News

Car flips into Palo Alto parking garage

Slick road caused car to skid, then flip upside down, driver said

A Ford Mustang that skidded on a fog-drenched roadway plunged several feet into the lower level of a parking garage on Birch Street in Palo Alto, landing on its roof early Tuesday morning (Nov. 29).

The male driver in his 20s said he was returning home from work at about 3 a.m. and had exited westbound Oregon Expressway toward California Avenue. As he rounded a curve his vehicle slid on the slick roadbed, hit a curb and some shrubbery and flipped into the garage, landing on its roof.

The driver, who did not want to be identified, said his seat belt saved his life. The taut belt kept him in place, dangling upside down in the car, which had a soft, cloth roof, he said.

The man said he was able to exit the vehicle and walked to his home, which is nearby. He was not injured.

"I was too tired to come back," he said, adding that he woke up later than he intended. He walked back to the garage around rush hour to survey the damage and call a tow truck. Someone at the garage saw the vehicle and called Palo Alto police, he said.

Ellison's Towing drivers were turning the car onto its wheels and planned to hoist it out of the garage at 9:45 a.m. They said the vehicle was "totaled."

Palo Alto police have not yet returned a call asking if the driver would be cited.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by what?
a resident of another community
on Nov 29, 2011 at 11:20 am

Sorry, but you don't flip your car, then just leave it there and go home to take a nap. I think there's more to this story.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 29, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Wow -- something here doesn't add up. Weird.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 29, 2011 at 12:13 pm

> I think there's more to this story.

Oh yeah .. like the speed of the vehicle, and the results of a field sobriety check for drugs.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Big Al
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 29, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Have made this turn thousands of time myself, and never had this problem, for or no fog. The only thing I can think of is that speed was most likely a factor, and perhaps a few too many drinks, and not the type they serve at Starbucks. Book em Dano.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 29, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Plenty of good tread on those tires.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 29, 2011 at 12:49 pm

This is an example of my questioning the fact that a 20 year old is supposed to be an adult. This is not adult behavior. It is childish behavior.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 29, 2011 at 3:33 pm

This is a classic case of a young bozo who was driving too fast on a slick road. I have made that turn myself numerous times, sometimes during heavy rain, so I know that the only way to lose control of your vehicle there is to drive too fast, unless he was drunk or on drugs.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Clem Clemson
a resident of Southgate
on Nov 29, 2011 at 5:35 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] I've driven that road everyday for the last 30 years in all kinds of weather. Never hit the curb yet. He walked away to take a nap? Wow - what a lucky guy to be able to walk away from that unscathed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 29, 2011 at 5:44 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 29, 2011 at 6:20 pm

This story is so fishy he might as well have driven into the bay. Lack of sleep, or driving while incapacitated needs to be looked into, and a name should be released as well. Every single Palo Altan has the right to know who drove their car with this result, even if it was somehow and honest mistake.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 29, 2011 at 6:22 pm

By the way editor ... a big middle finger to you for removing my whole post which was not offensive and which advice you took, but only to edit Clem Clemson's post. Why not publish your own name so I can take it to your boss and complain about your unfair and incompetent job performance?

-Anon.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by tim
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 29, 2011 at 6:32 pm

A former friend did the same thing. He had been drinking and crashed his car into a tree. Walked home and when the police came knocking on the door, he answered with a drink in his hand. Told the police that he had fallen asleep at the wheel and crashed. He was so upset, he walked home and had a few drinks to relax before calling the police. All the police could get him for was leaving the scene of a accident.
That is why he is a former friend.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 29, 2011 at 6:40 pm

> That is why he is a former friend.

And that is why Palo Alto needs to know the name of this person ... and what also might be interesting is any calls he made at this time for the best advice on how to handle the situation. I wonder if any of his relatives are lawyers.

He should be cited for leaving the scene of an accident, but his name should also be released. Maybe some civic minded grafitti artist could spray paint it at the scene of the "accident" ... if there is such a thing as a civic minded graffitti artist. ;-)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Roy
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 29, 2011 at 7:36 pm

...Looks like someone tried to play Ace Ventura.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Howard
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 29, 2011 at 7:40 pm

What a bunch of self-rightious narrow minded creeps. Just be glad he wasn't hurt.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 29, 2011 at 8:35 pm

@ Howard:

I am glad that he wasn't hurt. However, I am even happier that he didn't hurt someone else.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 29, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Howard, a resident of the Crescent Park.... do you understand the concept of self-righteous, because if you check your picture just may be in the dictionary.

No one said anything about being unhappy the driver was not hurt or that he should have been hurt as your comment implies. We should be more happy that he did not hurt anyone else, after all he was safely belted into a new model car, right? If he did not see that big drop he probably would not have seen a bicyclist or pedestrian either. But am I being too narrow minded and self-righteous for you?

So, Crescent Park neighbor, what is self-righteous about being unhappy about and wanting to know who would make such a mistake in judgement?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 29, 2011 at 8:44 pm



Lucky kid--glad he was not injured-he was smart to have his belt on

--the on-board will show what speed he was going

--but it looks like he was traveling at legal speed and had bad luck.

Inexperienced drivers have great difficulty handling skids

Until we have more rain-- then fog and dew makes the roads very slippery because of the residual oil


 +   Like this comment
Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 30, 2011 at 7:52 am

As I left home yesterday around 7:00AM, the fog was extremely thick, visibility extremely poor, and unsurprisingly, about a third of the vehicles on the road didn't have their headlights on moving along Oregon Expressway like invisible black holes. Poor and potentially deadly driving comes in different shapes in California.


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