News


Coroner IDs 6-year-old victim of hit-run crash

Police 'actively searching' for East Palo Alto resident believed to be involved in crash that fatally injured 6-year-old girl

The 6-year-old Menlo Park girl who was fatally injured in a hit-and-run "street racing" crash last week has been identified as Lisa Xavier.

The girl's mother was injured and hospitalized but her father, who was driving, was not injured in the crash. Police said the family was crossing Bayfront Expressway at Willow Road at 1:55 p.m. Thursday into the Sun Microsystems when their Toyota Camry was hit by one of two vehicles engaged in a high-speed street race.

Lisa died at 4:05 p.m. Friday at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, the San Mateo County coroner's office reported.

Sgt. Matthew Ortega of the Menlo Park Police Department reported said two vehicles were racing north on Bayfront Expressway when one ran a red light at Willow and smashied into the Camry.

Police are "actively searching for" and want to question East Palo Alto resident Shannon Fox, 24, the owner of one of the vehicles involved in the race, according to a statement. Fox is described as black, 6 feet 2 inches tall, 220 pounds and muscular.

Police have recovered both vehicles involved in the race. A video clip from a Sun Microsystems security camera shows heavy traffic at the time of the accident, and that at least one vehicle ran a red light before colliding with the vehicle carrying the victims, police said.

Witnesses who saw the race told police that the driver of the impacting vehicle exited the crashed car and jumped into the other vehicle involved in the race, which then fled the scene, police said.

The intersection was closed for about 2 1/2 hours after the accident, Ortega said. Police are asking anyone with information on this incident to call 330-6300 and ask for the watch commander.

To view pictures of Shannon Fox, for whom police are "actively searching," click here and here. These pictures are from the Menlo Park Police Department.

Comments

Posted by Who cares?, a resident of Atherton
on Nov 13, 2009 at 10:39 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 13, 2009 at 11:29 pm

For the first time I have reported "objectionable content". I was tempted to describe what the suspect should inflict on the poster and his/her family in my fantasy world....but chose the "high road".


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 13, 2009 at 11:41 pm

So if and when the police locate Shannon...will they just go to his house and have a conversation with him? And then refer the case to the DA for consideration? Like they did with the female Lexus driver who struck a PA High student a few months back on El Camino? Didn't even impound her car.


Posted by Paly mom, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 14, 2009 at 12:22 am

I reported the offensive post also. This is a senseless tragedy and I also feel a great deal of anger towards the people who did this. At this point, were they found guilty, I would like to see them boiled in a vat of oil, for example. However, making racist statements and generalizing to an entire population is not helpful. Are we to assume that all residents of Atherton are ignorant racists just because you are?


Posted by On topic, please, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 14, 2009 at 7:59 am

Ok folks drop the racism thing. PA weekly will remove that post soon enough. What about the child and her mother? What about the racers, young (white, latino, phillipino)
aholes who fly up and down Page Mill Road, then brag about it and post videos on youtube? I found an online forum where one of them is bragging that when he hit a tree up on Skyline, he told the investigating CHP officer that a deer jumped out. Now he's getting a shiny new sports car from his insurance company. And who pays those high insurance premiums so that losers like him can continue to endanger the public? We do. Something is wrong, here.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 14, 2009 at 8:03 am

Noun

This is an entirely different story. There was a road race going on and the driver ran away in the other racer's car and is still hiding.
The story to which you refer was serious and the driver made a mistake, but there was no racing going on and no one aided and abetted the driver and she was found at her home, all unlike this situation.


Posted by sarlat, a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 14, 2009 at 9:56 am

It's no wonder the rest of the world considers the US to be the most racist nation in the world. Just read the stupid comments here. There are many well-off, luxury car driving whites who hit and run and sometime kill innocent bystanders every day because they race, show off, run red-lights and stop-signs, in short, they do exactly what this particular black killer had done. There are people of every ethnicity and race who lack any kind of soul and are capable of killing innocent people. Just a reminder, the Nazis were all white and those who nearly wiped out the Native Americans did not come from Africa.


Posted by Bob, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 14, 2009 at 10:25 am

Race has nothing to do with it. These guys were street racing. In some states, that itself is a felony becase it shows a wanton disregard for the safety of others. Let's not create a moral equivalency between accidents and criminal recklessness.


Posted by Rooney, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 14, 2009 at 10:39 am

The guys who did it are killers who should be caught and sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in prison, no argument here. However, there are as many Caucasian and lowlife characters of other races who do the same things, every day. Those who lay on us their stupid racism because the killers happened to be black in this particular case are loathsome and just as bad as the perpetrators.


