Cyclist injured in hit-and-run at Alpine Road and I-280


A Palo Alto man riding his bicycle on Alpine Road on Nov. 18 was sent to the hospital with head injuries when someone driving a Porsche SUV struck the bicycle from behind and fled the scene, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The bicyclist, who is 60, was riding westbound on the same stretch of Alpine Road where a westbound cyclist was struck and killed in November 2010 by a westbound truck headed toward the southbound on-ramp of Interstate 280. He was riding in the bike lane at about 1:40 p.m. when he was knocked off his bike after being struck by the vehicle, CHP Officer Arturo Montiel told The Almanac.

He was not wearing a helmet and was taken to Stanford Hospital with head injuries, Montiel said.

A CHP accident report described the cyclist's injuries as minor.

The SUV – a white Porsche – left the scene with a damaged front end on the passenger side, Montiel said.

A "be on the lookout" alert for the Porsche went out to area law enforcement agencies for the rest of the day, he said.

Authorities do not have a license plate number for the SUV, Montiel said.

Witness account

An Atherton resident said she was driving behind and to left of the SUV when it struck the cyclist. "I thought it was boxes flying through the air," she told The Almanac. "It didn't hit me that it was a human, at first."

She said her first instinct was to follow the SUV and get its license plate number, but thought better of it and stayed on the scene to help and protect the cyclist. He was bleeding from the back of his head and wasn't wearing anything bright. "I thought this man was going to get hit again," she said.

So she got out of her car and began waving down drivers to stop, she said.

"Meanwhile, the SUV took up the freeway ramp," she said. The driver hesitated after the collision, but didn't stop, she said. "I just couldn't imagine how someone could just leave."

Not schooled in first aid, she offered the cyclist comfort, telling him he had just been in an accident and that he was going to be OK. "He was whimpering a little," she said. He eventually sat up and said he wanted to get off the street and to the curb, and the passersby helped him do that, she said.

"I had no medical training," she said. "I was trying to stop someone who knew what they were doing." Eventually, she said, a physician stopped and wrapped the cyclist's head in a towel to stop the bleeding.

She said she gave her contact information to a law enforcement officer who told her he would pass it on to the CHP. "No one ever called me," she said.

Her children, ages 11 and 6, witnessed the accident and were hysterical, she said.

Dedicated bike lane

The green bike lane the cyclist was using opened in October 2013 and came about as a result of efforts by the cycling community and county officials after the November 2010 death of 47-year-old Los Altos cyclist Lauren Perdriau Ward, who was struck and killed in that vicinity.

Her bicycle collided with a tractor trailer truck as both were headed west under the freeway overpass. In that incident, the driver did not leave the scene after the collision.

The westbound bike lane begins after the stop sign at the northbound on-ramp. The bike lane threads cyclists between traffic headed for the freeway and traffic going west on Alpine to Ladera and Portola Valley.

In the approach to the freeway on-ramp, where cyclists contend with merging vehicle traffic, the bike lane is in the shade of the freeway overpass but is painted bright green and staggered into blocks.

The alternating blocks of green and black pavement are meant to alert motorists that they're sharing a right-of-way with cyclists, officials say. Sets of diagonal white stripes alongside the bike lanes further demarcate them from traffic lanes.

"These bike lanes will serve as a constant reminder that motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians can co-exist safely," CHP Capt. Mike Maskarich said at the 2013 ceremony opening the bike lane.


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19 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 5, 2018 at 9:46 am

This hit-and-run collision happened on November 18. Why is it not reported until now? The perp likely has likely tampered with the evidence and repaired the SUV by now.

7 people like this
Posted by Wow
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 5, 2018 at 10:37 am

Thanks to the human being who stopped to help another.

Please help find the SCUM who ran him down and then ran away. He could have been left for dead any other time.

27 people like this
Posted by Angela Hey
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Dec 5, 2018 at 12:29 pm

Cyclists be super-cautious when the sun is low. Older drivers won't see dark clothes very easily. So wear bright clothes, have flashing lights and try to avoid being in an area where the low sun blinds drivers. Also it's way safer to cycle single file higher up Alpine Road.

