One person killed Sunday in multi-car crash

Collision in San Mateo also injures 30-year-old Palo Alto man

The California Highway Patrol has contacted the driver of a white pickup truck who fled the scene of a fatal crash on U.S. Highway 101 in San Mateo early Sunday morning, a CHP spokesman said Monday.

CHP Officer Art Montiel said the driver called the CHP later that day and went to a local CHP office to be interviewed. The crash happened on southbound Highway 101 near Poplar Avenue at about 12:50 a.m., Montiel said.

The pickup truck apparently crashed into the center divider, causing it to come to a full stop in the left lane, Montiel said. There was then a chain-reaction crash that involved four vehicles that were traveling behind the truck.

A 29-year-old passenger in the back seat of a 2010 Mazda suffered major head trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene. The San Mateo County coroner's office is still trying to notify the victim's family in Argentina and has not released his name. The driver of the Mazda, a 30-year-old man from Palo Alto, was taken to Stanford Hospital with major head injuries.

The occupants of the three other vehicles involved in the crash were not injured. The CHP is still investigating why the driver of the pickup truck left the scene. No arrests have been made and the driver had not been cited as of Monday morning. It has not been determined whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the collision, according to the CHP.

Anyone who might have witnessed the crash is urged to contact CHP Officer Graham at 650-369-6261 ext. 308.


Like this comment
Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm

This is so crazy...and sad.
BTW...How is this a "fleeing the scene" Did the owner of the truck leave it in the lane? Did he leave the flashers on?
When you break down, you sometimes have to leave your vehicle where it is...BUT you make sure you leave caution type signs for oncoming traffic.

Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 9, 2012 at 3:09 pm

How many reasons can one think of for fleeing the scene?

Like this comment
Posted by DT
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 9, 2012 at 4:48 pm

A tragic situation all around, for sure, and as a parent I can only imagine how heartbroken his family in Argentina will be but KP - do you really think that if your car crashes into the center divide you are just allowed to leave? On the freeway?? Seriously? Everyday I am amazed at how many very very bad drivers there are around here. And they aren't all on the phone or texting. Completely unaware of their surroundings and the laws which apply. I can never figure out out if it is arrogance or ignorance but it is dangerous out there! Too fast, too slow, taking a right of way that isn't theirs, ignoring yield (or other) signs, etc. etc.

So KP - if you hit something and leave it is called "hit and run". Not saying it wasn't a mechanical problem out of his control but you don't just leave for god's sake!

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