Posted by diane d., a resident of another community
on Nov 14, 2009 at 10:53 am

A small child is dead. A mother is forever injured. Where is the compassion in this community? ...And we wonder why our children feel hopeless.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 14, 2009 at 1:15 pm

There is plenty of compassion towards the family involved in this hideous crime. In addition, the horrible, racist, nasty, elitist post angered many people. Both are relevant. For me, the bottom line is that these guys get caught and prosecuted and that the family, friends and community of the victims are supported and cared for. I am betting many people want to help if and when they can. This could've been anyone who was hit, living near or far, commuter or locals. I have to be on that same road today and will certainly be thinking of the victims.

I hope these men turn themselves in soon.


Posted by John, a resident of Meadow Park
on Nov 14, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Please remove the word "accident" from your story. Intentional crazy driving is not an "accident".


Posted by Gunn parent, a resident of Ventura
on Nov 14, 2009 at 3:28 pm

My deepest sympathies to the family of the little girl.
One would think it would be safe at 4 pm on the way to Dumbarton.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 14, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Regarding...

"Noun

This is an entirely different story. There was a road race going on and the driver ran away in the other racer's car and is still hiding.

The story to which you refer was serious and the driver made a mistake, but there was no racing going on and no one aided and abetted the driver and she was found at her home, all unlike this situation."

Whether or not racing was going on (the intent of which isn't homicide) in both cases after a hit & run the perp fled the scene. Apparently the Lexus driver also chose to attempt to hide (unless one can believe a kid could bounce off someone's windshield and they wouldn't see them---in which case the Driver's License should be yanked). So if Shannon is later "found at home" will a little chat and referral to the DA be all?


Posted by Anon, a resident of another community
on Nov 14, 2009 at 11:53 pm

This is devasting and tragic. The death of a little 6 year old child as a result of mindless, reckless, and unfathomably selfish behavior of a so-called adult human being. Where is the outrage? Have we all lost our humanity? Street racing ? What the hell kind of crap activity is that anyway? Why do some people never mentally age beyond age 12? What kind of idiot gets a thrill out of endangering the lives of other people? Psychopaths = street racers. Death penalty these idiots and leave life to those who appreciate it, respect it and nurture it.


Posted by Mkumbe Obangumbo, a resident of Los Altos
on Nov 15, 2009 at 7:09 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by A Mom, a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 15, 2009 at 8:13 am

I am so saddened by this. A little girl passed away. I cannot even imagine the pain her family and friends are in.


Posted by sally, a resident of Los Altos
on Nov 15, 2009 at 8:53 am

Street racing is never OK. It is never OK to race on a street.
Is there not a law?
These two drivers (Shannon and his co-racer) made a choice. This little girl and her mom made no choice to take a crazy risk.
The choice these racers made has a consequence. They should have been fully aware of this consequence and now need to pay for it. Street racing is NEVER OK.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 15, 2009 at 2:49 pm

I hope the perpetrators are caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

But "outrage" I must hold back lest I join in with the disgusting racism (post removed) and calls for a death penalty..

"Death penalty these idiots and leave life to those who appreciate it, respect it and nurture it."

I don't know if the appropriate charge is vehicular manslaughter or a homicide charge. Plus the fleeing part. I also don't know if any priors the perp(s) have which would influence sentencing.

As the owner of the racing vehicle involved in the crash has been determined not to be the driver then I assume Shannon is suspected of driving the other car in the race AND assisting the other driver (and himself) to flee the scene.

But back to reality....it appears they were conducting a street race and not out to kill someone. I can remember back to my younger years, and those of others, and say a bit of "there but for....". What they did was a crime, fleeing is another crime. But in our outrage and sorrow we should keep this in perspective. If the racers had been our own kids how would the calls for the Death Penalty be mitigated? (or just reserved for EPA kids when guilty?)


Posted by Vinod, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Nov 15, 2009 at 8:56 pm

shannon fox, the driver of the Mustang murdered an innocent girl. we don't want him on the steets taking another innocent life.


Posted by saddened, a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 16, 2009 at 6:43 am

I am also very saddened by the death of this little girl. I would also love to see these street racers punished. But in addition to all the talk about irresponsible drivers, I think we need to start thinking and talking about how we design our streets. Bayfront Expressway is a big, wide, straight thoroughfare. Yet it has cross traffic. We're making it too easy for people to be hurt.


Posted by Shocked, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2009 at 7:11 am

The only way to stop these creatures killing your daughter/ son next time is to charge them with murder and take them away from the streets forever.

