Police: East Palo Alto man cited in hit-and-run accident

Multiple-vehicle crash left three injured

A 34-year-old man who allegedly struck two vehicles before plowing through a Caltrain fence and hitting a power pole has been cited for misdemeanor hit and run and reckless driving and could face additional charges, Palo Alto police Sgt. Rich Bullerjahn said.

Kenneth Brad Williams Jr., of East Palo Alto, was cited and released by police while at the hospital receiving treatment for injuries in the multiple-vehicle crash that occurred on Sunday, June 21, at about 11:35 a.m., Bullerjahn said.

Williams allegedly rear ended a Toyota Prius at San Antonio and Charleston roads, causing a minor accident, but he fled the scene. The driver in the Prius followed Williams, who allegedly proceeded at a high speed west on San Antonio. At Alma Street, Williams collided at the intersection with another Prius driving south, then plowed through a chain-link fence at the Caltrain right-of-way and hit a power pole, Bullerjahn said.

Emergency personnel found Williams unconscious behind the wheel. An officer went into the car to assist Williams, who regained consciousness shortly thereafter. But both the officer and Williams were ordered to stay in the vehicle for one and a half hours after emergency responders discovered two downed wires from the power pole, and it was not clear if they were live, Bullerjahn said.

The officer administered first aid to Williams at the scene while the Palo Alto Fire Department and Caltrain cleared the area and shut off power. Williams was the only person in the vehicle.

The driver of the first Prius, a 43-year-old Daly City man, complained of pain and was transported to the emergency room. The occupants of the second Prius, a 62-year-old man and his wife, 68, of Mountain View, were also injured and were transported to the hospital. The man complained of neck and back pain and his wife suffered a broken leg, Bullerjahn said. All three were treated, and none had life-threatening injuries, he added.

Williams could face additional charges after investigations are completed, Bullerjahn said.

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19 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Monroe Park
on Jun 23, 2015 at 4:29 pm

Great job catching the hit-and-run driver! We were hit once and the driver took off and was never found. It cost us a lot of money and trouble to get our car repaired and there could have easily been a worse outcome. Luckily no one died. Hit-and-runners don't want to get caught and do not take responsibility for their actions nor the people and property they have damaged. There should be serious consequences including loss of license and loss of vehicle in addition to monetary penalties.

14 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Palo Verde School
on Jun 23, 2015 at 4:36 pm

Lol, only in Palo Alto does a hit and run randomly strike two Prii (what is the plural for Prius??)!! There are so many it's not a bit surprising!

I hope the Prius drivers are okay!!

14 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 23, 2015 at 4:41 pm

Both sets of drivers were sent to the hospital. One passenger suffered a broken leg. That gives you an idea of how bad the incident was.

2 people like this
Posted by SweetMC
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 23, 2015 at 6:10 pm

I think the plural of Prius should be "Preem"

5 people like this
Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2015 at 7:06 pm

Way back in 2011, Toyota actually put the "what is the plural of Prius" question to the public.

It's 'Prii' based on public feedback.

Web Link

3 people like this
Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Jun 23, 2015 at 7:14 pm

Oh, I meant to add that I hope the victims all recover quickly from their injuries.

19 people like this
Posted by Mark
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 23, 2015 at 7:54 pm

Its Prii. Debate closed.

Unrelated: it must have been awkward for the officer and the sketch dude to be sitting in the car together for an hour. What's there to talk about? "Yea man, that was pretty crazy, huh?" "No, you hurt people" "Nice weather" "So, what's up?"

9 people like this
Posted by AlexDeLarge
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 23, 2015 at 10:21 pm

"Prii", for sure. With that being said, I am happy that the miscreant and the cause of this accident was captured.

17 people like this
Posted by 5th Generation
a resident of Mayfield
on Jun 23, 2015 at 10:25 pm

He was cited and released? For hit and run? What does it take to make it a felony?

23 people like this
Posted by 5th Generation
a resident of Mayfield
on Jun 23, 2015 at 10:48 pm

By the way, at least two of the victims of this hit and run driver are in ICU at Stanford and won't be going home any time soon. Why was this man only cited and released? It may be that this needs to be taken to a major news network.

14 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 24, 2015 at 6:21 am

mauricio is a registered user.

In many countries the hit and run offender would be in jail awaiting trial and have his license already suspended for at least 10 years. There is no different between what he did and an assault with a deadly weapon. Why is this a misdemeanor when it is actually a serious felony?

18 people like this
Posted by Confused
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 24, 2015 at 10:24 am

So let me get this straight. We've got a driver who sent three people to the hospital with serious injuries, and he's free to get behind the wheel of a different car and plow into more people today? How many people have to be injured or killed before youtake him off the road?

7 people like this
Posted by Car Culture
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 24, 2015 at 11:31 am

Car culture: If it happens while you're driving your car, you won't be punished as much.
People want it that way. They want to speed and not get tickets, but if they do get a ticket, they don't want to change their habits, they want it forgotten so they go to online traffic school for about an hour or 2.
They want to tailgate to try and force the other person over to the next lane, not wait patiently until it is safe to pass.
They want to zip through short cuts, and if they hit someone, they SURELY do not want to stick around to accept responsibility; hell they might get sued so they take off.
Car culture...I think it blows.

6 people like this
Posted by Gethin
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 24, 2015 at 12:30 pm

Gethin is a registered user.

At the very least his license should have been revoked until after the trial. I hope everyone recovers from their injuries quickly.

2 people like this
Posted by Bike commuter
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 24, 2015 at 1:24 pm

NIce summary, kudo to Car Culture
As I bike to work in the morning and from work in the afternoon, I can always see nearly 80% of people busy texting at the traffic light or any traffic stops more than 3 seconds. Surely this is totally acceptable because they are driving A CAR in the country of freedom.

3 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 24, 2015 at 2:31 pm

And the hit-and-runner was released to go about his day because? AHHH, P.A.'s finest at work. Hope the injured are all right and the bad guy has good insurance-right.

Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 24, 2015 at 4:42 pm

@Mary, it's not PAPD, it's the courts.

4 people like this
Posted by ChrisC
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 24, 2015 at 9:58 pm

ChrisC is a registered user.

Thank you fir the reporting. Usually I pass by bizarre accidents and can't find anything about them. I saw the aftermath if this and was detoured from Alma sougbound to san Antonio west. When I looped around by Franciscan Glass, I saw the perp car crumpled and on the west side of the tracks. Maybe it had been moved off the tracks. Pretty wild.

5 people like this
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 25, 2015 at 10:57 am

I hope they are performing a drug screen on the guy.

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

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