Truck driver collides with bicyclist

A drunken truck driver and a drunken bicyclist collided on Saturday night on El Camino Real near Redwood City, leaving the cyclist seriously injured, a California Highway Patrol officer said.

The driver, 40-year-old Jose Luna of Redwood City, was driving his Ford F-150 pickup truck north on El Camino Real through North Fair Oaks around 11 p.m. As he approached Berkshire Avenue to make a right turn, a bicyclist was riding against traffic in a northbound lane against the curb, CHP Officer Amelia Jack said.

The bicyclist Alejandro Chavez, 31, of Redwood City, was wearing dark clothing without a helmet or required lights, Jack said.

The truck and the bike collided, sending Chavez flying, according to Jack.

Chavez suffered major injuries and was taken to a hospital with a broken back and leg, and cuts to his head, Jack said. Luna was not injured.

A field sobriety test showed that Luna was driving under the influence, and blood work from the hospital showed Chavez was drunk as well, according to Jack.

"It's odd for me to hear of a (drunken) bicyclist and vehicle. I haven't heard of that situation in the five and half years I've been on the job," Jack said.

Chavez, who was in stable condition as of Saturday evening, was cited for driving under the influence of alcohol while on a bicycle, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Luna was arrested on suspicion of DUI and driving without a California driver's license. He also had a prior drunken driving incident on his record, Wagstaffe said.

Luna was not charged with DUI causing injury because the bicyclist himself was drunk and riding against traffic, Wagstaffe said.

"But it doesn't change that the driver of the car was drunk," Wagstaffe said.

Luna was booked into San Mateo County Jail, where he remains in lieu of $5,000 bail after appearing in court Monday afternoon, he said.

A pretrial conference is scheduled for June 24 and could continue to a jury trial on July 11, Wagstaffe said.


Posted by cliche time, a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2011 at 1:18 pm

If ever there were 2 people who deserve each other......a match made in heaven........any other cliches out there for these 2 losers?

Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 15, 2011 at 2:14 pm

If the driver has already had one DUI conviction and was driving without a license, what makes anyone think he'll pay attention to his upcoming conviction?

Posted by Steve, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 15, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Yes a match made in heven. Drunk vs drunk.

Pogo: You are probably right drunk drivers do not learn after the first arrest. Tme to take the vehicle and serious jail time.

Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 15, 2011 at 3:53 pm

When I was in law enforcement we used to refer to these cases as "AVANHI". ***hole versus ***hole no humans involved.

Until it takes a drivers license to start a car people with suspended licenses will continue to drive.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2011 at 6:08 pm

I had a roommate who had 2 DUIs in a year or so. She put herself in rehab, thankfully. Actually, she was lucky - the cop took her to Second Chance, after watching her drive into a hotel parking lot, hit a pylon, exit the vehicle & use the hotel lobby restroom. Nice officer was waiting for her apres potty break.

She was completely humiliated & then further humiliated by having to use one of those blow devices to start her car, for quite awhile. She is lucky she was even allowed to do that. She was one of the ones who learned her lesson. I had little sympathy & refused to visit her in rehab - no way was I gonna drive to Santa Cruz County & spend my precious weekend hours surrounded by drunks & addicts. I've worked hard enough to keep them at bay here in EPA!

I learned that a friend, over the weekend, got falling down drunk, in public, at a community event. People stared & commented, worried about her. She wasn't driving, & had to literally be carried to where she was staying, nearby. A mutual close friend's message to her that she needs to admit she has a problem & get help (apparently, this is a common behavior) fell on deaf ears.

As much as I disrespect drunk cyclists, dude wasn't nearly as much of a pubic threat as driver. I hope his vehicle was impounded.

I wonder if cyclist has insurance to cover his injuries? If not, how do they get paid? Hmmmmmmm....

Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 15, 2011 at 7:26 pm

If you drive drunk with a prior DUI conviction, then drive without a license, do you really think this person is responsible enough to buy insurance? You must be joking!

I've heard that about 20% of California drivers do not have licenses and about 25% have no insurance.

Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 15, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Hmmm -

Sorry, I know you meant did the bicyclist have insurance. My bad.

I'll be he didn't either.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2011 at 7:58 pm

My bad. POGO, - I wasn't clear, actually. I wondered if cyclist had *health* insurance & if not, who's gonna pay his medical bills?

Sheesh, all over here in EPA, cyclists sans helmets & lights at night. I know they're not gonna save everyone's life, but even our MAYOR doesn't wear his. I personally suspect it's the culture of machismo. Hey, when you're on a country road, meandering nicely, it's one thing, but on ECR & these other busy streets? Insanity.

I was hit as a kid & dragged on my bike - no helmet. It was in the dark ages, just after the wheel was invented & no one wore helmets. I held onto my bike for dear life - if I'd been thrown, it wouldn't have been pretty.

Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 15, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Hmmm -

Q: Who will pay the hospital bill?

A: You and me, of course.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Yes, indeed. As great as our clinics for low income residents are, they are clinics, not ERs. I am preaching to the choir here, but I hope that this driver is held accountable financially for much of this - & pays up.

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 15, 2011 at 9:03 pm

"a bicyclist was riding against traffic in a northbound lane against the curb, CHP Officer Amelia Jack said."

Why should the driver be "held accountable financially for much of this - & pays up."?

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Because he was drunk, had no license & was driving a bigger vehicle capable of doing more damage & most likely had no insurance. That's just my perspective, not the law, of course. Of course the cyclist should also be held accountable for some of this. If the driver had been sober, licensed, etc., it'd be different.

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