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Driver dies in 'horrific' crash on Middlefield Road

Original post made on Feb 22, 2010

Mountain View police say an "extremely horrific" single-car crash killed the driver of a Volvo after it smashed into seven trees on West Middlefield Road early Sunday morning.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, February 22, 2010, 3:12 PM

Comments (36)

Posted by HPlaidmeOFF
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 22, 2010 at 3:59 pm

I guaranty you, this driver was travailing in excess of 70+mph.
Our friends sent us some cell phone pics over the weekend. I know it's too bad that a life was lost. I'm just thankful that the only life lost. Was that of the driver, who chose to put his life at risk. Often times when you have inexperienced young drivers. Driving fast for the rush. Other innocent lives are taken


Posted by Ron
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 22, 2010 at 4:19 pm

I hope the newspaper will print more information when the driver's name and cause of the crash are released. At 2:32am on weekend, you can probably guess at likely causes. Hopefully more details can teach our young people to be more careful out there.


Posted by Darius
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 22, 2010 at 4:32 pm

The only way this is possible if you are driving above 60 mph. Middlefield Road is a slow road with a speed limit of 35mph. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] I'm sure glad nobody was around or else more lives would of been taken.


Posted by Resident
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 22, 2010 at 7:09 pm

If he/she were driving the speed limit, even "10 Over", they would be
alive to tell PD & FD what happened..Fortunately, no other persons
were affected by this unneccessary accident ! People are not invinceable regardless of age and mind set !


Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 22, 2010 at 7:28 pm


At least it was not a Toyota, we do not believe the 2001 Volvo was drive by wire with the consequent software bugs in the system that Toyota has still not admitted.


Posted by Ron
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 22, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Mercury-News reports that the driver was a man in his mid-20s: Web Link


Posted by family
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 22, 2010 at 8:08 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

today we mourn tommorrow could be you, you did not know the family nor the problems. And please read with knowledge goes for everyone out there,because you don't know whats in each member of your families minds know or in future RIGHT !!! WE DO BELIEVE IN THE MAN UPSTAIRS SO GOD BLESS YOU ALL and pardon our french.


Posted by enough is enough
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 22, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Very sad and tragic story.

So, now it is time for all of the alarmists who have been shouting about "close the airport" and "ban general aviation" to now accordingly demand that we close Middlefield Road and ban Volvos as a result of this unfortunate accident.

It's really quite logical given the arguments they've been bleating about on this forum for the past few days.

Still waiting...


Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Yes, they will be calling for most of those things, but not to worry, they won't call for banning Volvos.

Shallow Altans aren't yet hypocritical enough to call for the banishment of their own vehicles.



Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 22, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Reminiscent of Sunday morning 5 yrs ago 4 a.m. 100-mph northbound Middlefield Volkswagon Passat gone airborne at Matadero Creek landing in midtown Safeway's parking lot. Gunn graduate.


Posted by gerald
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 23, 2010 at 7:29 am

"So, now it is time for all of the alarmists who have been shouting about "close the airport" and "ban general aviation" to now accordingly demand that we close Middlefield Road and ban Volvos as a result of this unfortunate accident".

No one ever called for banning general aviation. Having a tax payer subsidized airport, serving a select small group of hobbyists, most of whom non-Palo Alto residents right next to residential neighborhoods and low power lines is a terrible idea, waste of valuable land and a manifestation of socialism-for-the-rich-capitalism for the rest. Yes, there too many reckless and stupid drivers who put themselves others at risk. We need to find ways to reduce their numbers. However, whether we like it or not, we are an auto society and driving is the method by which the overwhelming majority of the population gets around. There's no viable alternative at this point. Even if most people could afford airplanes, you can't fly your kids to school, fly to the grocery store or to a dentist appointment, the comparison is bogus.


Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 23, 2010 at 9:04 am

"... we do not believe the 2001 Volvo was drive by wire with the consequent software bugs..."

Volvo has used an electronic throttle system since 1999. There was a massive recall on the 1st generation version that required the replacement of the throttle body and a software upgrade.


Posted by Observer
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 23, 2010 at 9:28 am

This is very sad. I'm sorry for the friends and family of this individual. Since we don't know why this happened it's appropriate not to judge. So many tragic events around here lately. I'll try to be a bit more careful and gracious to my fellow drivers since we're all in this together and you can never know what the person in the next car may be going through.


Posted by Judge Much
a resident of Los Altos
on Feb 23, 2010 at 10:28 am

It would sad if we find out the cause of the crash was medically related, like the driver had a seizure. Most of you who made presumptive comments would feel pretty stupid.


Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:08 am

ok, here is my input: how about finding a way to enforce that people have auto insurance - that would be a little reassuring at least.


Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:11 am

I too wonder who the driver was. I used to live right by that area. It is just luck that the driver hurt only themselves. People seem to like to drive crazy sometimes. Recently, back a year or three there was a similar accident in Palo Alto at the Midtown area where it was said the driver was traveling around 100 mph. There are not so many trees in Midtown, but the driver busted up a concrete wall.

People have to stop driving cars like they are in video games, cars are not toys.


Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:12 am

Well said, "gerald, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood"


Posted by Judy
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:23 am

At the least, North Middlefield should be closed, consideration should be given to removing trees along streets so that killer autos do not have to deal with them, and anyone who pays taxes, but for whatever reason is unable to use public roads should be relieved of related taxes. Private businesses, such as the Stanford Hospital, who use the airport should build their own aviation facilities and not rely on tax payer subsidized support. Meanwhile to Enough is Enough, thank you for your posts and willingness to deal with this issue.


Posted by Enforcement
a resident of University South
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:26 am


Anon, I wonder why we haven't yet seen cars that won't start unless an insurance card is swiped (a VALID one associated with the vehicle) and a breathalyzer test. Not that far-fetched, and I'd feel a whole lot safer! Too many uninsured on the roads, and they all feel entitled. Also, they don't get insurance, because they don't have much to lose in many cases.

Tragic that someone lost his life, and no, we don't know all of the facts, but it certainly sounds like speed and alcohol will be contributing factors.


Posted by Michele
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 23, 2010 at 12:07 pm

I am very sorry for this terrible accident and death of the driver.


Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 23, 2010 at 12:27 pm

This is so devastating! My son mentioned to me that he's taken today off work to attend the memorial of a friend who died on Valentine's Day; "he went from 100 to zero in 1 second" my son said when he hit a tree and died.

Gratefully we used this opportunity to discuss drinking and driving which my son says he absolutely will not do. He has lost too many friends for so many reasons. It's painful to experience, but the message definitely reaches him, for which I am grateful.

I don't ever want this to be the son that I raised.


Posted by Train Neighbor
a resident of Ventura
on Feb 23, 2010 at 1:07 pm

My condolences to his family & friends.


Posted by Gino
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 23, 2010 at 3:44 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Zoe
a resident of Los Altos
on Feb 23, 2010 at 4:30 pm

This young man was a waiter at the breakfast spot I go to daily. Such a warm, friendly hard worker. Conscientious. Always remembered what I order. Always a smile on his face. Bettering himself with education. Working his way through school. I know he obviously did something foolish and could have hurt others, but I can attest to his good character and that he was and would have been an asset to our community and world. Too bad 20-something year old young men take chances and don't understand consequences. All who knew him at the restaurant are crying today over his loss. And collecting money for this fine young man's funeral. Just very sad. He did good every day but made a very bad mistake that cost him his life.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm

You know we all are entitled to our opinions about issues like private planes, auto safety, etc. And we can privately speculate about what might have caused a fatal accident. But it blows my mind that a local tragedy can ensue, strike family members and friends who can read these lines, yet people act like opportunistic voyeuristic vultures and weigh in with their little axes and little opinions.

Same thing with plane tragedy and the couple just killed. Some use it as an opportunity to blast private planes. Then the private plane supporters log on here and retort about the Volvo's.

This isn't some accident(s) which occurred decades ago or across the country or world. This is a local tragedy and local friends and family might read some of this self serving garbage.

Even if I might agree with some of you on the issues presented, this seems heartless and cruel.


Posted by FAMILY MEMBER
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 23, 2010 at 8:56 pm

I WANT TO START OFF BY SAYING THANKS TO ALL OF THOSE WHO WEREN'T IGNORANT AND LEFT COMMENTS WITHOUT KNOWING THE PERSON. LET ME ASSURE YOU THAT THE DRIVER WAS MORE RESPONSIBLE THAN MOST ADULTS AND MORE CARING THAN ANY OTHER PERSON YOU WOULD KNOW! HE WAS AND STILL IS A GOOD FAMILY MAN! HE TOOK CARE OF A FAMILY OF 6 WHEN IT WASN'T HIS RESPONSIBILITY! THIS MAN WENT TO SCHOOL AND HAD LOTS OF GOALS AND HE FULFILLED HIS GOALS AT ANY COST! HE WAS ALWAYS CARING OF OTHER PEOPLE AND FRIENDS AND HE WAS ALWAYS TAKING CARE OF HIS FAMILY BY PROVIDING FOOD AND A ROOF FOR THEM! ONLY THOSE WHO REALLY KNOW HIM CAN TELL THAT HE WAS ONE OF THE MOST WONDERFUL PERSON IN THE WHOLE WORLD. YOU CAN ASK ANY PERSON THAT KNEW HIM AND THEY WILL TELL YOU THAT HA WAS A GREAT PERSON! HE IS THE BEST BROTHER/SON/UNCLE/COUSIN/BOYFRIEND/GODFATHER EVER KNOWN! SO I ASK THOSE WHO DIDN'T KNOW HIM TO NOT BE LEAVING COMMENTS CAUSE THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN JUDGE US IS GOD AND ONLY GOD HIMSELF! HE REALLY WAS AND STILL IS THE BEST MAN. I SAID STILL IS BECAUSE I KNOW THAT HE IS STILL HERE WITH US AND WILL ALWAYS BE WATCHING OVER US BACUASE THAT MAN WOULD NEVER LEAVE HIS FAMILY! ALL OF US THAT KNOW HIM LOVE AND MISS HIM VERY VERY MUCH! ONCE AGAIN, THANKS TO THOSE WHO DIDN'T LEAVE RUDE COMMENTS WITHOUT KNOWING THE GREAT MAN HE WAS!