Harsh punishment will act as a deterent to other creatures of the same kind.


Posted by George, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 16, 2009 at 10:33 am

There's nothing wrong with the street. There's something wrong with the morons that were racing on the streets. I hope Shannon is found quickly.


Posted by anon, a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2009 at 1:41 pm

"....it appears they were conducting a street race and not out to kill someone."

I have to strongly disagree. We are not talking about racing cars on a desolate country road at midnight. This happened on Willow Road at 1:55 p.m. (not a.m.!!) on Thursday! I say anyone who intentionally participates in a street race, especially in the middle of the afternoon on a busy, suburban street is criminally reckless and acting without any regard for the consequences of such acts. The charge should be a vehicular homicide felony (not manslaughter!). To me this is the same as firing a gun into a crowd in the hopes that the bullet will dodge all the people and just make a big noise.

God Bless little Lisa. May she rest in peace. My prayers for her family.


Posted by Old West Justice, a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Clean up the streets. Put the street thugs in jail.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 16, 2009 at 6:45 pm

So if a Paly or Gunn HS student (one who lived in CPA proper) was "inspired" by the Fast and the Furious culture, side shows, street racing ala James Dean movies of years past, then accidentally struck and killed a child......both parents well heeled, influential and all....

Would the shrill voices of "murder, thugs, capital punishment, creatures" etc. be in such full swing? Would minority citizens of EPA log on and post racist asides about the appearance of the sought perp? Or would the "perp" even be sought.....would not the police go over for a polite chat with the suspected suspect and refer to the DA for possible maybe charges.......


Posted by Karen, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 16, 2009 at 7:13 pm

James Dean was a Hollywood punk who got killed by a combination of his own speed and a drunk Indian, coming out of his reservation, who didn't stop.

The victims in this case were an innocent couple, with their child. Their child was killed. They were not James Dean, or even inspired by him, not even close. They were not drunk Indians. Your's is an absurd analogy.

The street thug involved in this situation is just a thug. There is no need to make him into something bigger than that. If you have an example of a CPA kid who got away with hit-and-run manslaughter, tell us about it.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 16, 2009 at 11:44 pm

Oh geez, I was talking about the glorification of car racing as portrayed by James Dean. As in the current Fast and Furious movies, the fad of side shows, etc. But why just call James Dean a "punk", why not a monster, etc.?

Of course I wasn't referring to the victims as perps in any sense.

What is absurd is that you didn't get it!

I am not trying to make the perps in this situation "bigger" than...oh wait "just a thug"........

Years ago a co-worker of mine had a very young child injured by a hit and run teenager from Atherton. Her child was injured such that it affected his walking a long time. The driver of the car was never found. A detective was hired who reported that the parents used their social and financial influence to forever shield the "thug" from Atherton.

But I didn't say that a CPA kid would totally get away with it. Just that the ridiculous parade of invective seen here would be mitigated, or removed by PA Online. There is the hit and run Lexus driver who struck a PA HS kid, officers just went and had a little chat. Topic dropped like a hot potatoe, etc.

Again, if you are capable of begininng to understand what I meant....go back and read the comments and ask yourself if the same inane stream of self-serving and pathetic invective would be spewing forth if the perp were a CPA kid who made a similar deadly mistake?

Look if that was my six year old killed by this person...if possible and I had the opportunity I would do unspeakeable things to him before dispatching him forever. And never look back. But the price of living in a civilized society is that we have laws and such. I hope he and others involved have the full weight of the law fall on them. Is illegal street racing which leads to a fatality murder? Does it matter if the street racing was on a "deserted" country road and found not to be so deserted?

The steady stream of invective against the perps, assuming you know the full story, is very sickening to me.


Posted by anon, a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2009 at 11:45 pm

A Noun... I would be just as outraged if a kid from the fancy part of PA did this, and would call for the same punishment, maybe even stricter since a good education should at the very least produce common sense in its recipients. As a society, we should all look at street racing as a menace to society, and stop treating it as some right of passage for the young and adventurous. It is stupid, reckless, selfish, and reprehensible. A little girl died. Let her legacy be the end of people treating street racing as a form of entertainment, and instead treat it as an atrocity.


Posted by Another parent, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 16, 2009 at 11:57 pm

A Noun, I would also be just as outraged. And my children would already know the consequences of such behavior long before they undertook such a spree. But if you are lenient with your child when she throws eggs, I can see why you might wonder whether other PA parents might spring to the defense of their little darlings when they were only out for some hi jinks to let off steam they built up at their high pressure high school. After all, when it's an affluent kid from a Palo Alto school, who cares about those who get in their way? I'm sure what ever pressure these folks were under was much less easy to justify.


