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Fatal car crash blocks Page Mill Road

Original post made on Sep 4, 2008

Emergency crews are at the scene of a fatal crash in Palo Alto this afternoon, police said. The crash was reported at Page Mill Road and Foothill Expressway at about 2:50 p.m.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, September 4, 2008, 4:27 PM

Comments (19)

Posted by sally, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 4, 2008 at 5:46 pm

Isn't this the 3rd (or more) daytime fatal crash near that intersection this summer? What is going on?

Why is the county so intent about "fixing" Oregon Expressway when the real safety problem is Page Mill Expressway between HP and I-280?


Posted by Joe, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 4, 2008 at 6:23 pm

No, the real safety (and traffic for that matter) problem is bad drivers.


Posted by Driver, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 4, 2008 at 6:29 pm

Do I read this correctly, the driver who died was 95?

Elderly drivers in their late 70s and 80s are debatable as to whether they are fit to drive and fitness varies from driver to driver. But, once they get into their 90s I feel sure that they are beyond the age of being able to cope with hazards even if they are able to drive the car.

My sympathies to the family of this driver, but it seems to me that regardless of the cause of this accident, she should not have been driving.


Posted by Responsible, a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2008 at 9:22 pm

There should be a law on maximum age for driving license, like there is one for minimum age. If the family of this poor 95-year-old was responsible, she wouldn't have been behind the wheels even without the much needed law.


Posted by speeder, a resident of Stanford
on Sep 4, 2008 at 11:19 pm

i agree that elderly people should have to take a behind the wheel test as they get older for their own safety and ours.


Posted by Sad, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 4, 2008 at 11:20 pm

There is a very good reason why elderly drivers are not re-tested it's cost. Notwithstanding this unfortunate accident, statistically elderly drivers cause few fatal accidents.

The problem is when an accident does occur it gets a lot of publicity and the cry goes up to test all elderly drivers over 70, and that is a huge number. You would have to triple the number of DMV driving license testers, and since the State can't pass a budget and is essential bankrupt that won't happen.

Since my family stopped my Father driving at age 88, I have to ask if this poor old lady had any caregivers who cared.


Posted by Saleha, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 5, 2008 at 1:24 am

That is really sad that she died, but a 95 year old anybody should NOT be driving in this area, it is NOT like it was back in those days...She or He could have killed a young person because of her miscalculations...Come on people... get a grip don't let people like that drive...it could take out a young person just beginning their lives...She or he had a good run. That's disgusting that the DMV don't enforce old drivers like that.


Posted by Driver, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2008 at 8:42 am

For those who think it is costly to retest old drivers, we are not talking about a 70 year old or even an 80 year old. This driver was 95. If nothing else, we should have a ban on anyone over 90 driving with tests for those over 85. I know many doctors are reluctant to sign off on an elderly person's ability to drive, but at 95 it is hard to believe that someone can live alone and manage, let alone be responsible to drive. Family members likewise do not want to prevent them driving because quite often it would mean an inconvenience to them as they will have to do more to help run errands, etc.

Did this driver have a valid license? Did this driver live alone? Did this driver have family who could take away her car keys to prevent her driving? This sounds like a situation where we must find answers to these questions and where we must stop those in their 90s from driving for the safety of the public at large.


Posted by Howard Kern, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 5, 2008 at 9:05 am

Why set an age limit?

The DMV is already aggressive against elderly drivers who fail tests. This DMV stance occurred after the incident in Los Angeles when George Russell Weller killed 10 people at a crowded farmers market on July 16, 2003. In addition to the 10 killed, more than 70 people were injured. He was convicted on all counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. What the DMV does now is both eye and driving test for elderly drivers no matter what the status of ticket points or accidents.

Elderly people should lose their driver's license only when they can not manage their vehicle by a state standard.

Any thing less is a loss of personal freedom and state granted privilege.



