News

Driver killed on Interstate 280

Four others injured in two-car collision in Palo Alto

A two-vehicle collision on Sunday, Jan. 5, caused one vehicle to split in two and a second to overturn on Interstate 280, killing a 21-year-old man and injuring four others, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The accident occurred in the early morning hours on northbound 280, south of Page Mill Road, in unincorporated Santa Clara County. Officers and firefighters arrived on the scene at 4:02 a.m. to find the driver of a 1999 BMW sedan thrown from the vehicle and dead. The Santa Clara County Coroner's Office has identified him as Julian Thomas, 21, of San Carlos.

The BMW, which carried three passengers, had crashed with a 2012 Nissan sedan driven by Johnson Chao, 46, of Redwood City. Investigators do not yet know what caused the drivers to lose control of their cars and collide, CHP spokesman Officer Art Monteil said. Both vehicles came to rest within the center median.

The driver's side of the BMW struck a tree. The force of the collision split the car in half, and Thomas was thrown from the vehicle. Two passengers, a San Carlos man, 21, and a 21-year-old Sacramento woman, received minor injuries. A third passenger, a San Francisco woman, 19, had moderate injuries, Monteil said.

Chao's Nissan overturned and came to rest on its roof. It was partially on top of the concrete center median. He was able to extricate himself. Chao and the BMW's passengers were transported to Stanford Hospital.

The collision is currently under investigation. It is unknown at this time if alcohol or drugs were a factor, Monteil said. Any witnesses to this collision are asked to contact Officer William Parker at 650-369-6261.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 6, 2014 at 11:05 am

Please update this report when the cause of the crash is identified. Thank you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 6, 2014 at 1:32 pm

A car gets "split in half" yet three of its four occupants suffer only minor or moderate injuries. That sounds either freakish or miraculous. Terribly sad for the driver and his family, but the other three are exptremely fortunate.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 6, 2014 at 1:40 pm

One word: seatbelts


 +   Like this comment
Posted by speed?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Please let us know what the police report says about speed of the two vehicles. I assume they will be closely examining that.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by rest in peace
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 6, 2014 at 3:06 pm

it's such a shame that everyone is more concerned with the cause of the crash than the loss of a young man. I pray for his family and friends, this is an awful way to start off the new year.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 6, 2014 at 6:27 pm

By learning from other people's mistakes, we can prevent future tragedies. That is why I hope the newspaper follows up on this story and gives us more details on how this crash happened.


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