Portola Valley: Car crash kills man, 23, Sunday morning on Portola Road

Mayor's son dies in single-vehicle crash

Portola Valley resident Charles Derwin, 23, died early Sunday morning (Dec. 27) in a single-car accident on Portola Road, according to firefighters from the Woodside Fire Protection District.

Mr. Derwin is the son of Maryann Moise Derwin, a Town Council member since 2004 who was elected mayor earlier this month by her colleagues.

Mr. Derwin graduated from Corte Madera Middle School in 2006, according to Almanac records.

A special team from the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office is investigating the accident, Deputy Salvador Zuno said.

After receiving a 911 call at about 12:20 a.m. from a resident who reported hearing a collision, firefighters from the Portola Valley station arrived to find a vehicle engulfed in flames and sitting in the middle of the road in the vicinity of the mini mall at 884 Portola Road, Battalion Chief Kevin Butler said.

"Fire crews quickly extinguished the fire but were unable to save the driver, who had succumbed to injuries from the accident," Fire Marshal Denise Enea said in statement. Seven firefighters and a battalion chief responded to the incident, she said.

Medics pronounced Mr. Derwin dead at the scene, Mr. Butler said. Mr. Derwin was the car's only occupant.

Initial examination of the scene led investigators to characterize the accident as a high-impact collision involving a tree and a road sign, resulting in severe damage to the front end of the car, Ms. Enea said.

The vehicle was a gray 2011 Toyota Prius and was found pointed in a southerly direction, Deputy Zuno said.

In addition to firefighters and sheriff's deputies, agencies responding to the scene included the county Coroner's Office and town's Public Works Department, Mr. Butler said. Firefighters were on the scene until about 5 a.m., he said.

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10 people like this
Posted by Ethel
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Dec 28, 2015 at 12:53 pm

How heart breaking. I recall another tragic accident near that site, Mrs. Crowder also died there, a loving and giving woman.

39 people like this
Posted by Dorothy Polash
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Dec 28, 2015 at 1:23 pm

My deepest sympathies go out to Maryann and the entire Derrwin family. We are after all a small community over all and whenever one of our children is taken from us it is a huge sadness for us all. It is sad to lose any good people of our community. May we all offer the best support we can muster at this time to Maryann and her family.

2 people like this
Posted by Joanne
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Dec 29, 2015 at 1:43 pm

My deepest sympathies to the family. When we lose a child we suffer a loss like no other. Yes, both Mrs. Crowder and earlier Mr. Crowder died along Portola Rd some years ago, may they all rest in peace.

4 people like this
Posted by Kris
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Dec 29, 2015 at 3:47 pm

I'm so very sorry, Maryann. So a terrible tragedy and loss for you and your family. My heart goes out to you.

3 people like this
Posted by Maggie
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Dec 30, 2015 at 10:43 am

I am so very sorry; this is a terrible loss for his family and other loved ones and friends. And by all accounts, the world has lost a fine young man.

2 people like this
Posted by Maggie
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Dec 30, 2015 at 10:46 am

Yes, RIP Betsy Crowder and Dwight Crowder. I was very fortunate to be friends with Betsy, her death was a huge loss for all (as was the death of her husband of course).

Like this comment
Posted by Ann
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 31, 2015 at 5:44 pm

No words can convey sympathy for the loss of a such a young life. We are not promised tomorrow no matter how this accident happened. Love each other.... Make memories. That is all you have...

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

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