News

Vehicle hits historic building in downtown Palo Alto

Police investigate possible hit-and-run collision at Cowper Street and Forest Avenue

A sports utility vehicle crashed into a historic house in downtown Palo Alto Friday afternoon in an apparent hit-and-run collision. No one was hurt.

The vehicle, a Nissan Murano, was heading west on Forest Avenue at about noon when another vehicle, which was going south on Cowper Street, crashed into it, said Imelda Landeverde, the Nissan's driver.

The Nissan, which was also occupied by Landeverde's husband and 10-month-old daughter, then ran over the curb, cut through the front lawn and hit The Downing House at 706 Cowper St., in the University South neighborhood.

Landeverde said the other vehicle apparently ran a stop sign before hitting her car. The driver of that car did not stop after the collision, she said.

All three occupants were able to exit the vehicle without assistance.

"My first thought was just to make sure my daughter is alright," Landeverde said.

Fire Department officials were inspecting The Downing House for damage Friday afternoon.

Police at the scene declined to answer questions.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 30, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Historic must be the most overused word in Palo Alto. Heritage possibly, historic questionable!


Like this comment
Posted by description?
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 30, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Please post a description of the hit-and-run vehicle and/or driver. They must have noticeable damage (at least for now).


Like this comment
Posted by Holman is historic
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 30, 2011 at 2:00 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff].


Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Dec 30, 2011 at 2:10 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff]

The "Downing House" is indeed one of Palo Alto's most historic structures - Dr. Downing built that beautiful Victorian when Palo Alto was just coming to life. He also built the "Downing Block" downtown - the gracious building on Hamilton at (I think) Emerson. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff].


Like this comment
Posted by house
a resident of South of Midtown
on Dec 30, 2011 at 2:41 pm

that building indeed is not just another buiklding. those kind of houses are very old. people used to rent rooms in these old houses. you dont see many buildings from 1890's. therec was almost nothing around when those were built.


Like this comment
Posted by Holman is historic
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 30, 2011 at 3:02 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff].


Like this comment
Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Dec 30, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Does this qualify as a "Hate Crime"?

Inquiring minds want to know.


Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Professorville
a resident of Professorville
on Dec 30, 2011 at 8:42 pm

According to the Palo Alto Weekly, "The vehicle, a Nissan Murano, was heading west on Forest Avenue at about noon when another vehicle, which was going south on Cowper Street, crashed into it, said Imelda Landeverde, the Nissan's driver.

If that were true, then there would be damage to the passenger side of the Nissan Murano. However, the picture provided by the PAW demonstrates that there is no such damage. I can only conclude that the owner of the Murano [portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff] duped the Palo Alto Weekly into believing Imelda Landeverde's story.

Why would the Palo Alto Weekly print information that cannot be proved? Obviously, Mrs. Landeverde has some pull with the Palo Alto Weekly and the local authorities.

Where is the damage to the vehicle as Mrs. Landeverde claims?


Like this comment
Posted by Meg
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 31, 2011 at 7:51 am

Not a week ago a driver ran a red light at Channing and Waverley, crashing into another car. Downtown is a dangerous place to be midday!


Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of University South
on Dec 31, 2011 at 9:20 am

When drivers hunt for free University South parking they stop paying attention to driving laws and proper etiquette. This neighborhood is indeed a very dangerous place to drive.

I also agree with Mr. Professorville. Why is there seemingly no damage to the passenger side of the Nissan Murano? Why no description of the hit and run car?


Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 31, 2011 at 10:52 am

I don't know about the veracity of Ms. Landeverde's statement or the accuracy of information in the Weekly, but when PAPD first arrived on the scene, an officer reported that the other vehicle fled NORTH on Cowper. PAPD located the car north of University Avenue a short time later. That may be why the description of the other vehicle wasn't included in the story.

I am glad nobody was hurt, but I hope that the Weekly follows up on this story. At one point, one of the PAPD officers ran a license check on an individual who was born in 1900, and their license was valid until 2013!


Like this comment
Posted by SUVs are ugly
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 31, 2011 at 12:29 pm

The Nissan Murano costs between $30 and $42,000. This comes from a review of that oversized hulk:
Test drivers note that the Murano has particularly bad rearward visibility compared with other crossover SUVs.
People need to stop competing on who has the biggest ugliest vehicle.


Like this comment
Posted by undented
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 31, 2011 at 2:39 pm

The stop signing is haphazard near downtown, with some intersections being 4-way stops, others 2-way stops. I drive those streets every day, so have observed many drivers who somehow believe they are at a 4-way when in fact traffic on the cross street does not stop. A good and careful driver always takes into account the possibility that other drivers are ignorant or unobservant and prepares accordingly. It is the only way to avoid accidents around here. The Murano driver must not have been paying much attention or must be unfamiliar with our streets.


Like this comment
Posted by Frank
a resident of another community
on Jan 1, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Re: Posted by SUVs are ugly, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Dec 31, 2011 at 12:29 pm

It's their money so they buy the vehicle of their choice. When you start buying everyone vehicles with your money then you can designate what you will purchase for them. In the meantime, it's not your call on what they should or shouldn't drive.


Like this comment
Posted by Anne
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 1, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Undented is absolutely right about driving in the downtown area. Hawthorne is a particularly bad street, as cars run through all of the stop signs, assuming the cross traffic stops. There are things that could be done, such as speed bumps or some other change in road surface right before the sign, as the signs themselves aren't enough
any longer.


Like this comment
Posted by My opinion
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm

This is a joke, right? Not newsworthy, and snitches get stitches. & Hawthorne is fine.


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

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