Posted by Me, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2008 at 9:44 am

So Sad. Just think, if caring family member/DMV would have taken the keys.....perhaps this mother/grandmother/great grandmother/Aunt/sister/friend would have lived to be 96 or more. Yes she may have been feeling and looking good for her age but this proves her judgement and reaction time was not what should have been.
My prayers and thoughts go out to her Family.


Posted by Grandma, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 5, 2008 at 12:49 pm

The assumption that this LOL had relatives is just that an assumption. She may have been totally alone in this world. Anyway they are now assessing whether she suffered cardiac arrest before the crash or whether the crash caused her death.

Howard Kern says: "The DMV is already aggressive against elderly drivers who fail tests." As a senior I can tell you that the last time I had a driving test, only a cursory test of my eyesight was done. No other examinations were given.


Posted by Howard Kern, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 5, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Grandma:

Not too sure how old you are but please read the sentence again.

"The DMV is already aggressive against elderly drivers who FAIL tests."

FAIL anything at the DMV you will always be re-checked. As for vision the DMV are not doctors but they will take a letter from your doctor and you need to be careful with that because the DMV will quickly restrict your license to daylight only.


Posted by Responsible, a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2008 at 5:52 pm

"The turning arrow for the eastbound car may have been red, not green, Ryan added." This just about sums it up, that she was just too old for the road, and the irresponsible party (herself, her family, her friends, DMV, insurance company, or any combination) should be thankful she was the only real casualty, limiting the sorrow to a bare minimum.


Posted by a younger driver, a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2008 at 7:20 pm

Stop blaming the older drivers. Bad accidents are caused by drivers of all ages. I speed all the time, up and down Page Mill, in order to keep up with traffic.
My condolences to Ms. Popper's family.


Posted by idea_genie, a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2008 at 8:33 pm

There are too many drivers out there period. California is a car culture. You don't have access to a quart of milk without a car. In Europe, all the little old ladies walk to town with their wheelie baskets to buy their eggs and bread. Here they would have a 10 mile hike down a mountain to reach town. Maybe there should be more senior housing built around the center of towns around here.


Posted by Saleha, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 6, 2008 at 2:07 am



"Stop blaming the older drivers. Bad accidents are caused by drivers of all ages. I speed all the time, up and down Page Mill, in order to keep up with traffic.
My condolences to Ms. Popper's family.
Posted by a younger driver, a resident of another community, 6 hours ago"


EXACTLY MY POINT...and when you are speeding, the 95 year old driver doesn't see you coming and may turn right in front of you and therefore maybe resulting your your car flipping because you are going at such a great speed, and possibly killing you...don't be naive...I am young too but I see the reality of this potential situation.

You have to be a defensive driver, no matter how old or young you are, but let's say you have the combination of a testosterone fuelled driver with a 95 year old driver who will not even see you coming and you could be dead, including him or her. Be sensible people, don't drive at 95!!!!!

95 year old drivers do not have a place in this town to be driving, nor do YOU, who are speeding. Everyone, be responsible!!!


Posted by Julia, a resident of Stanford
on Sep 6, 2008 at 11:01 am

Saleha said:
"let's say you have the combination of a testosterone fuelled driver with a 95 year old driver who will not even see you coming and you could be dead, including him or her. Be sensible people, don't drive at 95!!!!!"

Or don't drive testosterone fueled. That seems to be the real problem on Page Mill.


Posted by Saleha, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 7, 2008 at 12:27 am

Then the cops should police it, Julia, because there aren't that many 95 year old drivers around here, but there are a lot of testosterone fuelled "people" who happen to be driving, sometimes combined with drink (actually, a lot of the times, Stanford is right by). The police/county funding should step up to the plate and incorporate CCTV all around here in Palo Alto. Run a red light, you get photographed and sent a ticket, go 100 mph in a 45 mph zone you get photographed and get a ticket...or your licensed suspended, etc. etc., etc. CCTV all the way...


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 7, 2008 at 6:07 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

CSAA has a computer program for senior driver review, and auto insurance is cheaper for old drivers who take review courses.
If there is a red light camera at that intersection, it might have recorded evidence.


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