The driver of a Ford Mustang killed in a three-car collision that closed a major thoroughfare in East Palo Alto on Friday afternoon has been identified.
Palo Alto resident Jose Diaz-Galaviz, 49, died at the scene, the San Mateo County Coroner's Office confirmed on Sunday.
The collision involving a Ford Mustang, Lexus and white utility van occurred in the area of University Avenue and Kavanaugh Drive around 2:50 p.m., police Cmdr. Jeff Liu said.
Police said Diaz-Galaviz was turning right from Kavanaugh Drive heading toward Palo Alto when the car collided with a Lexus that ran a red light while heading down University Avenue, toward U.S. Highway 101.
A white utility van heading down University Avenue and about to turn left on Kavanaugh was nicked, but the driver was fine and didn't need hospital treatment, according to Liu. The airbags were deployed from both vehicles and broken glass was seen on the street.
A passenger in the Mustang and two people in the Lexus were transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Liu.
Police are still investigating the cause of the crash and potential traffic violations. Liu said that officers plan to conduct an interview on Monday, after which time they expect to submit the case to the District Attorney for a decision on filing charges.
The Mustang sustained significant damage, with the driver was pinned to the front seat by the car door that ended up on the passenger's side, Menlo Park Fire Protection District Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman said in a statement.
"The driver was in full cardiac arrest (non-breathing and pulseless)," according to Schapelhouman.
The Mustang's passenger had moderate injuries in addition to neck and back pain. Emergency responders were able to remove her from the vehicle and placed her on a backboard with full spinal care, the fire chief said.
The other two survivors had multiple abrasions, cuts and neck and back pain, Schapelhouman said.
"We've noticed an increase in the number of serious accidents District wide," Schapelhouman said.
"I'm not exactly sure what's going on but the congestion, speed, distractions and multi-modal opportunities aren't always as smart or as safe as we would like. Our condolences and sympathies go out to this mans (sic) family," he said.
John Thompson, who lives just a block away on Emmett Way, heard the collision and arrived to the scene within a minute. He saw a civilian assisting the Mustang passenger who was trapped by her seatbelt and assisted out of the vehicle.
Thompson, who has lived in the neighborhood for almost four years, said it was not uncommon to see an accident at the intersection, especially before a stoplight was installed.
Josue Corado, who lives on Kavanaugh Drive, and his mother were out on University Avenue out of their own volition redirecting traffic to Willow Road.
"No one else was doing it," he said, then shrugged. "So I decided to step in."
University Avenue was closed in both directions at the intersection through the evening commute and reopened at about 8 p.m.