Victim identified in fatal hit-and-run collision

San Jose man struck two pedestrians with his car in Sunnyvale, caused crash in Los Altos Saturday

A man who was killed in a Sunnyvale hit-and-run that also badly injured his friend on Saturday, March 31, has been identified by the Santa Clara County medical examiner's office as Edgar Quiroz, 59.

Investigators are still trying to determine where Quiroz lived.

Quiroz had been walking with a 64-year-old woman, who investigators say was a friend, at about 12:20 p.m. Saturday when San Jose resident Brian Rathjen, 45, allegedly struck both pedestrians in the crosswalk of Hollenbeck Avenue at Danforth Drive, according to police.

The driver accelerated away, and the car carried the woman for a short distance. Both victims were taken to a hospital with critical injuries, police said.

Quiroz died Monday. The woman was still at the hospital in critical condition today, police said.

Shortly before 1 p.m. Saturday, less than an hour after the collision, Los Altos police received reports of a wrong-way driver on Foothill Boulevard. A few minutes later, police received another report that the wrong-way driver had been involved in a collision.

When Los Altos and Sunnyvale police arrived, they found a 1991 Acura that had been disabled in the collision. The driver had fled, police said.

A victim at the scene was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

At 1:05 p.m., Rathjen called 911, told dispatchers that he was the person they were looking for and gave them his location, police said.

Police said Rathjen was booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose on suspicion of attempted murder and battery on a police officer.

Late this morning, the district attorney's office was still reviewing the case and had not yet filed charges against Rathjen.

Sunnyvale police Capt. David Verbrugge said neither of the collisions appear to have been accidents.

"They were intentional acts," he said.

Verbrugge said police do know whether the suspect was under the influence when the incidents occurred, or if he has a history of mental health issues.

Police believe the suspect did not know the victims.

— Bay City News Service


Like this comment
Posted by Ronnie
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 3, 2012 at 9:30 am

That is awful. There are so many reckless drivers out there, and every once in a while, something horribly tragic happens like this. The story says he was charged with battery on a police officer - what were the details on that? Its confusing, because the story says he turned himself in. Was one of the hit and run victims a police officer?

Like this comment
Posted by throw away the key
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 3, 2012 at 9:38 am

Charge him with murder. Lock him up and throw away the key. Society needs to be protected from thugs like this. If you let him out, he will just kill again.

Like this comment
Posted by Kinou
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 3, 2012 at 10:34 am

I am writing because I was on my way to the California Ave. farmers market on Sunday morning and there was a guy about 40-45 driving down the wrong side of the street in front of the old court house and jail, heading right towards me for a head-on collision. I laid on my horn and he just waved. It was very scarey. I do not see how someone could make this mistake. I wonder if he was doing it on purpose?

Like this comment
Posted by concerned citizen
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 3, 2012 at 11:22 am

sounds like a case of "stupid drunk".

Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 3, 2012 at 12:47 pm

In many countries it is traditional to drive on the left. Diversity has its costs.

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 3, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Absolutely heart-breaking. A mistake is one thing, but hitting 2 people, then going on to do even more damage? Unconscionable. And this means that there were 2 local drivers that we know of behaving dangerously, given what the other person just posted.

I was almost hit twice one night last week just driving on campus & nearby. I was also next to a driver who ran a red light, thinking the left hand turn light was for her. You know how sometimes you're out & about & you get a weird feeling that something's just "off" with other drivers? This was one of those nights & my spouse noticed it, too.

We'll have to wait for more details on Rathjen's case as it unfolds.

Like this comment
Posted by mug shot
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Mug shot of the perp from CBS News: Web Link
I assume the scars on his face are the result of these collisions (maybe from the airbag).

Like this comment
Posted by Sunnyvale
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2012 at 10:08 pm

What the article leaves out is that this intersection in about 30 yards from Cumberland Elementary School. Thank goodness it was Saturday and there were no kids around!

Like this comment
Posted by mug shot
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 4, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Mercury-News says the suspect confessed to intentionally running down 2 pedestrians. They also have a mug shot of the suspect. Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by moi
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Perhaps if Rathjen is found guilty in a court of law, he could be sentenced to "life" picking up litter next to the jersey barriers on a busy freeway?

Mom always said I had a strong sense of justice.

Like this comment
Posted by murder
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Mr. Rathjen has been charged with murder: Web Link

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

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