Town Square

Bicyclist, cars struck by hit-and-run driver

Original post made on Jan 29, 2013

A 29-year-old Palo Alto woman allegedly struck a bicyclist and two cars on the Stanford campus, then fled the scene Monday afternoon, according to Stanford police.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 9:36 AM


Posted by Cheryl , a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 29, 2013 at 10:18 am

This is a misdemeanor? A hit and run, a bicyclist hit and 2 cars? I shudder to think what message this sends.

Posted by Rational, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 29, 2013 at 10:23 am

I am glad no one was injured but running away is NOT OK!

Posted by resident, a resident of Stanford
on Jan 29, 2013 at 10:23 am

Please update this article with name and address of the perp. I want to stay away from that neighborhood. Very glad there were no serious injuries, this time.

Posted by justa nother mom, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 29, 2013 at 10:30 am

I'll bet the driver was white. When my African-American son struck a fire hydrant in a rainstorm, came home and immediately called PAPD, met the police in our home, agreed to and then did pay for the damage, he was STILL cited for hit and run and had to do jail time. We protested all the way to the DA level. The former police chief, who resigned amidst allegations of racism, with the cooperation of the DA, dismissed the charge, and our current police chief reinstated it which we didn't even know until we received the warrant for his arrest in the mail! To me, hitting PEOPLE and running ought to earn at least what hitting a THING does.

Posted by Just what?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2013 at 10:34 am

@justa nother mom:
The police are people too and they bring their racial stereotyping to the job along with their brains. It sucks but it's true. Good to see you speaking out about it though. Every little bit of awareness helps. Some years ago, it would have been unthinkable to have a (half-)black president, much less one whose middle name is Hussein. So we're making progress, albeit not fast enough.

Posted by really???, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 29, 2013 at 10:42 am

i agree with Cheryl...hit and run a bicyclist and 2 cars is a misdemeanor ??and then you're just released???

Posted by Curious, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 29, 2013 at 10:44 am

Did the police check for impairment? ie alcohol or other drugs? Seems like this should be part of the story. Is the reason she got off on a misdemeanor because there were no injuries? Is that the deciding factor? I don't see how you can hit 3 things and not notice it unless you have some kind of problem

Posted by Midtownie, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:08 am

Profiling happens.


Posted by Oh hell no, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:11 am

So I guess the police/DA won't do much, so time to unleash the rabid lawyers. Sue the driver into the stone age so all they can afford is a bus pass.

Posted by Barron Parker, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:18 am

I have to agree with Curious and others: hitting a bicyclist and 2 cars and driving away does not sound like *misdemeanor* hit and run. And why was her name not released? Is someone being protected here?

Posted by Local resident, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:23 am

It is only a misdemeanor if there is only property damage. If the cyclist or any other party was physically hurt it would be felony Hit an Run.

Jail time for hitting an inanimate object seems excessive in the case of the fire hydrant. Jail time of up to 6 months is possible for misdemeanor H&R but I'll bet it rarely gets enforced. Hopefully the person involved in this incident might learn some respect for others with a little change in perspective (jail time).

Posted by KP, a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:23 am

@ Oh hell no, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood,
I hope your sarcasm is directed mainly to the lawyers, because if you think she shouldn't be sued or at least pay for more than a damn ticket- you're freakin crazy!
If she WASN'T impaired by alcohol or drugs, then she CAN"T DRIVE and maybe she only needs a damn bus pass!!! Have you thought of that?! Especially when you read about the boy who hit a stupid hydrant and was given jail time!?! REALLY?

Posted by John Roberts, a resident of Escondido School
on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:24 am

Notice how her name was withheld?
Now check the information PA police give to the local daily papers. The only people ever arrested in Palo Alto apparently are from other cities and their names are always publicized.
I know PA folk are special, but surely they must sometimes break the law and get caught. Like this time!
Meanwhile, other jurisdictions (MP, RC, Mtnview) do not give the newspapers the names of people arrested, perhaps because at that point they are innocent.
BTW, they should be throwing the book at this woman, and barring her from campus (which, lest you forget, is private property.)

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:24 am

Could the PAPD please explain why this isn't a felony hit-and-run?

Posted by justa nother mom, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:25 am

Thanks for the support against profiling. Such support truly matters.
In my experience, the driver would have been tested and named in the story, if African-American. If 18 or 19 and male, he would have been called a man. If white, he would have been released without testing and called a teenager.
Yes, profiling sucks, and keeps on sucking - life out of the community. It leads to a mutual distrust between tax-paying citizens and those we fund for our protection, a reluctance to report anything, a distrust of what is reported, and on and on.

