Update: Coroner identifies motorcyclist killed in crash near Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve

Woman was thrown off vehicle, landed in a ravine

Update: The Santa Clara County Coroner's Office has identified the motorcyclist killed in the crash as 33-year-old Mila Acevedo of San Jose.

A motorcyclist died in a crash late Wednesday afternoon in mountainous terrain along Skyline Boulevard in Palo Alto, police said Thursday.

The crash took place shortly before 4 p.m. A 2018 Ducati Panigale V4 R motorcycle heading south on Skyline, about a mile south of Skyline and Page Mill Road, rounded a corner, went off the road, crashed into a tree and landed in a ravine, police said in a press release on Thursday. The driver was thrown from the motorcycle and pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

A driver behind the motorcyclist saw a cloud of dust after rounding the corner on the roadway, also known as State Route 35, and discovered the crash. A Midpeninsula Regional Open Space park ranger who was also driving by stopped to assist and called emergency personnel, police said.

Preliminary reports from the California Highway Patrol had incorrectly stated that the woman who died was on a bicycle rather than a motorcycle. Palo Alto police, who were notified of the incident at about 5:45 p.m., have since clarified that she was on a motorcycle.

Investigators haven't determined the motorcyclist's speed or if drugs or alcohol were involved in the crash. Police don't believe any other vehicles were involved. The investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing.

Park rangers, Palo Alto police and firefighters, Santa Clara County fire, San Mateo County fire and Cal Fire, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Woodside Fire Department, the California Highway Patrol and the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene. Palo Alto police's Specialized Traffic Accident Reconstruction team has taken over the investigation.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police's free mobile app, downloadable at or

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.


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7 people like this
Posted by Coquelicot
a resident of Ventura
on May 8, 2019 at 8:51 pm

Coquelicot is a registered user.

My sympathies to the cyclist's family and friends.

Let's all drive safely in anticipation of cyclists around the next blind curve!

16 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Professorville
on May 8, 2019 at 9:35 pm

CBS News says the victim was riding a motorcycle, not a bicycle

Posted by KT
a resident of Barron Park

on May 9, 2019 at 2:10 am

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3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 9, 2019 at 9:09 am

These narrow roads seem to attract bicyclists like bees to a honeypot. There are so many of them that driving there is often an obstacle course.

When bikes and motor vehicles share narrow winding roads it makes for a dangerous mix. When a bike is going uphill they are slow and when they go downhill they can be going very fast. When they go that fast it is hard for them to brake quickly without skidding. If a car has to stop or if a car is coming out of a driveway and a downhill bike suddenly encounters an obstacle they have to stop, they can skid. It would be helpful in these events to know whether the bike was going uphill or downhill as they are very different scenarios.

I agree we all have to be very careful on these narrow hilly roads. My sympathies to all involved. RIP.

2 people like this
Posted by Too many speedsters
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 9, 2019 at 9:19 am

Not surprisingly, there are far more car and motorcycle accidents than bicycle accidents on Skyline and the connector roads, so that would jibe with the reports that it was a motorcyclist.

In any event, it's a higher risk area that demands more attention by those who would use the roads, and less thrill seeking speeders.

Here's the motorcycle fatality there report from yesterday:
Web Link

6 people like this
Posted by Need a new headline
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 9, 2019 at 9:39 am

A "Ducati" is a motor cycle and this was the third motorcycle death in the area in 3 weeks.
I'm not worried about the cyclists as much as I am the moto-crowd up there.

-From the link above-:
A female motorcyclist was killed this afternoon (May 8) in a crash on Skyline Boulevard (Highway 35) in Palo Alto, according to the California Highway Patrol.

It was the third fatal motorcycle crash in the hills west of Palo Alto in the past three weeks, said CHP spokesman Art Montiel.

The crash was reported at about 4:40 p.m. about 150 feet south of Page Mill/Alpine Road. Montiel said no other vehicle was involved in the crash. He said a ranger discovered the woman’s body. The motorcyclist’s name hasn’t been released, but she’s between the age of 20 and 25. The woman was riding a Ducati motorcycle

9 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 9, 2019 at 9:46 am

Please update the headline. It was a motorcycle, not a bicycle.

Like this comment
Posted by David V
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 9, 2019 at 1:48 pm

David V is a registered user.

Much more than just a Motorcycle

Pretty much the best one available as far as ....everything; including speed & safety.
Web Link

5 people like this
Posted by Terrible
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 9, 2019 at 2:41 pm

3 deaths in 3 weeks? So young as well. It's absolutely terrible. These deaths affect many many other family members and friends.

I know we cannot always protect people from themselves, but is anything being done to try and end this horrific streak of motorized death in our mountains or are we at the shoulder shrugging phase at this point?

It's just a matter of time before someone takes out a family just trying to get up into the open spaces.


5 people like this
Posted by Harley Man
a resident of Midtown
on May 9, 2019 at 6:40 pm

If you round a turn too broadly and encounter a shoulder of the road with gravel, bad things can happen.

Excessive speed is often the factor.

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