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Man dies at El Camino Real bus stop in Palo Alto

Original post made on Nov 8, 2011

A man died on El Camino Real, near California Avenue in Palo Alto, in a collision with a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) bus Tuesday afternoon.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 8, 2011, 2:03 PM

Comments (32)

Posted by desirewane, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm

I drove by this scene :( :( :( :( Sad.

Posted by Gina, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm

I drove by also, looked over expecting to see a smashed car and saw a body.

Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 8, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

How horrific! My thoughts and prayers are with this victim!

Posted by Temise, a resident of Addison School
on Nov 8, 2011 at 4:29 pm

He was out on the curb for so long and people where watching. I was so sad, I thought the bus had brooke down until i saw the man on the curb. My heart aches for this man and his family, may he rest in peace.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm

My heart goes out to this poor man and his family.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Agent Craig Lee, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 8, 2011 at 5:15 pm

The Palo Alto Police Department Specialized Traffic Accident Reconstruction (STAR) Team is conducting the investigation into this tragic collision.

To that end, we are attempting to locate, and speak to, any individuals that may have witnessed this incident or may have other background information relating to this incident.

Please contact Agent Jason Jenkins or me at (650)329-2413, or send an anonymous text or e-mail to:

Thank you very much.

Agent Craig Lee
PAPD Traffic Division

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 8, 2011 at 7:31 pm

This is very sad. Does anyone know how it happened? The article is confusing. Perhaps I should wait & read updated stories? I am so sorry for him & his family.

Posted by cory, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 8, 2011 at 7:46 pm

i was on my way to work and the first cop to show up on the scene was behind me trying to get through traffic. when i crossed california i saw the man uncovered and he just lying there. it looked like his head had been crushed by the bus.

Posted by Nancy, a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2011 at 10:01 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Ken, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 9, 2011 at 6:14 am

saw candles lit this morning & gave a prayer for him.

Posted by neighbor with kids, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 9, 2011 at 6:32 am

That's a terrifying idea, that he was pushed. I'd really like some additional information soon. Otherwise the interpretation that one might randomly tip over and get driven over by a bus, seems to be the most likely and accurate one. And that's terrifying.

You know you have a problem when you Google "Palo Alto bus crash" and it turns up so many results that you have to search "Palo Alto bus crash 2011".

My condolences to the victim and those affected by the accident.

Posted by Eddie V. Gilroy,Ca, a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2011 at 7:11 am

live in Gilroy, working in menlo park passed by on my lunch before anyone was out there. didnt see the bus but did see this poor guy laying half way on the street and half on the first thoughts were he got off the bus and dropped something under it. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] Prayers go out to the family. Sorry for the loss.

Posted by motherof2, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 9, 2011 at 8:43 am

I have almost been hit by a bus at this very intersection. This is the 2nd death this year from a bus driver [portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] I was on a bus about a year ago when the driver almost pulled out onto El Camino into speeding oncoming traffic, I yelled that's why he stopped.

Posted by A. , a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2011 at 10:52 am

the bus driver is also a victim in the terrible situation.

Posted by Mike, a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 9, 2011 at 11:15 am

Pedestrian "collides" with a bus? Excuse me? You're joking, right? The bus ran over the man.

Posted by michele, a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2011 at 11:48 am

It was an accident---that means the act was unintentional. If you don't have the fact's about the accident then keep your comments to yourself. I happen to know the driver of this bus and he is not incompetent or reckless. How do you think he feels? It seems to me that anyone with any kind of common sense would know that if the victim was ran over with the back tire's then it was probably the fault of the victim and not the driver. Either way it is a sad situation for all involved. People need to slow down and take their time getting on or off any bus to ensure safety. This poor man was probably in a rush and he could have tripped who knows for sure. Don't automatically blame the driver of the bus. This could happen to anyone of us while driving our own cars. Put yourself in the drivers place, he was at work doing his job and this ACCIDENT occurred, he did not wake up and say Gee, I think I will run down a pedestrian today. For those of you who take the VTA bus-- wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before getting on or off the bus, keep a safe distance between you and the bus while on the sidewalk and DO NOT RUN AFTER THE BUS TO GET THE DRIVER'S ATTENTION BECAUSE YOU MISSED IT AND DON'T WANT TO WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE.

Posted by Gina, a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Penny, a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I know this bus driver as well and I can tell you that he is horrified by what happened. Michele is correct - don't automatically blame the bus driver. This particular driver is a very competent and caring person who takes every precaution to assure the safety of everyone. Pray for all involved. It was a tragic accident!

Posted by Danielle Olsen, a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2011 at 4:44 pm

I was driving my son to an appt. on Calif St. and saw the body also. Extremely disturbing. I pray for his family. How you get run over by a bus' back tires is beyond me unless it rolled back on him upon pulling out. I hope the Weekly follows this story to it's conclusion so we can all learn from this tragic accident. I too, was dumbfounded when I Googled "Pedestrian hit by bus palo alto" and it came up with multiple incidents!

Posted by Jeni , a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2011 at 4:48 pm

I agree with Michelle and Penny 100%! Please be conciderate to the victims and family members of this tragic accident.