Posted by Fellow Knee, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:35 am

I would imagine felony hit and run would entail injuries. I think that's how they determine felony DUI. If someone is injured because of your actions, it becomes a felony. I'm not a lawyer though.

Posted by Cellie, a resident of Meadow Park
on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:38 am

I'd like it if cell phone usage checks became as common as road side sobriety checks when situations like this happen. I'm sure the cop did some sort of sobriety check. It'd be great if there was some way to immediately check usage of her cell phone.

Posted by Downtowner, a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:41 am

This is heinous! What is the $ amount of property damage defining misdemeanor vs. felony Hit & Run? The aggregate cost of repairing damage to a bicycle & 2 cars might exceed that. Something is very fish-y here.

Yes, profiling is terrible. Poor fire hydrant. Damaged perhaps, inconvenienced, frightened, & unable to speak its distress.

Posted by Now Now, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:47 am

"The aggregate cost of repairing damage to a bicycle & 2 cars might exceed that."
Or it might very well not depending on the extent of the damage, or lack there of.

"Something is very fish-y here."
Or something is completely legal and by the books here.

Well, we sure got to the bottom of that based on our fact-less assumptions about the situation.

Posted by Jared Bernstein, a resident of Professorville
on Jan 29, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Dear Weekly, please do update/edit the article to include the name of the alleged hitter and runner.

Posted by Historical Perspective, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm

I am reminded of a situation a few years ago when an 18 year old Paly student did something similar and unfortunately the cyclist died and the other cyclist was seriously hurt. She was eventually jailed as a result of her hit and run.

The only difference between these two stories as far as I can see is that the police only take action if there is a death.

Posted by Jon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I'm surprised her cell phone wasn't checked. Easy to see if she was on the phone at the time.

Posted by Big Al, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2013 at 2:17 pm

lets hear it for the peanut gallery.
everybody has something to say (or complain about)
but nobody actually saw what happened
just a bunch of reactionaries i suppose
looking for a bone to chew on
during these rough winter days out west
why not get away from the internet for a few days
and explore the great outdoors
who knows
maybe you will actually witness something
and then you can write about it
with meaning

Posted by Ladeedee, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm

I used to work on the Stanford campus. One day, my son, who was in middle school, came to check in with me after school. On the way home, a driver ran a red light on Campus Dr and hit him, then took off after driving around his prostrate form and damaged bike! Fortunately, he had only minor injuries.

I think this happens more than the public knows about. I have had a few Stanford students tell me they have had accidents of a minor nature on Campus Dr over the years, and the Stanford police have not been very helpful.

Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 29, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Folks - a little reading comprehension please? PAPD is not involved in this incident. It is being handled by the Stanford University Police (part of the Santa Clara Sheriff's Department).

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 29, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Fair treatment under the law is important. I also wonder why the young lady's name was withheld (the driver) - she did several things affecting others and fled the scenes. That sounds serious to me, though I understand the police and DA have to decide according to the law.
I am always curious when some who commit public acts leading to arrest (and perhaps charges) are named and others are not.
Reminds me of the real tragedy a few years ago when the lady in wheelchair was struck and killed by an SUV-drivng Palo Alto mommie, whose name was withheld, even though the lady in the wheelchair was legally crossing a sidestreet off of Embarcadero as she had done many times before (in contrast to the recent jaywalking death...)

Posted by Really?, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jan 29, 2013 at 6:21 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Dave , a resident of Midtown
on Jan 29, 2013 at 10:57 pm

If the cyclist was injured, it is felony hit and run. If not, misdemeanor. Either way, abysmal parenting. Who raises kids like this?

Posted by Shirley, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:50 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

There were no unjuries or damages, so not a felony. However, running should have more consequences than thus!!!

She might have been a Stanford grad student....who knows.

It was not PAPD, it was Stanford police.

Who was there and saw it happen? Not me...

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 30, 2013 at 5:31 am

I never cease to be amazed...

Posted by daniel, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 30, 2013 at 8:04 am

How is this not a serious felony? I agree with the poster who theorized that the driver must have been white. I was once hit by a hit and run driver while riding my bicycle on the Stanford campus. Fortunately I suffered only light injuries. The driver was chased down by an off duty cop and arrested, but the case never went to trial. What's to deter such drivers from doing it again?

Posted by Alai, a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm

The lady who recently died was also crossing legally, whether you want to call it "jaywalking" or not, as was pointed out in the comments of that article.