A man died on El Camino Real, near California Avenue in Palo Alto, in a collision with a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) bus Tuesday afternoon.
The male pedestrian was discovered at about 1:30 p.m. by the driver of the VTA Rapid Transit 522 bus, which was in the process of pulling out from the stop between California and Cambridge avenues, said Brandi Childress, VTA spokeswoman. The driver, she said, felt a bump near the rear wheels of the bus as he was pulling away from the stop and halted the vehicle.
"The operator was pulling out from the stop and he immediately pulled over the coach" Childress said. "He felt something."
Daniel Montalvo, who was crossing El Camino Real around the time of the incident, said he saw the body of the victim lying prone in the middle of the block, his body perpendicular to the curb and his legs on the sidewalk. Mondalvo described the victim as a male, possibly in his 40s.
Montalvo said he saw a parking-enforcement officer drive up to the body and stop to examine it. Minutes later, officers pulled up in a cruiser and covered the body with a yellow tarp, Montalvo said. No one made any attempt to resuscitate the victim, Montalvo said.
"When I saw the yellow tarp come out I knew that was it," Montalvo told the Weekly.
The body, covered by tarp, remained on the scene as police investigated throughout the afternoon.
Palo Alto police quickly closed off the right lane of northbound El Camino Real. Officers from the California Highway Patrol and VTA officials also arrived on scene to investigate. The sidewalk in the middle of the El Camino Real block, between Cambridge and California avenues, was blocked to pedestrian traffic during the investigation.
The bus remained at the scene. At least two passengers from the bus gave statements, Childress said. The driver was taken to post-accident investigation.
Palo Alto police confirmed that the tarp was covering a body, but declined to answer any questions at the scene. Palo Alto police later released a statement saying "it was determined that a VTA bus was involved in the accident."
The department's Specialized Traffic Accident Reconstruction (STAR) Team is investigating the incident and is asking any witnesses to call agents Craig Lee or Jason Jenkins at 650-329-2413. Witnesses can also send anonymous emails and text messages to firstname.lastname@example.org.