Two women on a morning walk in a University City neighborhood Friday were struck by a driver who then drove off, officials said.
Investigators say they are handling the incident as a felony hit and run but may change that to an assault if they can find evidence that the women were targeted by the driver.
San Diego police officers used crime scene tape to cordon off a section of Stresemann Street near Governor Drive following the incident, which occurred at the same intersection as The University City United Church of Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Police said two women were walking southbound on Stresemann around 6 a.m. when they noticed a large red pickup parked on one side of the street with its lights on.
They say they walked past the vehicle and didn't think anything of it.
Officers said the truck drove ahead of the women and pulled over to the curb and parked again. The women then walked past the truck a second time.
It was then that the truck struck them from behind, officials said.
Emergency personnel transported the women, ages 40 and 43, to Scripps La Jolla. One has a collapsed lung, a ruptured spleen and fractured ribs while the other has a laceration to the head, officers said.
Officials did not identify the women but said they routinely walk in the neighborhood. The women told police they did not recognize the driver.
A SDPD lieutenant said while one woman feels they were hit intentionally, the other does not.
It's not clear on whether words were exchanged before the incident.
“We’re currently investigating it as a collision but it could possibly be an intentional act,” SDPD Lt. Eric Hays told NBC 7.
Officers are looking for a full-sized, red Toyota pickup truck in connection with this case. There was no evidence left at the scene indicating the truck was damaged in the collision.
On Friday afternoon, the husband of one of the victims spoke exclusively with NBC 7 San Diego about the incident.
For the security of his wife and her friend, the husband did not want to be identified. He described the hit and run incident at the exact spot where it happened.
“So they came up to this corner and they crossed the street here. They were in the middle of the street when they heard the engine rev and it came right up behind them and hit them from behind, square,” he told NBC 7.
The husband said that when the women first noticed the parked truck, they thought the driver was waiting for someone in a nearby house. They continued walking and were struck shortly thereafter.
The husband said his wife’s friend walks the same route every day, and his wife occasionally walks with her.
As of Friday evening, the incident remains under investigation as a hit and run and has been turned over to the SDPD Traffic Division as an accident. Anyone with information on the older, full-sized, red Toyota pickup truck should contact police.