Menlo Park: Crash injures two, knocks down 70-foot tree


All lanes of U.S. 101 have reopened after a solo crash injured two people (a driver and a passenger), and knocked down a 70-foot tree in Menlo Park this morning, California Highway Patrol officers said.

Both occupants of the vehicle were taken to Stanford Hospital with major injuries, according to Art Montiel, public information officer for California Highway Patrol.

The collision was reported at around 3:19 a.m. on southbound U.S. 101 at the Willow Road off-ramp.

A silver minivan swerved into the grass to the right side of the off-ramp, CHP officers said.

The driver was identified as David Nichols, born in 1985. No name was given for the passenger in the vehicle.

CHP officers issued a Sig-alert at 3:48 a.m. when they closed the southbound transition from U.S. 101 to Willow Road while firefighters cleared the tree.

All lanes were reopened just before 4:30 a.m, CHP officers said.

By Almanac staff and Bay City News Service. An earlier Bay City News Service story reported three people had been injured.

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2 people like this
Posted by clunge
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 12, 2016 at 9:15 am

That tree is a menace - 2 yrs ago another car hit the same one and the people died

Hope they are alright, pray they were not DUI but maybe just sleepy?

Like this comment
Posted by Andrea J
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 12, 2016 at 3:34 pm

The southbound 101 exit ramp at Willow Rd is a s-shaped ramp that is hard to negotiate in the dark at high speed. Last January I posted on the CA Highway Patrol website that the light on the lamppost inside the curve on this ramp was out. A few months later I posted that the light next to the speed sign was also out, and the first light still had not been replaced. (The light next to the speed sign is out intermittently but most of the time.) Neither light has been replaced since.

2 people like this
Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 12, 2016 at 3:46 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

@clung: Accident not the trees fault. People need to pay attention. Driver either fell asleep or was intoxicated.

9 people like this
Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 12, 2016 at 5:02 pm

"The southbound 101 exit ramp at Willow Rd is a s-shaped ramp that is hard to negotiate in the dark at high speed" That would be why there is a speed limit and common sense would say that you don't take an off ramp, especially one you are not familiar with at a "High speed" The tree is not a menace, it is a tree that is well set back from the road. The people who hit it and dies were traveling at an excessive speed, can't remember if drugs or alcohol were a factor but speed certainly was.

I have taken that ramp probably 10,000 times and never had a problem. Never jumped the curb or driven into the bushes and certainly never hit a tree 30 feet from the road.

1 person likes this
Posted by D.C. McGlynn
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 13, 2016 at 10:31 pm

Great response ... laughable comments re the tree. What speed was the tree traveling at ?

If you can't see the road ahead clearly at a safe and appropriate speed then one should turn in their license to DMV and take the bus.

California drivers .. Priceless .. !!

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

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