Jeffrey Donnelly, the bicyclist who was fatally struck by a car on Page Mill Road Tuesday morning, was the chief operating officer of Silicon Valley company Zeta Instruments in San Jose, company CEO Rusmin Kudinar has confirmed.
Donnelly, 52, of Palo Alto, was riding his bicycle west on Page Mill near the intersection of Christopher Lane in Los Altos Hills at around 6:50 a.m. when he was hit by a black 2014 Volkswagen Golf. The driver, a 19-year-old Palo Alto man, was also traveling west. Donnelly had come from Old Page Mill Road, California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Art Montiel said.
The driver remained at the scene. His name has been released by the CHP, but given that he is not a public figure, the Palo Alto Weekly will not be publishing his name unless criminal charges or a civil suit are filed.
Kudinar said he had been a colleague and friend of Donnelly for 20 years at various companies. Donnelly had a wife and three children, he said.
"He was a good man; a good friend. Everybody at work loved him. It was a shock to all of us. He was a very well-rounded, very bright person," Kudinar said.
Tryg Ager, a neighbor, said he was shocked to learn of Donnelly's death.
"He's been my neighbor for a long time. The whole family is active and fit.
"They are a great set of neighbors. It just blows my mind. He and I used to joke that he would've been as fit and active at 75 as he was now," Ager said.
Ager said that Donnelly was a careful rider who biked in groups on morning rides and did group events.
Ager also used to ride his bicycle in Palo Alto and along Embarcadero Road when he traveled to work at Sun Microsystems, but he is doubtful that he would ride on the city's streets today because it's not as safe. Now he keeps his bike in the garage.
"Idiotic Palo Alto. I wouldn't ride on Embarcadero Road like I used to when I went to work. I wouldn't take rides anywhere in Palo Alto except the Baylands.
"We're at a point where simple things are becoming dangerous," he said.
Donnelly and his wife were just finishing a rebuild of their house. It was a labor of love and a year-long project, Ager said.
Donnelly was a hard worker, he added. Kudinar said Donnelly's background was mainly in sales and marketing. He was an entrepreneur and seasoned senior executive, according to the company's website. He joined Zeta in March 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile. Prior to that, he spent nearly 12 years at KLA-Tencor, a semiconductor equipment manufacturer, as group vice president of growth and emerging markets.
He was the founding CEO of a venture-backed software company, BlackHog Inc., and started his career in Silicon Valley as a product line manager for Varian Medical Systems in 1993.
Donnelly was a nuclear engineering officer in the U.S. Navy for five years starting in 1985. He held a master's degree in business administration from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He was fluent in Japanese, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He was also a member of the board of directors of the Opportunity Fund in San Jose, a micro-finance provider, and LS Biopath, a medical company that develops technologies for real-time imaging of removed tissue during breast cancer surgery, which helps surgeons identify and excise cancer cells around the margins.
Tuesday's incident is still under investigation, according to Montiel.