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Pedestrian killed in Atherton

Original post made on Sep 27, 2013

A man was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver in Atherton early Friday morning, according to police. Middlefield Road between Encinal and Oak Grove avenues was closed to traffic much of the day, and reopened at about 4 p.m.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 27, 2013, 8:11 AM

Comments (15)

Posted by RIP
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 27, 2013 at 9:02 am

Rest in peace.

Courts need to start treating hit-and-run seriously. Leaving someone to die in the middle of the street should be considered premeditated murder.

Posted by Sybille
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Sep 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm

How sad. Hey, maybe it's time to get sidewalks (new concept, eh???!) there and ... gulp ... more street lights. Sidewalks so the school kids are safer--and others too, of course--and street lights are long overdue. At night all of Middlefield in Atherton is pitch dark. Very dangerous.

Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 27, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Good luck with sidewalks in Atherton and Menlo Park.

Atherton residents won't even allow botts dots pavement markers or reflective markers on their streets to help with traffic safety. The city tried a few years ago and got nothing but complaints from residents who complained about the detrimental impact to the beauty of their city. So of course aesthetics won out and the saftey markers were removed.

A number of years ago Menlo Park removed thousands of dollars in safety improvements from Santa Cruz Ave because of similar complaints. Also in numerous areas of the city residents complained about new higher visibility crosswalks because they were too visible.

That's the rich and wealthy around here - to hell with safety if it's hard on their eyes or color schemes.

Posted by Steve
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Sep 27, 2013 at 1:11 pm

I could 't agree more that Atherton needs to step up and at least provide sidewalks along its major thoroughfares. It's just 6 months ago that we were having this discussion after a pedestrian incident on El Camino because of the lack of raised sidewalks in the Atherton corridor. How does Atherton avoid having to install this basic safety & convenience feature that virtually every other town north and south has done years ago?
How many more pedestrian deaths before Atherton accepts their responsibility?

Posted by reply
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm

it all depends on who the poor lost sole was, and whete he was from. If it is a wealthy Atherton/Menlo Park resident you may see some call to action. If it was some good sole from another town, forget it. Bless his family and friends, and those of us who mourn with them.

Posted by ShameOnYou!
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 27, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Looks like there's way too much Class Envy in Menlo Park! :-(

Posted by Atherton Resident
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 27, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Maybe the Atherton bashers can explain how all those safety fixes would
have guided the hit and run driver to do the right thing and stop to render aid? Taking responsibility for one's actions is not something that be fixed by more yellow paint, curbs or lighting.

Posted by LMGTFY
a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 27, 2013 at 2:33 pm


"civic responsibility - more yellow paint, curbs or lighting."

Happy to help.

RIP. Hope we find out what happened.

Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 27, 2013 at 3:28 pm

So sad. I hope the manslaughterer is identified & apprehended.

Middlefield from Ravenswood to the RC border is insufficiently lighted & should be widened for the safety of cyclists & pedestrians. Since El Camino Real is State Hwy 82, is there any possibility of getting assistance from the State for widening & lighting the roadway for non-motorists? Only recently was encroaching shrubbery from westside Atherton gardens trimmed back to improve visibility in certain strips south of Atherton Ave.

Ever-increasing construction of new & bigger houses adds more vehicles on roads built decades ago for very light traffic.

The bott dot fiasco seemed like a dumb joke at the time. It was reported in this paper that they were removed at a cost of, I think $50,000 because Atherton residents thought "it made it too easy for non-residents to find their way through Town[!]" Any illumination helps, even though it probably wouldn't have prevented this latest hit & run.

Let's hope the coroner's dept. is able to recover any helpful data & that there were actually witnesses who come forward. May the driver suffer such horrible anguish that he/she confesses or confides to someone who will report it.


Posted by unknown
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Sep 27, 2013 at 3:41 pm

This is a terrible place to drive during the day when the kids are being dropped off and at night and in the rain. No one knows what happened but nothing can explain leaving someone dead or dying on the side of the road. I'm sure they'll figure it all out but in the mean time it simply comes down to people driving slower, no texting, etc. I worry about all the kids in elementary and high school that are vulnerble to all the traffic.

Posted by EastMP
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 27, 2013 at 4:31 pm

[Portion removed; be respectful of other posters] the point is that street lights and sidewalks would have prevented the hit and run in the first place. Any argument you may have against implementing more safety features in Atherton would be absolutely absurd, and likely selfish.

Posted by goandsee
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Sep 27, 2013 at 5:24 pm

In fact, there is a "sidewalk" along Middlefield. On the east side between the row of trees and the brick wall. Probably one of the most pedestrian friendly streets through town. If we wanted to live under bright lights and behind cement sidewalks we'd live elsewhere. Unfortunate accident but likely didn't get hit between the trees and the wall... Agree with above, mire yellow paint won't solve this.

Posted by peninsula resident
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Sep 28, 2013 at 12:15 am

1) It's possible -- even likely -- the pedestrian was still alive after being hit. When the driver chose to drive away instead of calling for help and providing aid, the driver effectively sentenced the pedestrian to death.

There is a special place in hell waiting for the driver. I hope the driver is caught, and we are able to give a little of that hell to him/her while still on earth.

2) If the driver is caught, there's a chance it will be due to nearby neighbor's security cameras. So the very people some of you are lambasting for wanting simple streets are the people that may provide the critical info that catches the driver.

So let's tone down the Anti-Atherton rhetoric, shall we?

3) The most protected place to walk/bicycle on Middlefield in Atherton OR Menlo Park (and even parts of RWC and PA) is exactly between Marsh and M-A. There's a very wide path on the east side of middlefield, with thick trees between the path and road. Those trees do more to protect pedestrians from cars than any 6-inch curb could do.

If you doubt that, then do this: stand behind one of the middlefield trees and have a friend drive a car into the tree. Then try the same experiment, except just stand on a sidewalk with a 6-inch curb, and see if that 6-inch curb stops the car.

I suspect you'll survive the 1st test. I wish you luck on the 2nd test :)

4) lighting: this one cuts both ways. As a person who drives thru the intersection of Encinal and Middlefield frequently, I agree it can get dark. But WOW, I've lost track of the number of times I've seen people dressed in black riding a bicycle with no/little reflective gear on and no lights whatsoever. Ditto pedestrians. And RIGHT on the shoulder next to the road, and sometimes walking ON the road, despite there being wide shoulders on both sides of middlefield.

So I disagree with folks who think sidewalks and lighting are the answer here. I will, however, agree that some sections of El Camino and Middlefield could use additional barriers between cars and pedestrians. That would do more than a 6-inch concrete step and lights could ever do.

Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Sep 29, 2013 at 9:47 am

The news said that there was clear evidence showing that the driver moved the body before driving on. Why? Did the driver live very near the accident?

Posted by Lost a noble friend
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 1, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Jeff didn't deserve to be dragged to the side of the road and left to die. To the person who did such an unthinkable act may God forgive your sins. We are going to miss you Jeff your buddys at the donut shop across from the VA Hospital. Your Partners Maddog, John D., Charlie, Bugs, Tyrone, Stereo, Corey, and all the rest of the Veterans. RIP

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