News

Driver walks away after flipping car in Palo Alto

Toyota Avalon crashes into Porsche Boxster on Hamilton Avenue Friday afternoon

The driver of a Toyota Avalon was able to walk away after flipping her car onto its roof during a collision on Hamilton Avenue near Byron Street in Palo Alto early Friday (Jan. 28) afternoon.

The car was towed away.

No one else was involved when the woman in her 20s headed westbound on Hamilton, veered to the right, struck a parked Porsche Boxster, drove up the Boxster's backside and completely flipped over at 1:20 p.m., according to Palo Alto police Sgt. Dave Flohr, who was called to the scene.

Hamilton was re-opened shortly after 2:30 p.m.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Freida
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 28, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Perhaps driving a tad too fast plus a bit of texting added to the mix?


Like this comment
Posted by distracted driving
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 28, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Younger driver crashing into a parked car. Can't blame failing eyesight or poor reflexes. Almost always distracted driving or reckless driving.

Please report on what citations or charges were filed.


Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Happened to walk by there at about 2:30pm. The Boxter was still there half on the curb and severely damaged. An unpleasant surprise awaits the owner.


Like this comment
Posted by Freida
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 28, 2011 at 6:37 pm

The name of the model is spelled "Boxster".


Like this comment
Posted by after work
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 28, 2011 at 8:23 pm

It seemed the owners got there around 5, and towed at 6. And now I have the other half of the story.


Like this comment
Posted by ha!
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm

The Porsche doesn't appear very damaged after being driven on. Good thing no one was hurt, except the Porsche owner's feelings.


Like this comment
Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 29, 2011 at 5:50 am

I'd be shocked if she weren't using her cell phone when it happened. I often see young drivers her age not only talking on their cells but also texting while driving.


Like this comment
Posted by call 911
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 29, 2011 at 9:23 am

If you see someone texting or talking on their cell phone, remember their license plate number. Then pull over and call 911. Texting or talking on your cell phone while driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. The cops recommend that you always call them whenever you see impaired drivers on the road.


Like this comment
Posted by Not So
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 29, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Please don't call 911 for every person talking or texting on their cell phone. Your calls may actually get in the way of a true emergency. I would hate to be on hold trying to get and ambulance for a relative, fire for my burning house, or the police for an intruder while you are complaining about people on their phones.

Yes it is dangerous and yes it's illegal but it's only an infraction. It's not a misdemeanor or felony crime like DUI. Its just like shaving, putting on your make up, or reading the news paper, they just haven't made those illegal yet which is strange cause they are just as or more dangerous. Politicians probably can't get headlines for those yet.

Reserve 911 for emergencies and crimes


Like this comment
Posted by Not So
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 29, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Please don't call 911 for every person talking or texting on their cell phone. Your calls may actually get in the way of a true emergency. I would hate to be on hold trying to get and ambulance for a relative, fire for my burning house, or the police for an intruder while you are complaining about people on their phones.

Yes it is dangerous and yes it's illegal but it's only an infraction. It's not a misdemeanor or felony crime like DUI. Its just like shaving, putting on your make up, or reading the news paper, they just haven't made those illegal yet which is strange cause they are just as or more dangerous. Politicians probably can't get headlines for those yet.

Reserve 911 for emergencies and crimes


Like this comment
Posted by cell phones kill
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 29, 2011 at 12:07 pm

How many innocent people have been killed by car drivers using their cell phones? Probably many hundreds or thousands by now. One friend of mine was killed while walking on the sidewalk when a cell phone driver lost control of his car and jumped the curb. If someone called 911 to report that maniac, my friend might still be alive today.


Like this comment
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 29, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Did the Boxster owner call the Porsche Paramedics?


Like this comment
Posted by pa parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2011 at 5:06 pm

I wish there was a way to take an iPhone photo and shoot it right off to some clearing house where the police could decide. I was driving next to a woman on San Antonio the other day, and she was putting on her makeup while driving in fairly heavy traffic. I tried to signal her, but let's just say her vision was a bit narrowed given what she was doing. She was not driving well, the people in front are lucky she didn't rear end them. I wanted to call the police, but it only makes sense if there's a photo (with GPS and time), and I could have taken photos of her license plates, too. Then she turned and we went straight at El Camino.

I know this kind of thing is not new. I think people should lose their licenses for a few years if they are caught doing stuff like this. Driving is a privilege and cars are deadly if misused.


Like this comment
Posted by cell phones kill
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 29, 2011 at 5:58 pm

If you report a reckless driver to the police, they may dispatch an officer to look for them (depending on how seriously reckless they are). Sometimes there is already an officer in the vicinity.

Don't try taking photos while you are driving, since that is just as dangerous.


