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What happened at Loma Verde / Middlefield

Original post made by Curious, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 12, 2007

The lights have been flashing red for hours at this intersection. As difficult as it is for traffic, it has been very difficult for cyclists and pedestrians as no one stops for them. Any idea what has happened?

Comments (3)

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Posted by DJ
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 13, 2007 at 11:54 am

It was an accident - not too sure what exactly happened, but I heard a horn going off continuously; saw a traffic light pole almost in the front hood of the car and the Loma Verde sign lying almost flat on the road ..

I think someone unfortunately rammed into the traffic light pole while taking a right turn onto Middlefield Road. Not too sure if anyone was hurt, since didn't see the ambulances around ( I passed this intersection twice in both the directions within 30 minutes, while doing the school pickup ).

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Posted by Driver and Victim
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 18, 2007 at 9:37 pm

Ok. Here is what happened. I was the driver who hit the lightpost.

Around 3:10 pm, I was driving southbound on Middlefield road towards San Antonio. ( I was driving with my 70 year old mother-in-law sitting directly behind me and my 5 year old son sitting on his booster seat opposite of my mother-in-law in a black Ford Expedition.) As I approached the intersection of Middlefield and Loma Verde, there was a car from northbound Middlefield trying to make a left (westbound) onto Loma Verde. As I was about to enter the intersection, the woman tried to make the left turn in front of me. As she saw me approaching, she changed her mind and stopped....but it was too late. The front half of her car was already in my lane and I immediately swerved to avoid a collision. As I swerved, I collided with the traffic light pole. My airbags deployed, my horn was going off,......and as I turned to see how my passengers were doing, I noticed that my son's seatbelt unlatched on impact. He was thrown from one side of the vehicle to the other side and landed on the floor in front of my mother-in-law. To make a long story short, besides minor cuts and bruises, all of us are ok. Yes, police, paramedics, and firetrucks arrived. Along with Palo Alto Utilities to work on the traffic light.

Soooooo...I am sorry if the cyclists and the pedestrians were having a hard time with traffic that afternoon and evening, but I hope you can understand my plight.

In conclusion, according to the driver's report, the witnesses report, and my report, I am not to blame for the collision of the pole. The acccident was caused by the other driver who did not yield while making her left turn. Obviously, I had the right of way since I was going straight and she was the one trying to turn left in front of me. She was in violation of 21801(a) CVC which implies that she failed to yield to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction close enough to be a hazard during any part of the turn.

There..I am glad that my story is out there. And hope that people will stop "trying to figure out" how the accident happened. You heard it from me....the one who hit the traffic light to avoid a collision with another car.

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Posted by Curious
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 19, 2007 at 10:06 am

Thank you driver for explaining what had happened. I am so pleased that you and your family are all right, as well as the other driver. Accidents do happen to us and it is always worthwhile knowing what happened and that everyone is all right, particularly when there is so much emergency response.

Also, kudos to the city (or whoever) for getting on with repairing the damage so quickly (although I notice it is not complete). My original query related to the timing of what may have been very little damage at a time when the intersection was used so much.

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