News


Atherton: Bicyclist killed by car identified

Christopher Chandler, 62, struck by Toyota while in crosswalk on El Camino Real

A 62-year-old bicyclist was struck by a car and killed while crossing El Camino Real in Atherton Thursday morning, Atherton police Lt. Joe Wade reported. The victim was later identified by the San Mateo County Coroner's Office as Christopher Chandler of unincorporated Redwood City.

At about 10:35 a.m., the Menlo Park Fire Protection District received numerous 911 calls reporting that a vehicle had hit a man on a bicycle on southbound El Camino Real at Isabella Avenue, Wade said.

Chandler was pronounced dead at the scene. A preliminary investigation indicated he was in a crosswalk when a southbound Toyota struck him, Wade said.

The driver of the Toyota stopped and was cooperating with investigators. It does not appear that alcohol played a role in the accident, and it has not been determined whether speed was a factor, Wade said.

Southbound El Camino was closed between Watkins and Atherton avenues for about five hours while the accident was investigated.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm

This is a sad story and my sympathies to the family of the cyclist.

The article states the cyclist was in a cross walk. Does that mean he was pushing his bike or riding his bike? Cyclists often assume that they can use pedestrian crosswalks without giving any heed to oncoming traffic, after all they can move quicker than pedestrians and the car may have not had much time to react. We know that the accident happened going southbound, but do we know which way the cyclist was crossing?


Like this comment
Posted by Deeply Saddened
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Pedestrians have the right of way in a crosswalk..Please do not make this about cyclists, not all cyclist disobey the rules. This was someone's father and husband,who is not going home tonight, a very tragic accident. Not all cyclist disregard the rules of the road. Hopefully there was not excessive speed or texting involved!!


Like this comment
Posted by Friend of the Family
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 30, 2010 at 5:50 pm

You're absolutely right...it was the father of one of my best friends. He was an amazing husband, father, and friend. RIP CC, you touched the lives of so many, and you will be missed by all!


Like this comment
Posted by Bike Commuter
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 30, 2010 at 5:52 pm

My deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

I hope they check the cell phone records of the driver to see if he/she was on their phone.

Please, everyone slow down and be careful. Check for pedestrians and bikes before making turns.

And cyclists, obey traffic rules and wear as much obnoxiously BRIGHT gear as you can stand.

I make sure I say I love you each day to my husband and children as all 4 of us leave on our bikes each day.

We have one life.
Let's take care of each other.


Like this comment
Posted by Heart Broken
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 30, 2010 at 6:52 pm

A wonderful man died today and it should not have happened.

CC, we will all miss you tremendously. Words fail to describe how much you mean to the Menlo community & how terribly you will be missed.

We'll be there for your family, I promise.


Like this comment
Posted by rest in peace
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 30, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Rest in peace.

And car drivers, please obey the speed limit on city streets. That will give you extra time to see pedestrians in the crosswalks. There is no excuse for not seeing someone at 10:35 in the morning.


Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Atherton
on Sep 30, 2010 at 8:29 pm

All my sympathy and prayers are with the family right now. The whole community is deeply saddened by this tragic accident and we are right by your side during this tough time. May you rest in peace forever


Like this comment
Posted by more info
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 30, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Web Link

The mercury's reporting on this accident.


Like this comment
Posted by Long time resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 1, 2010 at 10:23 am

To the family of Mr Chandler. I'm so sorry about your loss. My thoughts are with you.
Does anyone know if the driver was talking or texting on a cell phone at the time?
We just returned to the area after seven months away, and have noticed a huge increase in drivers weaving, missing stop signs, and having near-misses with other cars and pedestrians. In all cases, the drivers seem to be on the phone or looking down while, presumably, texting.


Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 1, 2010 at 10:58 am

Mid-block crosswalks on major arterials are not safe regardless of the painted white lines. Please take extra care when using them or pressure your civic leaders to remove or upgrade them to lighted crossings. My condolences to the family of the victim.


Like this comment
Posted by not mid-block
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 1, 2010 at 11:15 am

These are not "mid-block crosswalks". The crosswalks are at regular intersections that may not have traffic lights. Most, if not all, of intersections have yellow signs telling car drivers that there is a crosswalk. All car drivers are supposed to know that they are required by law to yield to pedestrians in or near a crosswalk.

Yes, adding red lights at these intersections would make them safer, but the the car driver lobby would never let that happen.


Like this comment
Posted by DaveV
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 1, 2010 at 11:24 am

My sympathies as well to the Chandler family.
As a long time bicycle rider in the area, I am only too familiar with the risks of crossing El Camino at any time.
I have long ago taken up the habit of only crossing at stop lighted intersections and would urge all others to do so.
"But for the Grace of God . . . "


Like this comment
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of University South
on Oct 1, 2010 at 12:12 pm

YIMBY is a registered user.

the timing of the crash is somewhat ironic for those who just attended Palo Alto's kick-off of the bike plan as part of the comp. plan process. However, there was no discussion of biking on streets like ECR. I wonder if that was a mistake? And actually Mr. Chandler was hit in a crosswalk - so one could apply this to a pedestrian issue as well. In any case, it really just shows how difficult and complex bike/ped planning can be.