Cycling is not a sport for chatting. You need your ears to constantly listen for traffic and obstacles. Have a mirror so you can see behind you too. If you want to chat side-by-side with another cyclist go either on a track where there are no cars or take up another sport like hiking, where it is safe to chat.

Drivers make sure your windshield is clean. Be patient if there are cyclists "taking the lane" in front of you. Speeding often happens if you set off too late (as I learned in traffic school many years ago) - so set of a few minutes earlier than you need to and relax.

There's a real danger at that intersection when the sun is low in the afternoon and dazzles drivers. The bike lane could be protected better with posts too.

At least the car was white which makes it more visible to cyclists.

66 people like this
Posted by Uh,
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 5, 2018 at 12:50 pm

"At least the car was white which makes it more visible to cyclists. "

Only if the cyclist had eyes in the back of his head. He was run down from behind then the person paused, obviously knowing what they did, then CHOSE to drive away from someone they just ran over and injured in their car. Leaving hi m to die if they injuries were severe enough.

The driver deserves ALL the punishment that is available. I hope to god they find the criminal driver, now a wanted fugitive.

27 people like this
Posted by PV Resident
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Dec 5, 2018 at 1:20 pm

As a long time Portola Valley resident, we've grown to expect these types of stories as it's well known that we have bicycle safety issue in our town. I drive my car with an extreme level of heightened awareness as I do not want to ever hit a bicyclist no matter what the situation - and even so have had numerous close calls. We've done a lot to mitigate risk, but unfortunately it will never be enough. Glad to hear this person was not severely injured, baffled as to why he was not wearing a helmet.

My thanks go out to the person to stopped and offered to help. As she pointed out, it is quite dangerous to be in traffic and could have easily been injured herself. I'll withhold judgment of the person driving the SUV, as none of us here know exactly what happened.

Also thank you to those offering advice as to how to be safer on the roads. And thanks all those that follow the rules and drive/ride defensively. I'm sure countless accidents have been avoided by these efforts.

10 people like this
Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 5, 2018 at 2:12 pm

I often ride my bike on Alpine and am always concerned about being seen by motorists when I travel through the dark shadows beneath the 280 overpasses. I realize that motorists often change lanes quite abruptly to access the highway ramps and are more aware of other cars than bikes. The shadows appear especially dark when one enters them from bright sun.

Perhaps lighting could be installed under the overpasses.

7 people like this
Posted by PV lady
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Dec 5, 2018 at 2:50 pm

Thank you to the driver who helped the cyclist. We need more people like her.
I am sorry your kids had to witness it. I do not know how anyone could just drive away. Unreal.

16 people like this
Posted by Auggies Man
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 5, 2018 at 3:10 pm

Uh: I believe that Angela Hey in her comment that "At least the car was white which makes it more visible to cyclists." was trying to point out that we can all do our part to be more visible, less stressed, and better avoid accidents. I don't believe, as you presume in your comment, that Angela felt it could help in this instance. And I agree - pedestrians and bicyclists cross in front of me all the time while driving with my headlights on assuming I see them, and I sometimes don't, especially if in dark clothes during darkness. I'd like to ask people to presume that others, like Angela, are trying to help. Yes, the hit and run person was totally at fault, visible or not, but we can ALSO heed Angela's advice.

9 people like this
Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Dec 5, 2018 at 6:33 pm

I have seen nearly invisible bikers riding in the Woodside gloom without lights and with dark clothes on. If these people want to remain alive, they should have proper lighting and bright colored clothing. Otherwise, it is almost impossible to see them.

9 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Dec 5, 2018 at 8:54 pm

Even with everything that has been done to try to make this area safer, it’s just a crappy spot to be a cyclist. It’s tricky even in a car or truck, because you have vehicles entering, merging, crossing to exit, and going straight (sometimes in an extreme hurry). The green paint does make that area much more visible, and I find it helpful, but you still cannot always see the cyclists, especially when it is a single cyclist. Like the other person who posted, I am super, super careful to look and then look again for cyclists, and still, I have been surprised. I don’t think lights under the underpass would be helpful; it’s more the area just before you get to the underpass that is the biggest issue.

