News


Wrong-way driver causes major crash

Accident shuts down part of Interstate Highway 280

A man who drove the wrong way for miles on two freeways crashed into another car, causing a shutdown of southbound Interstate 280 in Los Altos Hills early Sunday morning, has been arrested on suspicion of DUI, the California Highway Patrol said.

The 25-year-old motorist, of Morgan Hill, was reportedly driving his white Toyota Corolla southbound in the northbound lanes of Interstate 680 at Berryessa Road in San Jose at 3:42 a.m. He was allegedly still driving the wrong way as the freeway turned into Interstate Highway 280, at which point he was now driving north in the southbound lane.

CHP San Jose officers responded to reports from its dispatch center, and as the car entered the CHP Redwood City area, officers set up spike strips at Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park to attempt to stop the car. Before the car could get there, the driver collided in a southbound lane near Los Altos Hills with a Ford van being driven by a 50-year-old San Jose resident.

The Toyota came to rest within the slow lane and the shoulder, and the Ford van ended up on its passenger side in the two fast lanes, both on the freeway’s southbound side.

Palo Alto fire and emergency personnel arrived and transported both men to Stanford Hospital with major injuries. CHP said in a statement that it appeared the 25-year-old man was driving under the influence of alcohol. He was arrested and remains in the hospital in the intensive-care unit, CHP spokesman Officer Art Montiel said. The alleged drunk driver suffered very serious injuries; the man in the van had fractures and was not as badly injured, Montiel said on Monday.

All lanes of southbound Highway 280 were closed for almost three hours during the on-scene investigation. CHP diverted traffic at Page Mill Road with minimal impact to traffic.

Witnesses to the collision are asked to contact CHP Officer Anthony Wheeler at 650-369-6261.

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Editor's note: The Weekly's policy is to withhold names in potential criminal cases until the District Attorney has determined there is sufficient evidence for a formal charge. To read more about our policy go to embarcaderomediagroup.com.

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Comments

32 people like this
Posted by Eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 15, 2017 at 3:19 pm

This is why... one should drive in the slow lane (right most lane) of the highway. Apparently drunk drivers enter the wrong way (under influence) and end up driving in what they THINK is the "slow lane" but it is actually the left most lane or passing lane (if you are going in the correct direction).

Leave the passing (left most lane) for truly passing, and drive in the right most (slow lane) for majority of driving. It will also decrease one's chances of being involved in a head-on collision with a driver who is driving under the influence.

Web Link

I'm not sure why news articles or online news... or TV/radio news does not highlight this point enough. It should be announced like "don't drink and drive" and "smoke is hazardous to one's health" PSA.... never drive in the left most lane when drunk drivers are out.

And remember.. by the time you figure what is going on, and some idiot is driving head on towards you (in the wrong direction), you and the other driving are approaching each other at twice the speed. If you drive 70 mph... and he is going 70... you are technically approaching each other at 140 mph. You barely have time to react if at all..


36 people like this
Posted by Gerturde
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 15, 2017 at 4:31 pm

Eileen, leave the slow lane for those who are exiting/entering the freeway. When traffic is heavy and moving fast, it's rally dangerous to try and enter the the freeway when the "slow" lane is clogged with drivers who are not exiting anytime soon but think they're so much safer driving in the far right lane. People who text will often drive in the "slow" lane, thinking it's ok to drive slowly when texting. Then there are many people who seem terrified of going the speed limit and drive extra slow in the far right lane, again thinking it's OK because it's the slow lane.

If you're so paranoid of driving on the freeway that you only feel safe in the slow lane, perhaps you should use El Camino.

It's a shame that driving while under the influence does not carry stiffer penalties in this country. The driver license should be taken away for at least five years after the first offense. Same with those who text while driving.


5 people like this
Posted by Age? Intoxication?
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 15, 2017 at 5:37 pm

Was the unnamed driver elderly and/or intoxicated?


16 people like this
Posted by Gertrude
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 15, 2017 at 5:46 pm

Eileen, the link you provided is an article in the Mercury News that suggests that drivers stay out of the far left (fast) lane AFTER 11:00 PM because drunk drivers tend to leave bars/parties late at night and in the wee hours of the morning. The article does not suggest that drivers always drive in the far right lane for safety, and to suggest so is misleading. If all drivers stayed in the right lane on a multi lane highway there would be constant accidents because of cars trying to merge onto the freeway without any room for maneuvering. It would be a disaster.


