Some parents and commuters along Arastradero/Charleston yesterday afternoon may have noticed abnormal congestion near El Camino.
Unfortunately, some time after school a Gunn student was seriously injured after falling out of the Crosstown Shuttle. Apparently the shuttle had the green arrow when it was making a left turn from Arastradero onto El Camino Real. Witness accounts say that the safety mechanism that prevents the shuttle's front door from opening failed as the shuttle was in the intersection. One student fell out of the shuttle and hit the pavement and slightly grazed a passing car as the shuttle was still in motion. The driver stopped and paramedics were called in to respond. Witnesses say that the student (name disclosed) was knocked unconscious and was transported to a local hospital where he/she is still recovering. The condition of the victim is still unknown. The intersection of El Camino and Arastradero/Charleston was shut down for some time as Palo Alto police investigated the incident.
The shuttle was overcrowded with students at the time of the incident. Normally the shuttle has a legal maximum of 20 students. Witness accounts put the ridership of the shuttle at around 35-45 students when the accident occurred. Witnesses also say that many students were in front of the 'safe-limit' line and that around six students were standing in the shuttle's stairwell right up against the door.
Let this be a wake-up call to the Palo Alto City Council for ignoring the crosstown shuttle's problems for so many years now. No doubt that overcrowding caused this preventable accident. Maybe the city will finally be forced to address this serious issue if the student's family decides to file a lawsuit against the city.
Our hearts go out the injured student, and we pray for his/her safe recovery.