6 people like this
Posted by Margo
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Dec 5, 2018 at 10:02 pm

Most people now drive with lights all the time. This isn't so the driver can see, it's so the car can BE SEEN by other drivers as well as riders. I've seen drivers with no lights in the late afternoon. Sometimes I see them only at the last minute. Drivers---TURN ON YOUR LIGHTS. Just think when you are driving. Who is more visible, a car without lights? Not!!!! At the same time, riders must be smart. It's totally dumb to ride without a helmet. When I was a child helmets didn't exist. When they were first introduced I didn't want to wear one, but eventually I realize I would be issued only 1 brain in my lifetime and I felt like I might need it!!! Duh! Secondly attach a rear view mirror to that helmet---and use it. Thirdly, wear bright, reflective clothing. Biking isn't a fashion show, it's OK if they're not cool. Put lights on both front and back. Help the drivers see you. We can share the road, but we need to be smart and courteous. Car divers, how many seconds do you save by passing unsafely? 5? 10? SECONDS!!!!!

47 people like this
Posted by Disgusting
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 6, 2018 at 12:38 am

The comments here implying that the cyclist contributed to being hit (no helmet, no lights, no yellow vest) while riding his bike legally and in bright daylight is repulsive at best.

Fact is that this cyclist was hit by a driver either intentionally, unfit to drive (vision) or driving distracted (cell phone).
All of which are illegal, last time I looked.

And let's not forget who actually always pays the higher price in a car versus pedestrian or cyclist collision.

11 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Dec 6, 2018 at 1:59 pm

The victim-blaming going on here is saddening. Joseph, cyclists are not "These people", they are just people, like you and me. Suggesting that the rider was invisible in the "Woodside Gloom" at 1:40pm? Any person legally able to drive a car should also be able to see a cyclist in the middle of the afternoon. It hurts to see people taking out their anger towards cyclists by so indiscriminately offering advice that wouldn't have helped the cyclist one bit.

6 people like this
Posted by Beth
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 6, 2018 at 2:41 pm

Agree with the recommends for safety of bikers and auto drivers. Then double down on them. At this time of year, I wouldn't cycle with black/dark clothing, making me more difficult to see. The shadows are low and long. As a driver, maybe some cyclists aren't "bright" enough (pun intended). Point is to ride from Point A to Point B, safely and without causing harm to your self nor others.

Angela, consider not automatically assuming old people don't see well. Presumptuous, ageist. Wait until it's a known fact, then talk about what to do.

13 people like this
Posted by POrtolaValley Reaident
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Dec 6, 2018 at 3:44 pm

I believe cyclists share responsibility to keep the roads safe. They can do so by wearing reflective clothing and wearing proper safety gear [portion removed; don't make assumptions]. As for cars, it’s important not to exceed the 45 mph speed limit on that stretch and be mindful of cyclists using the road, especially in the shadows in late afternoon.

3 people like this
Posted by blame game
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 7, 2018 at 12:48 am

Nice....last time I looked, a dress code for pedestrians and cyclists is not in the CVC.

Victim shaming here hits a nerve as I got a story too:

That guy in his BMW who drove over my foot while I was walking in the crosswalk in downtown MP also had the gall to tell me that he hit me because I was not wearing reflective clothing.
After all, it is that poor schmucks fault if he is not holed up in a personal battle tank. Survival of the biggest.....

Oh yeah, regarding there being a bright shiny visible object in the road:
Ever heard of "target fixation"?
Ask a CHP officer if you are unfamiliar with the term.
Pretty common with unfit drivers.

23 people like this
Posted by Blame is SUPER easy on this one
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 7, 2018 at 5:12 am

The blame lies with the person who committed a felony. No argument there.
So lets see, who committed the felony hit and run? Only one person in this story...facts are facts on this one. The blame lies with the soon to be convicted felon and no one else. The crime we're talking about is hitting someone with your car then driving away. That's the issue here. Try to keep up and not get side tracked on other pet issues.