20 people like this
Posted by Eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 15, 2017 at 7:11 pm

Gertrude:

yes... I meant after 11pm. WHEN drunk drivers are out.. till the wee dawn hours. And frankly at 1 am or 2 am... the highways will be mostly empty and driving on the right most lane is fine.

But honestly... the left most lane.. fast lane... is considered the PASSING lane.

Nothing more irritating than having a slow driver... in the passing lane.. and making other people pass in the right side. That is how accidents happen. Studies have shown slow drivers.... cause more accidents on the highway.

So Gertrude:

There is nothing more irritating than a car... hanging out in the left most passing lane (that is not a a carpool lane).... and driving slow. That TOO is irritating. It's called a passing lane for a reason.

Web Link


15 people like this
Posted by Eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 15, 2017 at 7:20 pm

Gertrude:

at 4 am when the accident occurred... I highly doubt.... there were constant traffic entering and leaving and merging on the right most side of the highway on 280.

But... my link was only a suggestion. If you would like.. by all means.. drive in the left most side of the lane (also termed the "passing lane") all the time. That too is your prerogative. Go for it.


7 people like this
Posted by Darry Biller
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2017 at 7:31 pm

"Was the unnamed driver elderly and/or intoxicated?"

Read the article:

"CHP said in a statement that it appeared the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol."

Your next clue:

"The motorist, of Morgan Hill, was reportedly driving his white Toyota Corolla southbound in the northbound lanes of Interstate 680 at Berryessa Road in San Jose at 3:42 a.m."

I never touch alcohol but so help me, I won't drive after dark any more for this very reason.


18 people like this
Posted by Gerturde
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 15, 2017 at 11:23 pm

Eileen, I'm not sure why you are on a tangent about driving in the left most (fast) lane when you started out by making a case about driving in the slow lane for safety. And nowhere in my comments did I suggest that all drivers drive in the fast lane. Assuming that you are referring to 280, which has at least four lanes, I'm not sure why you are treating it like it has only a slow lane and a fast lane when there are at least two additional lanes in-between. There's no reason to drive in the far right lane unless you are exiting. You can stay in the lane next to the far right lane so you don't impede traffic that is merging onto the freeway, and if you're traveling at the speed limit there's no reason you can't drive in the lane closest to the fast lane. Get it? Maybe you're picturing a two lane freeway where it makes sense to stay in the slow lane unless passing.


1 person likes this
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 16, 2017 at 9:52 am

About twenty years ago I was leaving the toll plaza on the Dumbarton a little after midnight when I saw a car heading west in the east-bound lanes at a high rate of speed. A split second later a CHP car blasted through the toll plaza heading west with lights on and siren blasting driving parallel with the wrong way car. I believe the CHiP was trying to get him to stop. He failed.

About a mile from the toll plaza the wrong way car collided head on with a van. It looked horrific as I went past. I read in the paper the next day that the two adults in the front seat of the van were killed on impact. Their two children suffered life threatening head injuries. The wrong way driver's injuries? A broken arm.

The paper also stated that he was blind drunk.


21 people like this
Posted by Jonathan Brown
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm

I think 20 miles of wrong-way driving and a crash that sent both drivers to the hospital is sufficient evidence to conclude that the public's right to know outweighs any alleged unfairness to Mr. Rodriguez by naming him.


15 people like this
Posted by Old Wisdom
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 16, 2017 at 1:27 pm

As my grandmother used to say:
Nothing good happens after midnight ...


1 person likes this
Posted by @Jonathan Brown
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 16, 2017 at 2:16 pm

You went to a terrible law school.


38 people like this
Posted by A little civility, please.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 16, 2017 at 3:34 pm

A little civility, please. is a registered user.

Please resist the urge to attack each other in public forums--even if you are writing anonymously. Greater civility is needed. We can do better.

We create the world we live in with each action we take and each word we speak (or write). Before you hit "send," please consider whether what you wrote moves us toward something helpful and constructive.

Thank you.


7 people like this
Posted by Gerturde
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 16, 2017 at 6:26 pm

@ A little civility please: Please feel free to hit the "report objectionable content" button if you feel a poster is being uncivil. If you have an actual opinion about the article, I'd love to hear it. And by the way, I feel my comments are very helpful and constructive for Eileen :)


15 people like this
Posted by confused
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 17, 2017 at 6:42 pm

[Post removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by Gerturde
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 17, 2017 at 7:33 pm

Confused as to why posters who feel that comments are inappropriate won't just hit the "report" button and let the moderators take care of it.

Confused as to why people who bother to read the article and all comments can't just post their own opinion about the article instead of only critiquing the people who actually have opinions about the article.

[Portion removed.]


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

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