Posted by Willie L., a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2009 at 1:46 am

For all the post who express anger for this great loss of life,....I am very hurt as well,and I don't know the child or the parents. I am prayerful for all members of this disaster. "
First of all,..just because you have fast engine in your car does'nt mean you should push it. This is typical with 5.0's Mustangs or regular Buicks and youngsters,...,. But it also pertains to a lot of you working class folks in your HYBRID or whatever's,"you speed too",.. while on your cell phones "It is illegal in Califonia" ,...while driving. I believe GOD has taken his angel back home with another plan for her. On the other hand he has a bounty out for this guy who will eventually come to terms with what he has done.I am quite sure he knows he's wanted,...BY NOW*. Everybody has some love in thier hearts and no one sanely survives with blood on thier hands very long ,...there will be no peace. God shall bring him in sooner or soon. Basically if you speed and hold up traffic while driving on your cell phones you are just as guilty. It does'nt matter where you from rich or poor. "STUPIDITY DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE".


Posted by John, a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 17, 2009 at 6:48 am

Reckless drivers definitely need to be removed from the streets, but if we really hope to save some of the 40,000 people killed on American roads every year a systematic approach is required: 1. Make it illegal to sell any vehicle that can exceed 70 mph. 2. Limit acceleration as well. 3. Adopt photo surveillance technology to electronically ticket speeders and drivers who run red lights. 4. Raise the minimum driving age from 16 to 18. 5. Block cell phone reception in all vehicles. These measures would save many, many lives. I urge readers to write to their elected officials and encourage them to write this sort of legislation.


Posted by anon, a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2009 at 8:12 am

Well said Willie L. and I agree with John that we need more legislation and enforcement (this is one area where the law has to be strictly written and enforced). However, I think it would be a huge risk to have cars only go 70mph unless every car in the country were recalled and retro-fitted with this engine on the same day. A few precious times pushing the accelerator, rather than braking, saved me from being hit by a reckless car, and helped me merge safely into highway traffic when the right laners were misusing that lane as a fast lane.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 17, 2009 at 9:36 am

John I pretty much agree with what you posted as recommendations. I wonder about the age limit being pushed from 16 to 18, but perhaps more stringent training and testing instead. But no doubt many will call this "Auto Socialism". I remember having a talk with a CHP officer (social situation, husband of co-worker) about how all the new cars, even family sedans, keep having the horsepower increased.

And to "another parent"....you juxtapose my defending my kids past participation in the Paly Egg War (when it occurred where it always did and no problemo) with the expectation that people would neuter their characterizations of the perp had he been perceived as "one of their own". It makes no sense.

Let's all just suppose that the perp WAS one of our kids. We'd all feel terrible and very angry, accept that punishment should be meted out. But would anyone think your kid (be he 18 or 24) should be charged with murder, characterized as a monster, a thug, etc.?

Or let's put reality into a spreadsheet in another way. Let's suppose that the Lexus driver who a while back hit a Paly HS kid on El Camino--kid bouncing off the windshield and she drives on....and the cops just went over and talked to her, no more is heard.

Imagine instead that the driver hitting the Paly HS kid was instead identified as the same Shannon as described and pictured above. His picture and EPA locale are posted. Does anyone think that the PA Police would just go over to his house, have a chat with him, refer to the DA, and then the whole incident just dropped off the radar screen?

And would we not then be treated to the similar stream of racist and screaming invective here---"monster", "thug", etc.


Posted by Another parent, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 17, 2009 at 11:03 am

Anon, Exactly. You are pointing out a double standard which exists. Once again, I think these drivers deserve severe punishment. But if that same fellow went over along with a hundred or so of his friends and egged Paly, would you be lenient with him? Would you accept his explanation that it was nothing against Paly, just that their traditional egg fight, which usually happened somewhere else they were not welcome, just needed a venue so why not Paly? No. You'd be outraged. In making this exception for you daughter you participate in and foster the double standard that you are pointing out.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 17, 2009 at 11:59 am

Alright the "put reality into a spreadsheet" gauntlet has been thrown down! :)

Now as regards...

"But if that same fellow went over along with a hundred or so of his friends and egged Paly, would you be lenient with him? Would you accept his explanation that it was nothing against Paly, just that their traditional egg fight, which usually happened somewhere else they were not welcome, just needed a venue so why not Paly? No. You'd be outraged. In making this exception for you daughter you participate in and foster the double standard that you are pointing out."

