dena Erwin said Ennis was homeless and known to frequent the Auburn area.

Barnidge is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on Tuesday in Roseville.