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Palo Alto boy killed in Friday night collision

Original post made on Mar 7, 2020

A middle-school aged boy riding a bicycle was killed Friday night (March 6) in a collision at El Camino Real and California Avenue, according to a Palo Alto Police Department press release issued Saturday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, March 7, 2020, 2:05 PM

Comments (19)

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2020 at 2:10 pm

It was not a car, but a flat bed truck or tow truck. Very different sized vehicles. Very sad tragedy.


Posted by Barron Park dad
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 7, 2020 at 2:10 pm

So sorry to hear about this.

Posted by merry
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Mar 7, 2020 at 2:30 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by Terribly sad
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 7, 2020 at 3:20 pm

This is tragic. Evening is a hard time for bikers. Right turns are especially difficult for drivers with bikes in the mix. We talked about this at home -- what would our kids do? As a biker, and particularly at night, you have to be paranoid and assume no one sees you. But that can be hard to keep in mind. I am so sorry for the family, and for the driver as well.

Posted by Tsk
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2020 at 3:40 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by Sadparent
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 7, 2020 at 3:47 pm

This is heart breaking news. I’m so sorry for everyone involved.

Posted by Jay
a resident of another community
on Mar 7, 2020 at 4:49 pm

An accident like this effects so many... the boy’s family and friends. The truck driver. The bystanders. Lastly, the first responders who worked on the boy.

Posted by Chris
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 7, 2020 at 4:51 pm

Truly sad to read this...this boy had his whole life ahead of him... And yet, will anything change with the congestion on El Camino? Probably not..

Because of campers parked on a very congested El Camino Real, HWY 82 in Palo Alto, VTA buses, trucks, etc. need to drive in 2 lanes to pass the campers. This is a hazard for kids/adults on bikes, other drivers on congested El Camino Real in Palo Alto do not have room to drive/ride a bike. The stretch of El Camino Real from Los Robles Ave past Maybell Ave, Palo Alto, is another location for an accident waiting to happen, especially with the schools in the area, kids biking. In addition, the road is full of very large pot holes with all the construction trucks and the city/state has not repaved this road in decades.

The buses need to drive in 2 lanes to get past the campers parked on El Camino Real, in South Palo Alto. Since early January 2020, the same campers have parked in the same location on El Camino Real in South Palo Alto, preventing viability for intersections.

The City of Palo Alto and Police leave these campers parked for weeks and months at a time in the same location, even though the city ordinance is 72 hour parking. When is a dedicated location going to be found to house these campers?

Posted by Family Friendly
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 7, 2020 at 5:19 pm

@Chris: The [portion removed] campers on El Camino are indeed a safety and health hazard. However, not at the intersection of El Camino and California.

This seems like it was probably a large truck with poor right-side visibility turning right, on a dark night, and hitting a kid riding straight ahead. The solution would be to increase the lighting at that intersection, or eliminate the right turn on red, or prohibit trucks on California Ave.

a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 7, 2020 at 5:28 pm

A couple of months ago I attended a bicycle safety class with my son. Organized by the Palo Alto police department. He had been given a ticket for riding without a helmet. It was two hours of traffic rules, safety education that ended with a short documentary of a young man who suffered a head injury while snowboarding. The message from the two officers was clear to the kids. Please wear your helmets, know the traffic rules, have lights ( it is required by the California vehicle code) wear reflecting clothing, or at least not all black particularly at night, make eye contact, be predictable. As parents we need to teach this skills to our kids. But as drivers we need to exercise more caution while driving. When the officers showed photos of real bike collisions. And how he had to tell the parents of a young man that he was in the hospital and he might not make it. The whole room full of “cool high school kids” was dead silent. It became evident how serious the situation was. I’m glad I attended and my kid has been more careful while biking after that day. I hope us drivers and parents do our part in making this town safer for children.

Posted by Sam Lan
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 7, 2020 at 5:52 pm

@Tsk it’s not biking that needs to be discorouged! For starters, not everyone has the ability to commute in a different fashion. Furthermore, it should be bike safety that needs to be emphasized. When there are many car accidents, we shouldn’t tell people to not use cars, but instead tell them how to be more safe. This is a really sad and terrible event, but we must think about the actual root of a problem rather than the direct implications. RIP

Posted by Carol
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 7, 2020 at 6:26 pm

I posted this on Nextdoor so will use my name.

If you want to talk about bike safety then let's talk about bike education in school. This is what I went through as a child in my school.

Thank you for the reminder of bike safety classes. When I was a child we did bicycle proficiency classes, I think part of the PE curriculum. The lessons were each week about 30 minutes for many weeks with a test at the end. For the first couple of weeks we were not even on bikes, but walking around the lines in the playground as if we were on bikes learning how to do hand signals (hold arms out straight at shoulder height and count to 3 before lowering arm and then turning) and to do it before changing lane as well as turning as well as looking over our shoulders before turning. We also were taught to mount and dismount our bikes away from the traffic so that if we wobbled we would not wobble into traffic but into the kerb. We were taught about the necessity of bells and when to use them, and taught about bike lights. We had to learn road signs and traffic lights. All this before we actually got onto the bike. Then we had several weeks learning on the bike.From memory, I don't think we were allowed to ride our bikes to school until we had passed the proficiency test. We were also not allowed to ride bikes on school grounds, the campus, but to walk them from the school gate to the bicycle shed. All these rules stick in my mind. I don't think my offspring learnt anything like that here.

Posted by Jen
a resident of Southgate
on Mar 7, 2020 at 6:32 pm

Sam, it’s not always the victim’s fault, that’s insensitive of you to even say that. I have had children in PAUSD for two decades. The cars are also at fault, they run red lights, roll through stop signs, text while driving. A student got hit on Embarcadero Rd while in the crosswalk on a green light crossing to Town & Country. Driver ran the red and hit her in 2017. The ped/bike accidents are not publicized. I have heard of many bike accidents!

Posted by Anonymous1
a resident of another community
on Mar 7, 2020 at 7:08 pm

Out of respect for this family sclise this now.

Posted by Kieran
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 7, 2020 at 7:15 pm

[Post removed. Please refrain from commenting with speculation as to the cause of this tragic accident and respect the fact that a family is grieving the loss of a child.]

Posted by merry
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Mar 7, 2020 at 7:33 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 7, 2020 at 8:17 pm

Somewhere in our city a family is suffering an unimaginable loss. I read through some of these comments and I just see coldhearted, distant, blank faces of strangers. Can we all just take a moment to have some heart? Save your bike policy suggestions for the next city meeting. Think of this family in this awful moment and think of the tragic loss of this young child.

Posted by Marketdev
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 7, 2020 at 8:29 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by Nick
a resident of another community
on Mar 7, 2020 at 8:42 pm

[Post removed.]

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