OK so Shannon (now 24 but let's make him 17 and going to Menlo/Atherton High) went to a HS which had a yearly egg war tradition between Menlo/Atherton and Sequoia HS. They usually had it in a rural area in Woodside but the principal at Menlo/Atherton got the RWC and Woodside police involved. They moved it to Stanford Land across from Churchill, the area between the stadium and El Camino...but driven out of there also and so went over to Paly. Damage then occurred to Paly structures. Would I be "outraged"? I don't think so.

BUT if that were to occur I don't doubt that indeed many in Paly would be calling for the National Guard to be called out. Especially if it were minority kids who egged the school. (is there a Menlo/Atherton vs. Paly rivalry which in any way approaches the Paly vs. Gunn rivalry?).

I supported my daughter when she participated in the Egg War when it was done where it always had taken place at. She and the others worked hard all 4 years and this seemed like a very fun and exciting ritual. Had she been one of the recent egg throwers at Gunn I would obviously have been asking her about the details. And gone from there.

There is a big difference between HS kids participating in a decades long tradition which (until messed with) did absolutely no harm, and the act of car speeders killing an infant.


Posted by Another parent, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 17, 2009 at 3:42 pm

A noun, Actually I was suggesting Shannon be what he is, an East Palo Alto resident, not affiliated with a school. Let's posit that he is a thug who does nothing but drag race and hang around, perhaps doesn't have a great job. So he and a hundred or so people who fit his profile turn up at Paly and egg the whole place, or, say, your home. I don't think you'd like it or be making excuses for him on the basis of youthful hi jinx. No. You have a double standard. Most of the students I know from Menlo Atherton fit the Paly profile, not his.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 17, 2009 at 7:02 pm

If you want to make an analogy it seems you have to control as many variables as you can. You want to cherry pick things for the spin.

We could also assume that Shannon is a bright and otherwise studious student who just happens to be enamored of cars and racing, drifting. And made one really bad fatal mistake (I doubt it, but who knows).....Oh but look I do seem to be making excuses for him, or alluding to the slim possibility that maybe he isn't the total "monster" or "thug" everyone seems to get their rocks off posting that he is.

So why don't you ask me what I'd think if a thousand Al Queda jihadists showed up and egged Paly HS. Or my home?

I said Menlo/Atherton becasue that is where I presumed some of the EPA HS students would attend. Insert Carlmont if you like, etc.

Or another way to look at it, what if it was your kid who was racing cars, killed a kid, then fled the scene? Would you be calling for capital punishment for your own kid?


Posted by A reader, a resident of Community Center
on Nov 18, 2009 at 9:38 am

My prayers are with the family of the little girl.


Posted by Another parent, a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2009 at 11:23 am

Anon, Why do you keep trying to erase the elitism from the analogy? The whole point is to compare the response of an individual, you, to something a paly student does with something the fictional Shannon does. If you make him just another paly kid then we have no analogy. Anyway, as I said before, my kids already have been taught right from wrong. If one of them did what this fellow is alleged to have done, I would expect our legal system to find an appropriate consequence for him. He would have legal representation and a trial, hopefully fair, to which he is entitled under the law, but I would not expect him to go without consequences. In our value system as a family, we do not encourage acts that harm others for the sake of a thrill. You will argue that eggs are harmless and I will again invite you to open your home to a harmless egg battle.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Nov 19, 2009 at 7:23 am

"If one of them did what this fellow is alleged to have done, I would expect our legal system to find an appropriate consequence for him. He would have legal representation and a trial, hopefully fair, to which he is entitled under the law, but I would not expect him to go without consequences."

Indeed, now the perp is a "fellow" who is "alleged".

There is a big range between "going without consequences" and capital punishment.

So compare your words above to the invective and racist sniping going on above.

That is kind of my point. Thank you.


Posted by condolences, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 20, 2009 at 1:44 am



My prayers are with Lisa's parents, how very sad, may she rest in peace, and how lucky those that knew her.


Posted by David, a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 21, 2009 at 4:59 pm

The only person I know personally in all this is Shannon Fox. I coached him in Little League for two years when he was a shy, gangly 12 year old boy. What happens to make a sweet cooperative hard working kid who just wanted to belong, turn out as alleged? I don't know. If we want to prevent such tragedies we need to figure this out. Adolescence is the turning point in so many kids lives. They need mentors and guides. The best thing any of us can do for a future little Lisa is to get involved in some way with young people.


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