Driver not faulted in Rodney Smith bicycle fatality on Sand Hill Road Menlo Park, posted by Editor, The Almanac Online, on Jun 28, 2007 at 5:39 pm
The Sand Hill Road traffic accident that killed Portola Valley resident Rodney Smith apparently happened as a result of Mr. Smith turning his bike from the eastbound bike lane out into the path of an eastbound car traveling at about 35 mph, the California Highway Patrol reported Wednesday. The car's driver, Woodside resident Anthony L. Rose, 87, is not being charged. Caption: Rodney Smith
Posted by Concerned, a resident of the Menlo Park: Fair Oaks neighborhood, on Jun 28, 2007 at 5:39 pm
How is it possible to know the cyclist was making a u-turn when there were no witnesses (other than the driver -- who, of course, cannot be trusted for obvious reasons)? Also, I find it incredibly strange (unlikely?) that the car was going 35 mph -- the speed zone for that road is 50 isn't it?
Posted by VeryConcerned, a resident of the Menlo Park: other neighborhood, on Jun 28, 2007 at 9:55 pm
This doesn't pass the smell test. How could he have been thrown 46 feet plus the stopping distance if the driver was going 35 mph? The speed limit there is 55. Why was all the debris in the bike lane? This just doesn't make any sense at all unless the CHP is just trying to whitewash the situation and be done with it.
Posted by John, a resident of another community, on Jun 29, 2007 at 6:29 am
"Concerned"'s comments highlight how poorly the above article informs our community about the conclusive information the CHP report contains regarding this terrible accident. The Almanac staff needs to read and then report from the entire CHP report. Then, an article could provide a fact-based update to our community and hopefully end speculation and assumptions. A thorough article would then serve to educate our cyclists and drivers on lessons learned from this horrible situation and we could try to move on a little wiser.
Because this accident involved two upstanding and deeply rooted members of our community, it would also be wise for the editorial staff and community to be respectful and base comments on the facts instead of assumptions. And importantly, be sensitive to the immense pain and sorrow that this tragedy must be causing everyone involved.
Posted by Fellow Rider, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Jun 29, 2007 at 7:00 pm
I ride that section of Sand Hill every week, it is such a wide bike lane. If what the CHP says is true ("Damages to the bike included a detached front wheel and a broken front fork"...), then wouldn't that indicate that the rider was hit while facing the car? If he had been hit from behind while riding, the back of the bike would have been crushed. Even if he was making a U Turn, the bike lane is so wide you can do it safely and not go into the car lane. In that scenario, the driver probably veered into the bike lane (the road does veer right near the top of the hill (where the memorial is for this rider) and hit the rider. In any case, it is tragic and could have happened to any of us who ride out there.
Posted by observer, a resident of the Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park neighborhood, on Jul 2, 2007 at 6:36 pm observer is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
Sand Hill Road, especially between Whiskey Hill and I-280, is unsafe for everyone. This afternoon I saw what was very nearly a high-speed head-on collision between a Ferrari (passing while traveling uphill eastbound) and a Bentley traveling very fast westbound. A double-fatality was averted by a very narrow margin. And everyone who rides that stretch eastbound sees one vehicle after another cutting well into the bike lane... as Fellow Rider surmised occurred in the Rodney Smith fatality.
That stretch of Sand Hill needs something like bright yellow rumble strips to mark the bike lanes, re-painted double yellow stripes with bot dots in the center, and above all a lower speed limit.