Posted by RobertaK, a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Thanks to all those who asked to not judge the bus operator in this tragic incident. My husband recently retired from VTA after almost 30 years of driving, and operating a bus in heavy traffic is not easy. And if it was the back wheels that ran over the person, especially if the bus was one of the articulated coaches that bend in the middle, the driver was probably unaware of the person's presence. My condolences to the man's family and friends.

Posted by Kent, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 9, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I cross this intersection everyday. Although I don't know what was the contributing factor to why this man died, I feel that those of us who live in the area might make a prejudical decision. I have been nearly hit by this very bus, and even witness a bus driver come within a foot of behind a bicyclist traveling on El Camino Real. The bicyclist was well ahead of the bus before it came bearing down, and I thought it was going to witness a tragedy. I think everyone (pedestrian, cars, bicyclist, and bus drivers) need to be a little more patient, and realize that someone can be easily hurt or killed by not yielding the right of way. That being said as of now no one is at fault, and they are all victims. This is a tragic accident, of which I unfortunately witnessed the aftermath, and knew something horrible happened. My families thoughts and prayers go out to the bus driver, the pedestrian, and their families.

Posted by Vince, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 9, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Lost a good guy and friend in this accident. He was well meaning and committed to creating a healthy happy life for himself. As it happens, he was on his way to a soup kitchen to get a volunteer application to provide his services to the community. I take solace in the fact that his last actions were with compassion for himself and the world around him. You will be missed, Rob.

Posted by neighbor with kids, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 9, 2011 at 8:04 pm

I totally support that this was a terrible accident and that the driver most likely had little control over it. But I would like to at least suggest that the 522 route might be a bit too aggressive/fast for this corridor. I remember when they put this route into place, to add an express to the 35. Since then, my husband and I have many times joked about how aggressive the express (522s) are. We know to stay out of the way of those buses. We have lived very close to El Camino near Cal ave for around 12 years now and interact with them on a daily basis on the road.

I would guess that there's an aggressive time table that the drivers are required to follow for that route. I think the time-table should be re-considered.

Posted by Marie , a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 9, 2011 at 9:50 pm

My condolences to the family of the victim. So very sad. Can someone please explain how a bus backs up and hits someone? The man was rolled over by the back wheel. I thought the buses pulled out into traffic. Do they back up first? I hope we get a little more information on this accident.

Posted by not intentional, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 10, 2011 at 11:42 am

I also agree with Michelle.
Sad for sure.

Posted by Charlotte, a resident of another community
on Nov 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm

This is a very sad situation for all involved. People are always rushing - a lot of times with out even thinking. Sometimes it can cost you.

Posted by A, a resident of another community
on Nov 10, 2011 at 8:11 pm

the busses don't back up. one person posts a comment saying the bus backed up and ignorant people believe it. get the facts straight before you start placing blame!

Posted by MEMBER, a resident of another community
on Nov 11, 2011 at 5:42 am


Posted by servant, a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 11, 2011 at 9:36 pm

First of all I would like to give my very deep condolences to both, the family of the deceased and also the driver.
I would however like to share a little about respect- and
I mean to all, vehicles,pedestrians and bicyclists, and any others that share the roads.
Respecting- a large vehicle such as a bus is a must. A bus is a unbelievable powerful moving vehicle. It weighs around 4ooo plus pounds unloaded. A bus moving at just 10 or less miles per hour can kill someone, as we have all heard.It blows my mind how people have no respect for this vehicle. THINK people, THINK, the next time your out and about , especially if your at a bus stop for your safety stay away from the curb when you see the bus pulling up to the bus stop. Don't stand at the edge of the curb, with your toes hanging over the edge! And for goodness sake NEVER, NEVER try to stop the bus by chasing after the bus and banging on the side, or the front door.It can be fatal or bring serious injury.Oh yeah, and your children are precious gifts always keep them with you. They are curious and some get excited to ride on the bus it takes a split second for them to run out to the bus,very very scary!!!! Everyone, is it really worth risking your life? 20 min or even another hour? I know these things because I am a bus operator. Maybe VTA should install video screens inside the buses with short safety reminder tips for passengers that play continously for passengers to reflect on? It could save someones life.

Posted by yvonne, a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 11, 2011 at 9:48 pm

First let me give my condolences to the deceased and the bus operator, it wasn't your fault brother.with that said to the people that ride RESPECT the bus! It weighs around 4000 lbs unloaded. And unfortunaltely nobody has superman or superwoman abilities the bus can kill whe not respected. Don't run along side banging on the side or bang at the front door saty clear of it,especially when it is motion.And people stop standing at the curb with your toes literally hanging over the curb edge back away!! Approach the bus after it has come to a complete stop. Maybe VTA should install video screens inside the buses and play continous safety reminders and tips for the riders.
Who knows maybe it could save someones life?

Posted by nonnie, a resident of Southgate
on Nov 12, 2011 at 10:16 pm

So very sad for all please know what your talking about before you say something that hurts someone... and you can't take it back... prayers to all...

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