Laurel student, 6, dies in hit-and-run crash | News | Almanac Online |


Laurel student, 6, dies in hit-and-run crash


Police are searching for the hit-and-run driver of a car that crashed into a family's Toyota Camry at the intersection of Willow Road and Bayfront Expressway just before 2 p.m. on Nov. 12.

Six-year-old Menlo Park resident Lisa Xavier, a student at Laurel school in Atherton and a passenger in the back seat of the car, died of her injuries the following day at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.

The girl's mother was also injured in the accident and taken to Stanford Hospital.

The family was driving eastbound on Willow Road to the Sun Microsystems campus when their Camry was struck by one of two vehicles engaged in a street race heading northbound on the expressway, said spokeswoman Nicole Acker of the Menlo Park Police Department.

Lisa's father was driving the car, but he was uninjured in the collision, said Ms. Acker.

Witnesses saw the driver of the black 1989 Ford Mustang that struck the family's car exit his vehicle and jump into a white Honda involved in the race, which then fled the scene, police said.

Police are "actively searching for" and want to question East Palo Alto resident Shannon Fox, 24, in connection with the accident, according to a police statement. Mr. Fox is described as a black man, 6 feet 2 inches tall, 220 pounds and muscular. He is not a suspect, but considered a "person of interest" in the homicide investigation, said Ms. Acker.

The Mustang's owner was interviewed by police and is not believed to have been driving the vehicle at the time of the accident, Ms. Acker said.

A video clip from a surveillance camera at Sun Microsystems shows heavy traffic at the scene of the collision, and that at least one vehicle ran a red light before colliding with the vehicle carrying the victims, police said.

The intersection was closed for about two and a half hours after the accident, Sgt. Matthew Ortega said.

Police are asking anyone with information on this incident to call 330-6300 and ask for the watch commander.

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Like this comment
Posted by Gern Blanston
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Nov 13, 2009 at 4:43 pm

If Mr. Fox is culpable here he and his co-racer can't be dealt with harshly enough -- what a callous and cowardly disregard for human life.


2 people like this
Posted by sad in menlo
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 13, 2009 at 7:49 pm

Mr. Fox should be hung out to dry, and you're right Gern, his co-racer as well who easily whisked him away from a scene involving serious, and now fatal, injuries.. His victims, one now passed away, were completely innocent and victims not only of his stupidity, but his callous disregard for human life in leaving the scene of the crime.

Like this comment
Posted by Grieving
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 13, 2009 at 10:34 pm

All of Menlo Park grieves for the little girl & her family. The family's great pain is shared by all. This is an unbelievably tragic event.

2 people like this
Posted by horrible
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Nov 13, 2009 at 10:42 pm

It doesn't get much worse than this. A little girl gone, a family broken-hearted forever. All for a stupid race.

4 people like this
Posted by Vinod
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Nov 15, 2009 at 9:03 pm

shannon fox, the driver of the Mustang murdered an innocent girl. [Portion removed] we don't want him on the steets taking another innocent life.

Like this comment
Posted by Interested
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 16, 2009 at 11:50 am

This is a tragedy for both families.

Like this comment
Posted by devastated
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 16, 2009 at 5:17 pm

I am totally distraught for the family. I have only one child, and I can't even fathom what this family is going through right now. My heart and condolences go to the family at this time.

The driver needs to pay for his stupidity and recklessness. I'm betting he's hiding in some hole somewhere completely petrified of the consequences.


2 people like this
Posted by Shocked
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Nov 17, 2009 at 6:03 am

An innocent life has been taken away by a useless person. What can we do to prevent such incidents in the future - 1) if we see anybody doing street racing we should immediately report to the police 2) we need to canvas the officals to be tougher on anybody doing street racing. 3) we need to pressure on our elected officials to pass tougher laws to prevent street racing.

Hope both the drivers involved in this crime will be given the maximum punshment allowed by the law. Hope police will change them with murder. A severe punishment for these criminals will be a deterrent for others.

Like this comment
Posted by Angry
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2009 at 12:36 pm

I'm pretty sure I'd agree with Vinod that "[Portion removed]." I don't know what was removed but it probably accurately described what should be done with criminals like these.

Like this comment
Posted by Ashman D.
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Nov 18, 2009 at 9:56 am

"What can we do to prevent such incidents in the future."

I surfed the net and found some solutions to these problems. There is a program called the Evolution Solution on a site called Evo Street Racers. In that section that outline the types of actions that we as a community can take to prevent this tragedy from happening. I would go into quoting some of the content; however, its pretty lengthy. Its probably just as easy to surf their site, its Web Link . You can find the information in their "About" section.

Like this comment
Posted by Alisa
a resident of Laurel School
on Nov 18, 2009 at 10:02 am

There was never a more dedicated Mom on the earth. We have lost a truly precious child who was loved by all and especially her devoted parents. Her Mother lived and breathed in complete dedication to her daughter. She did not work so she could stay at home with her, she did not send her to daycare because she wanted to be with her, now she will only live on in her heart and memories. My heart goes out to the entire family. Please help with any donations by sending a check to the Laurel PTO.
Laurel School
95 Edge Rd
Atherton, CA 94027

Like this comment
Posted by AnneMarie
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Nov 18, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Where are the police?
I see cars speeding down Sharon Park Drive all the time and I just pray there
are no people or animals in their way.
I also see paper delivery people driving on the wrong side of a street divided by
an island to deliver newspapers in the area with short, steep hills which very easily
could result in a head-on collision.
Maybe we need more cameras and ones that are triggered by speed of motion?

2 people like this
Posted by Safety first
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 19, 2009 at 10:51 am

My heart goes out to Lisa and her family, I know no words can really help.

To the question of what can we do to prevent this kind of thing, there's one other avenue: constant self-defense in terms of the safest vehicle out there. I read the other day that the safest vehicles in defensive driving should weigh at least 4200 lbs (in case you are hit by an SUV), and have front AND curtain airbags for all rows, plus 5 star ratings on all crash tests. There are many vehicles that fit that bill. The typical family sedan does not. It would get crushed in an accident with a larger vehicle... and obviously a fast moving similar sized vehicle.

Over 3000 people and 40-80 young kids are killed every single year in California driving accidents. It can happen to any of us.

Like this comment
Posted by Becky
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Nov 19, 2009 at 11:55 am

This is a horrible tragedy, but I don't think the solution is for everyone to drive around in a Sherman tank.

2 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline
on Nov 24, 2009 at 12:19 pm

The laws need changing.

If anyone - a pedestrian or person in a vehicle- is killed by street racers, both drivers in the race should be brought up on murder charges, NOT manslaughter.

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