If you want to side with the felon and argue WHY he had to hit someone AND leave the scene after doing so, and why YOU think its OK, you've got a long road ahead if you want to be convincing.

8 people like this
Posted by DashCam
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 7, 2018 at 6:50 am

This crime was captured on our DashCam. The camera did not pick up a license plate. I provided the video to the CHP.

The suspect entered Alpine Road from Foothill Expressway and continued to southbound 280. Perhaps this information helps someone identify a neighbor or friend who needs to do the right thing and come forward.

I think the earlier post about shadows under the 280 overpass was spot on. The suspect stopped at the stop sign, went straight, and merged into the southbound 280 lane while under the overpass. The bicyclist was in the shadows under the overpass. After colliding, the driver made an abrupt correction to the left ... obviously aware they hit something. They then went up the on ramp and fled.

The bicyclist is clearly in the right and the the driver should have stopped.

Being right won't keep you safe. There's no force field in a bike lane or crosswalk. Flashing lights on bikes during the day may seem to be an overkill, but I think this incident makes a case for them.

1 person likes this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 7, 2018 at 7:31 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.


where does Alpine cross Foothill Expressway? Did you mean Junipero Serra?

2 people like this
Posted by DashCam
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 7, 2018 at 7:36 am

@MenloVoter ... yes. Foothill Expwy changes names to Junipero Serra at Page Mill. Thanks for keeping thing accurate.

14 people like this
Posted by Portola Valley Resident
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Dec 7, 2018 at 7:54 am

I would also like to add that there are some roads which may not be suitable for bikers. Westridge is a prime example. There are many twists and turns and there is no bike lane. Same with Cervantes. Bikers should try to stay on the main roads if possible (Alpine, Portola) in order to maximize safety

7 people like this
Posted by Selfish Spandex Squad
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Dec 7, 2018 at 9:23 am

"would also like to add that there are some roads which may not be suitable for bikers. Westridge is a prime example"

Funny how we all think the least suitable roads are the ones that we drive on.

Selfish? Yes.

Almost as selfish as the bikers themselves.

80 people like this
Posted by On track much?
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 7, 2018 at 12:54 pm

How about we comment on the hit and run felon running around and how we can stop this behavior of running away when you run someone down in your car?

Start another topic if you just have to vent blind hate towards an entire group like bikers or cars. YOUR bigotry is on full display when you do this and YOU look like the ugly member of society:

noun: bigotry; plural noun: bigotries
intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.

8 people like this
Posted by MCA, working for
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 7, 2018 at 1:10 pm

Lots of selfish bikers, fo sure. Gotta be more defensive. Too crowded.

14 people like this
Posted by Photos from Businesses?
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 7, 2018 at 1:15 pm

Are there any businesses that might have taken a photo of the white Porsche SUV around the same time period? Not many that i can think of, but that seems to help catch a lot of these people who don't care if someone dies after they hit them. It'd also be nice if the body shops would report stuff like this to the cops.

Wishing the victim a speedy recovery!

10 people like this
Posted by Body Shops
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Dec 7, 2018 at 1:25 pm

I believe the body shops get notified in some instances but I'm not sure if they are legally mandated to report it. I suppose, sadly, their silence could be bought. It was really unbelievable that the SUV driver left that guy in the street. It makes me mad that people like that are around us.

9 people like this
Posted by Portola Valley Resident
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Dec 7, 2018 at 1:54 pm

The last thing I would ask bicyclists to consider is that riding side by side can be dangerous. Just today I witnessed a near miss on alpine after two bikers decided to do so on a curve. With drivers sometimes speeding, running late, or (God forbid) drunk driving, it’s imperative bikers do everything they can to protect themselves. The unfortunate reality is that there are lots of bad drivers, which can contribute to accidents such as this recent hit and run

35 people like this
Posted by Advice for the other guy
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 7, 2018 at 1:58 pm

Jeeze, people are full of that today, LOL. Human nature I guess.

I'm more concerned that someone ran into one of our neighbors, stopped to see the damage, then left him for dead. As a father of 3 small children, that concerns me greatly! We need to catch these people and punish them.
Inexcusable behavior!!!

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

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