Like this comment
Posted by MothOrchid
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 30, 2011 at 2:16 am

It's an infraction to text or use a cell phone while driving -- until the distracted driver hits someone. I was almost hit by a driver using a cell phone. She stopped literally inches from me in the middle of the crosswalk after rolling through her stop sign, too busy with her conversation to pay attention to anyone or anything else.


Like this comment
Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 30, 2011 at 9:38 am

Drivers distracted by cell phones kill daily. It's probably the second cause of violent deaths right after guns. It should be a felony to use a cell phone while driving, not a driving infraction. A fine or completeing driving school on line is not a deterrent to mixing driving and talking/texting on a cell phone. A death cause by cell phone use while driving should be regarded as a second degree man-slaughter.


Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2011 at 10:42 am

> How many innocent people have been killed by car drivers using
> their cell phones

The police reports for accidents that are reported to the CHP almost never indicate "cell phone use" as the major cause of accidents. Cell phone use causes the driver to be distracted and executing some maneuver that causes the crash, such as driving into a parked vehicle.

Most studies decrying cell phone use while driving use statistics to generate their results, not traffic accident reports that have been filed by police.


Like this comment
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 30, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Watch Red Light Runners at Web Link I wonder how many of them were distracted?


Like this comment
Posted by Confused
a resident of another community
on Jan 30, 2011 at 4:27 pm

The cell phone comments are well and good but there's no mention of cell phone use in the report. The only hazard mentioned is a female driver :).


Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 31, 2011 at 10:51 am

Yes, there is no mention of cell phone use. There is not that much information in this story to know what happened, other than it is amazingly bad driving, bad judgement and stupid to roll your car on a Palo Alto city street downtown. She could have killed or hurt someone very badly. This reminds me of the ambulance that flipped on University a while back. I wondering about how that could even happen?

You may disagree with me, but this is a judgement issue and competence issue. There are people who can use cell phones, or do other things while driving, and there are people who cannot. Since there is no way to predict everyone must refrain from using their cellphone. In Texas people used to be able to drive while drinking if you can believe that. The people who cannot regulate their own freedom wisely make the world more repressive for everyone else.

I used to use my cellphone all the time when I was driving, - I would just never use it when conditions were chaotic or dangerous, and I never had a problem. If something required my attention I would put the phone down on the seat until I was past it. I don't remember even so much as being honked at for going to slow or coming close to going out of my lane. The key was being aware what was coming up and making a judgement if I should be devoting my full attention to my driving.

It seems most people in our society, or a lot, or enough of them are so bad at being able to repress their urge to do whatever they want that they have bad judgement that the rest of us have to be afraid of. These are the kind of people who will not be able to make decisions or apportion their attention even if they have hands free. I think a lot of people are so insulated from reality that they do not really understand what they are doing when they are driving.

Flipping your car is such a major mistake that I doubt it was a cellphone that contributed to this accident anyway. Maybe she was DUI, or having a problem, or hit the wrong pedal.

I do agree that we should be stricter on people who have problems driving or with bad judgement, but how are those people supposed to get around in life if they do not drive?


Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 31, 2011 at 11:11 am

Didn't see an update in the weekly, but the SJ Mercury had a follow up story to Rune Nielsen's fatal accident last December. Please see:
Web Link for more. Very sad.


Like this comment
Posted by thanks for the update
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 31, 2011 at 11:20 am

Thanks for the update on the Rune Nielsen crash. Such a waste for a bright young man to be die due to speeding and drunk driving. We need more publicity about the causes of these crashes so that we can learn from them and prevent them in the future.


Like this comment
Posted by Bruno
a resident of another community
on Jan 31, 2011 at 12:22 pm

A lot of 911 calls STILL go through Vallejo CHP. Put your citys non emergency phone number in your phone and then call on texters or cell phone users.

It serves the same pupose. I drive for a LIVING and texting/cell phone usage without blue tooth is out of control.

I have to laugh when drivers put the phone on their left ear...its the first thing that the police notice....


Like this comment
Posted by Sally
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 31, 2011 at 12:35 pm

We've had drivers smash into our car PARKED twice on the street, once by an older woman whose car malfunctioned and once by a girl who was too busy texting etc. Both happened at around 10AM when there was NO traffic around to confuse them.

Glad we've got such capable drivers here that they'll certainly be able to handle Back-in-Diagonal Parking on Cal Ave when they can't even miss parked cars, women in their wheel chairs and pedestrians crossing the street.


Like this comment
Posted by mimi
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 31, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Since this thread has turned into a cell phone commentary, could we have police actually stop & ticket the offenders? I can't drive more than 3 blocks down El Camino in Menlo wihtout seeing at least 1 phone violation. The ones that terrify me are the people, usually women, who multi-task with phones, food, lipstick and written materials. Often they're in the process of making a left hand turn, too.


Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm

If tickets were actually written I believe our two biggest sources of local revenue would be cell phone offenders and gardeners using gas powered leaf blowers.

Nobody obeys either of these laws.


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

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