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Two people require surgery after car crashes into Palo Alto restaurant

Original post made on Aug 1, 2014

Two people who were injured, one critically, required surgery after a silver Nissan crashed into a downtown Palo Alto cafe on Thursday. The accident, which injured six people including the driver, prompted police to shut down a section of University Avenue to traffic.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 1, 2014, 10:24 AM

Comments (14)

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Posted by voice_of_reason
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 1, 2014 at 12:44 pm

"The driver of the vehicle involved, a man in his 90s from San Jose, has an abrasion on one of his arms, probably due to airbag deployment, according to police."

Driving is not a human right or a necessity. Senior drivers don't want to lose the privilege? Stay fit as you can and pass a full exam. Our government is failing us (shocking I know). This is the 2nd incident in IN THIS SMALL AREA ALONE in the last couple of years that has been reported. Who knows how many other incidents there were that didn't warrant an article in the local rag.

It sucks to age, but its incumbent on those who have enjoyed so many years on this planet to use their accumulated wisdom and respect their limitations. And when they do not, government needs to step in quickly and effectively. I want to feel reasonably safe from random vehicular violence when I walk down the street. Asking too much?


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Posted by Reader
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Aug 1, 2014 at 1:22 pm

I have, never seen, so many commas, in a storyline, I say.


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Posted by GH
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Aug 1, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Google's self-driving cars can't come soon enough.


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Posted by 90 comma years
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Aug 1, 2014 at 1:58 pm

"Google's self-driving cars can't come soon enough."

Because, 90 year olds, are such early adopters, and successful, users of, technology?

(commas, courtesy of, @reader.)


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Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Aug 1, 2014 at 2:51 pm

pearl is a registered user.

DMV website for reporting unsafe drivers:

Web Link


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Posted by IRT
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Aug 1, 2014 at 3:19 pm

What did the driver indicate happened in his own words?
2010 NISSAN VERSA Problems & Complaints
Web Link
Web Link
-------------------------------------------------------


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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Aug 1, 2014 at 5:37 pm

He sent 5 people to the hospital and he wasn't cited? They should at least take his license away until the investigation is completed. Maybe they did and I didn't read the article correctly (?)
If he had killed one of those people, I'm pretty sure they would have, so why wait until that happens. I remember this happened in Chicago about 15 years ago and they didn't take his license away. 6 weeks later the guy ran a curb again and killed 2 people. What is more important…his driving privileges or the safety of innocent pedestrians?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 1, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

From Mercury News:
"The elderly driver who struck and injured five people in downtown Palo Alto on Thursday while trying to parallel park has been notified to take an "emergency retest" at the Department of Motor Vehicles to see if his license should be taken away, a police spokesman said.

Such notices are issued when police have concerns about someone's ability to operate a motor vehicle, Palo Alto police Lt. Zach Perron said Friday. The driver, who has only been identified as a San Jose resident in his 90s, has just five days to take the test."

Clearly PA PD uses a different standard for such situations than does MP PD.


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Aug 2, 2014 at 7:19 am

OK, now that this has happened twice in a few months it is time to acknowledge a simple fact: after 90 years of age drivers should be tested every year---a driving test, not just a paper exam. Maybe we should drop that to 80 (only five years from my age)? Maybe we should in memory of Tom Maddox, a biker and fine professor, who was run off Skyline by a driver in her 80s---Tom died at Stanford shortly thereafter. Yeah, I think 80 is the proper age for yearly driving exams. Let your Assembly or Senate member know your feelings and let's get this law started and passed.


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Posted by Jim
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Aug 2, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Ninety years old does seem too old for driving even for someone in good shape. Reaction times do slow down with age. Additionally, he had driven all the way from San Jose on a freeway that is known for speeding. If there had been an accident, it is doubtful he could have reacted quickly.

Incidentally, what are the accident statistics for elderly drivers and how do they compare with the statistics for teenage drivers?


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Posted by peninsula resident
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Aug 2, 2014 at 4:17 pm

I'm confused.

I've been on University Ave in PA many times. It has sidewalks and curbs, protecting pedestrians from vehicles.

How could the pedestrians possibly have been hit? I don't understand.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 2, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

accident statistics by age group:

Web Link


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Posted by Scott McMahon
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Aug 3, 2014 at 2:43 pm

@ 90 comma years: On elderly adopters...

Even if the elderly aren't exactly up to date, I think the self driving car is very likely to be quickly adopted. Many older drivers know they aren't as capable, but the alternatives aren't good. Also, as a child of an elderly driver who's beginning to lose it, I'd leap at the chance to get him a google car. No loss of mobility, and no difficult, family harmony shattering, decision about when to take away the keys.


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Posted by voice_of_reason
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 3, 2014 at 6:31 pm

It seems very likely that a previously healthy 30yo man will either die or be physiologically and neurologically devastated due to injuries sustained in this accident. It's no longer just broken bones that need to mend.

@Peter Carpenter: I assume you are referencing the incident in downtown MP? Whatever role the MP PD played in the aftermath of that incident, the driver's response/statement was beyond deplorable.

@Bob: 80yo is the right starting point at the very least -- maybe 75yo. The problem is that not all 75yo's are equal. Some are very fit and have maintained decent balance and muscle tone and others sit firmly on the path to rapid decline. I think a firm argument can be made to start such testing in the 70s. The problem of course is that it's a slippery slope. Regardless it needs to start somewhere.


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