Like this comment
Posted by Bike and Crosswalks
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 1, 2010 at 1:03 pm

My sympathies to the individuals and families involved on BOTH sides.

I have a close friend who was riding his bike through a crosswalk. He was hit by an SUV that was traveling appropriately according to traffic laws. Unfortunately, my friend suffered a broken leg, was on disability, and lost his job after nearly a year.

The point here is that my friend agrees he was in the wrong. He clearly went against normal traffic patterns and was operating his vehicle in a crosswalk. There are no special protections for this according to both the police and the insurance settlement.

It was an unfortunate situation all around, extremely trying and emotionally stressful for all involved.

But we can't just jump on drivers and assume fault. "Was he drunk?!?" "Was he texting?!?" "Was he on the phone?!?" Those questions apply to both parties, and answers will come out of investigation. It's certainly possible this bicyclist came out of no where, as my friend had.


Like this comment
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of University South
on Oct 1, 2010 at 7:04 pm

YIMBY is a registered user.

Pardon if this sounds a bit crude - but there is another part of this issue that may have gone unmentioned - the driver's speed,and the speed allowed on the road itself.
Let's assume you - a ped or cyclist, gets hit by a moving vehicle (that's the crude part). There are tables that show your chances of survival are greatly dependent on the speed of the vehicle. Slower roads = increased survival.

Here's a 1999 paper from National Highway Traffic Safety Agency, see Table 1: Pedestrian Injury Severity as a Function of Speed Limit (sorry, no page # to offer on this html: Web Link

Lower the speed limit, increased chances of survival and reduced degree of injury.


Like this comment
Posted by danny boyer
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 1, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Love to all involved, my thoughts are with you.


Like this comment
Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 2, 2010 at 6:17 am

Regardless of whether cyclists walk or rides through a cross walk, they have the right of way, unless they are crossing when red.


Like this comment
Posted by Sad for ALL
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 2, 2010 at 9:49 am

I really don't get this always trying to find blame. If we ALL drove/rode/walked expecting the unexpected, there would be far fewer accidents.
I pulled up to a stop sign with a proud new mother pushing her baby in a stroller right in front of me. Yes, she had the right of way, but what if my breaks had failed, my foot slipped, I blacked out, or I didn't see the cross walk. Everyone is so concerned with having the right of way that they neglect to see that there are lives involved... is exercising your right of way really worth risking your life or the life of others.

We should be more concerned with learning from these very sad situations than trying to blame one person or the other. Prevention can come from anyone directly or even indirectly involved.

My heart goes out to both families, but especially those that lost a loved one.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2010 at 10:06 am

I agree that we must all drive, walk, bike, ensuring our own safety and those we share the road with. It takes common sense to realise that being safe is better than being in the right.

Crosswalks are for pedestrians. Since someone riding a bike can move a lot faster than a pedestrian, they can appear in the crosswalk so fast that a driver does not have so much time to react. If someone is crossing with a stroller, remember that the stroller holds your mosst precious possession and shouldn't leave the sidewalk and pass the curb until such time as it is safe to cross. I often see people waiting for the lights to change or cars to stop with the stroller in the roadway waiting until it is safe. Bad idea.


Like this comment
Posted by so deeply saddened
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 2, 2010 at 10:45 pm

No matter who is at fault in this situation, the driver or Chris, the Chandlers lost a beloved family member and nothing can change that or make it better. Chris was a loving and caring man and he will always be remembered. My heart goes out to all who were involved, but especially the Chandlers.


Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of University South
on Oct 3, 2010 at 9:10 am

daniel says, "Regardless of whether cyclists walk or rides through a cross walk, they have the right of way, unless they are crossing when red."

Why do you think this? Cyclists riding through the crosswalk DO NOT have the right of way.

Please read the California Driver Handbook before you get hurt.

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by more info
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2010 at 6:38 pm

So I found the section that applies, he can legally ride in the crosswalk, he can even ride against the flow of traffic to go from sidewalk to sidewalk or trail to trail, I personally had that wrong. He does not have the right of way unless he gets off his bike and walks it. Independant of fault, I am sad he was taken from his family


Like this comment
Posted by Witness
a resident of another community
on Oct 5, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Does anyone know when & where his funeral services are?


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Parent
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 7, 2010 at 9:43 am

The memorial service is at the Menlo School gym on Sunday, Oct 10 at 5:00pm. Please wear blue not black. Blue was Chris' favorite color. Sandals are preferable.


Like this comment
Posted by friend
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Thank you so much for the information on his services.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Ohlone School

on Sep 26, 2017 at 5:28 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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