Posted by friend
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 23, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Iam glad i got the chance to meet this remarkable wonderful young man .He was caring and devoted to his family.and if you didn"t know him please don"t leave rude comments he still is someone son and no matter how or why this accident happen he still is very loved and miss my heart and prayers go out to his family .


Posted by me
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 23, 2010 at 10:58 pm

why do you people have to judge this man so much? what if this was someone you knew woulnt you get mad?!!! just think about that when you write things like that


Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:15 pm

>why do you people have to judge this man so much?

I don't think people are judging the man, just this action. What if the car slammed into a house or people and killed other people?

Surely people are curious and want to know why someone would be driving so fast in Middlefield? This kind of reckless driving is a crime, which makes the person a criminal, unless there was some mechanical failure or medical situation, and even so, it depends on how that incident was handled or not handled responsibly?

As I said above, I used to live a about 3 blocks from there, and I often drove, biked and walked there, so I have a gut reaction to this [portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 23, 2010 at 11:17 pm

>what if this was someone you knew woulnt you get mad?

Sure?, maybe that is the way you are, but I do not believe that, if it was someone I know, if they behaved that negligently I would already have a problem with them if I knew about it.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 24, 2010 at 9:53 am

" What if the car slammed into a house or people and killed other people?"

Number One--it didn't.

Number Two---gee if it did then all of the voyeuristic judgemental vultures could really get their cyber rocks off by even higher levels of condemnation and posturing. Too bad heh?

"I don't think people are judging the man, just this action."

When someone dies in a horrific accident and then people who really know absolutely NOTHING about either the details of the accident or the person who died weigh in with all the various little snide and mean comments, they are in a way trying to pass a sort of final judgment. When this story broke it might have been that he went to a bar to pick up an inebriated friend who needed a ride home and then the accelerator stuck. There was a ton of mean and thoughtless comments and judgements posted here, some thankfully removed.

But it's not just here. The plane fatalities have people weighing in against private pilots and all, then their defenders come over here and scavenge this tragedy by alluding to banning cars, etc.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 24, 2010 at 12:03 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 24, 2010 at 12:28 pm

A young man loses his life in what was probably an ill advised activity. Who among us didn't make many mistakes in our earlier (or even later) years which, "there but by the grace of God", might we have also been killed, or caused a horrific tragedy to others as well.

Without any details as regards the specifics of this accident, nor a look at the total life of this person, many feel compelled to weigh in with invective and condemnation (i.e. "criminal").

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 25, 2010 at 7:58 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 25, 2010 at 8:15 pm

I am not dead in a an accident nor have I killed anyone else in an accident because I do not know and never have relied on the grace of God, or anything outside myself, just my judgment and best effort. It has really never taken much effort to not drive above 50 on Middlefield, although sometimes it does take great effort to stay behind some of the older folks who do not drive the full speed limit.

This is not about making a regular old mistake, and I am really dismayed that this kind of comment is left here, while my comments are fully deleted - when I am making far more sense than any of these apolgists for the people who make these kinds of mistakes.

Work out your own guilt in some other fashion than trying to make it OK for others to make the same bad mistakes as you have made in your lives ... the goal is to do better.


Posted by Amazed
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 3, 2010 at 6:46 pm

People who are sympathetic and quick to defend the driver are most likely guilty of speed laws themselves here. And as the brave person above stated, "Work out your own guilt in some other fashion than trying to make it OK for others to make the same bad mistakes as you have made in your lives ... the goal is to do better." I totally agree with that person on this. The bottom line is it is never okay to break a speed limit by driving 80 to 100 mph in a 35 mph zone. Use some common sense here!


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