Man, 89, struck by car on Stowe Lane at Alpine Road


An 89-year-old man from British Columbia who was visiting his son in Stanford Weekend Acres found himself entering Stanford Hospital on March 12 with major injuries and in the company of medics.

The man had three broken ribs and a facial fracture, the result of having been struck by a car around 9:15 a.m. on March 12 as he was walking east across Stowe Lane at the intersection with Alpine Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The driver of the Infiniti sedan had been headed west on Alpine Road and was making a left turn into Stowe Lane.

It was a low-speed accident, maybe 10 mph, and the driver is not being charged, Officer Amelia Jack of the CHP said. "The driver just didn't see (the man)," Officer Jack said. Not being aware is not a criminal act, she added.

The man who was injured spends about half the year in the Bay Area and the other half in British Columbia, and was on his daily walk, Officer Jack said.

— Dave Boyce

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19 people like this
Posted by Drive carefully
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 17, 2015 at 1:06 pm

I don't understand why it's ok to hit a pedestrian and then not be charged because the drivers only excuse is that he/she claims not to have seen the pedestrian. It's the drivers job to drive carefully and look out for bicyclists and pedestrians before making a turn.

I've read about these incidents several times before. A driver runs over a woman in a wheelchair in a crosswalk in broad daylight but it's OK because "I didn't see her."

When will these drivers be held accountable?

I guess I'm a little angry because I do a lot of walking and have near misses everyday because drivers don't look - they just plow right through stop sighs and crosswalks and are only interested in their own safety when making a turn.

I wish the 89 year old man a speedy recovery.

15 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 17, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Even if there is no criminal assault, the driver should at least be cited for failure to yield. Give them some points on their drivers license, as well as making it easier for the victim to file an insurance claim for their hospital bill.

4 people like this
Posted by Janet
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Mar 17, 2015 at 6:45 pm

Drivers routinely do speedy U-turns at Stowe. They drive onto the path and have frequently knocked down signs located on the sidewalk. Those of us living nearby have all have near misses. We have pleaded with the county for years to do something about the dangers at this specific site but nothing has happened so far. The driver was driving west (i.e. towards Portola Valley) and in order to make a mad dash across oncoming traffic headed east - in a U-turn - it would seem to me that his speed had to have exceeded 10 m.p.h. We see this and other crazy driving virtually every day along Alpine Road. Also, there is no ADA curb slope as required at that location.

11 people like this
Posted by Fix the problem
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Mar 17, 2015 at 8:12 pm

As we become older we become invisible and I guess this proves it. Funny though, if a STOP sign or a red light becomes "invisible" (i.e. we're unaware of it) and we blow through it we would get cited in a heartbeat. Is a person's life or well-being really that inconsequential? Based on similar accidents like this where people have been injured or killed, it sure seems like it. Being unaware is no excuse. It is a driver's job to BE aware of his/her surroundings at ALL times. This is why 87 some people were ticketed recently for distracted driving so I think Officer Jack needs to re-examine her position on this issue. Since the driver appeared to be lost, that also raises the question of whether or not he was on his cellphone or distracted by his car's GPS while making the left/u-turn at Stowe Lane.

Walking along Alpine has become increasingly dangerous in recent years because of increased traffic, high speeds, distracted drivers and people either too incompetent or too stupid to stay out of the bike lane and off of the sidewalk. I see it practically every day and have had many close calls as have scads of my neighbors. Even the workers on the PG&E pipeline commented to me about how dangerous the traffic is on Alpine. Something needs to be done NOW before more needless accidents like this occur or before someone gets killed.

1 person likes this
Posted by Head on a swivel
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Mar 17, 2015 at 8:44 pm

ive said it before and ill say it again. pedestrians need to be accountable for their saffety when crossing a street> look both ways and dont cross unless you can do it without conflict with an auto> what a shame > this advice not just foir kids

8 people like this
Posted by reckless driver
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 17, 2015 at 11:16 pm

@Head on a swivel - exactly what do you expect the pedestrian to do. He is crossing the street at a legal crosswalk. At 89 years old, he is probably walking around 1 mph. The car is moving 10 times faster than him. Is he supposed to try to outrun the car? Try to guess which way the car is moving and then jump out of the way?

Reckless drivers [part removed] are the problem, not the solution. Pay more attention and you may prevent a murder [part removed].

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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