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Man injured after SUV crashes on Middlefield

Original post made on May 25, 2012

An Atherton man in his 60s is in serious but stable condition after his SUV went airborne off of Middlefield Road in Palo Alto shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday, May 24, and struck a tree, according to Palo Alto police.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, May 24, 2012, 11:12 PM

Comments (17)

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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 25, 2012 at 8:06 am

I drove by the scene of this accident last night, presumably after the driver had been taken to the hospital. The car was heavily damaged and positioned in a way that made it difficult to decipher what had happened.

I think it would be great if there's a follow up to this story, with more information to the cause, because we should all be equally concerned about pedestrians (and cyclists, other motorists) who could have been in harms way.

The only cause that seems to make sense is that the driver suffered from a medical incident, which is unfortunate - even more so if he's more injured from the accident. But, was this an event he could have anticipated? Was he traveling too fast (becoming airborne in a 25mph zone seems fast)?

Obviously we'd like to stay safe by keeping this kind of thing from happening in the future.

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Posted by glad
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 25, 2012 at 10:17 am

Really glad there were no pedestrians on the sidewalk when he went flying. There was recently an incident in the east bay when a SUV went flying into a family of 3 on the sidewalk (killing 2).

If SUVs are so hard to control, they should be banned from residential streets. Or at least require a commercial drivers license with more rigorous drivers requirements and testing.

Flying SUVs cause tremendously more damage to innocent bystanders than regular car crashes.

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Posted by Intersection Homeowner
a resident of Downtown North
on May 25, 2012 at 11:08 am

FYI to the reporter of the article. The out of control SUV DID NOT hit a planter (there was and is no planter)—From the police markings on the sidewalk and street (there are 8), the northbound traveling SUV went off Middlefield Road and onto the sidewalk in front of 600 Middlefield, traveling approx. 72 ft and destroying and taking out plants before it went up onto a 15 in high concrete retaining wall clearing another 55 ft and taking out a hedge of boxwoods before hitting a tree. After the SUV hit the tree it appears it traveled across Hamilton Ave. where it hit another tree and stopped.

We are fortunate that no one was on the sidewalk or waiting to cross the street at this time.

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Posted by anon
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 25, 2012 at 2:02 pm

My God, this damage!!
Reminds me of the Los Altos High teen some years ago who launched her brand-new SUV into the air in the school parking lot (16th birthday) -- the newspaper photos were incredible -- and the teen who recently rammed into Addison Elementary School - Thank God the building was not occuped right then.
Yeah, I drive a regular-size car and driving near regular-size vehicles causes no issues whatsoever, but I have difficulty seeing around monster SUVs and when they are right in front they really block the view down the road. More often than not, only the driver inside. I frequently notice very aggressive driving around here from these folks. The damage they can cause and the weight/size imbalance is worrying when they collide with other regular-size vehicles (we won't even get into pedestrians, cyclists, kids walking to school). I don't envy their gas mileage, either. I believe if you choose to drive a SUV (an extraordinary-size vehicle) then you choose to assume a higher level of responsibility.

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Posted by Geeze
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 25, 2012 at 2:31 pm

If a guy didn't suffer a medical issue, causing him to lose control of his car, you guys would have no other forum to post otherwise useless banter. If he was driving a smart car he'd be dead.

Because you know very little about the details surrounding this story, most commentary has only further evidenced your ignorance of a serious matter far beyond whether SUVs are driven by aggressive people.

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Posted by glad
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 25, 2012 at 2:36 pm

When a SUV goes flying across a sidewalk, it really does not mater to anyone in the way if the driver was drunk or stoned or had a medical problem. You're still in the way of a speeding missile with little opportunity to dodge it.

Fewer SUVs on the streets will make the streets safer for everyone. A drunk or reckless or medically impaired driver can cause far less damage with a vehicle weighing half as much.

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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 25, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I'm no expert in physics, but making this an issue about SUVs seems a bit silly. Wouldn't the weight of an Suv make it harder for it to go airborne? In any case, the trajectory of a smaller car would have been much different and the risk to others may, or may not, have been less. In this case, my guess is that the size of the vehicle appears to have been a protective factor for this man. I hope he heals quickly.

Am always amazed what people take from a news story-- instead of seeing this as a story about a tragic accident causing significant injury to a member of the community and the fortunate lack of injury to others, an argument is launched about SUVs and gas mileage. Go figure. Some seem to look for soapboxes, wherever they go.

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Posted by glad
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 25, 2012 at 2:59 pm

SUVs have a higher center of gravity and thus are more likely to rollover and injure the occupants than regular cars. Also, if a SUV and regular car are traveling at the same speed, the SUV has much more momentum and causes much more damage because of its larger weight.

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Posted by Hilarious
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Only in Palo Alto would people have nothing better to do than measure an accident scene and then rush home to post their findings on the internet or sit at home posting about the dangers of suvs. this website gets funnier by the day.

P. S. I secreted some grammatical errors in this message for you to inspect so you would have something else to do this afternoon. You're welcome.

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Posted by Geeze
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 25, 2012 at 3:24 pm


Since you are so intent on your point, and have an obvious lack of interest of the well being of someone who was injured, you should just post your real name.

Why stand behind a strong stance with no backbone to hold it up.

This could have happened to you, remember that.

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Posted by anon
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 25, 2012 at 7:41 pm

If a driver is unable to control a massive SUV, perhaps he is better suited to drive a smaller, lighter car that is both easier to steer/handle and less likely to smash into things and people and kill or injure others. Also, some vehicles are easier to see over the hood than others, some have better rear visibility - you know, there are a lot of differences. But weight is a scary factor if drivers are irresponsible OR if they are prone to medical issues - no criticism, just a fact. I wouldn't advise this driver to now go out behind the wheel of a cement mixer. I suggest he downsize his vehicle.
Our lives ARE impacted by solo drivers in huge, heavy vehicles who represent a higher risk of damage to us on the public roadways. If someone runs a farm or owns private land or transports a student sports team, I understand them driving a large vehicle. However, very often, not just rarely, the fact is we DO see solo drivers in these behemoths and we don't understand it...yes, some are contractors or construction or tradespeople but plenty are regular folks who have a huge array of vehicles to choose from and this is a SUBURBAN area, not a tiny town in the central valley.

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Posted by Geeze
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 25, 2012 at 8:39 pm

You are a piece of work. I extend the exact same offer to you as our friend "glad." if you are obviously so passionate about this topic, please take it elsewhere or let us all know your real name so you can thank the person who is sitting in the ICU for getting into a near death accident so you can present your case. I bet it won't be well received.

Get a real cause.

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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2012 at 9:17 pm

I'm surprised at the comments on Anon's posts. He's just a typical Palo Altan expressing philosophy that comes from the Green Religion.

People of like thinking are the vast majority in Palo Alto.

Nothing new here.

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Posted by howze
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on May 26, 2012 at 3:38 pm

how was the giza pyramid built? it wasnt built! it may be like the first identified human consciousness of ego.that manifestation just happens to be expressed by the ''structure'' we call ''the great pyramid''. it is a ''mind projection''.wonder ,no proof otherwise. everything may be a projection of identified conscience.isnt that what ''physics'' says.

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Posted by Danielle
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 26, 2012 at 4:27 pm

SUVs have a higher center of gravity than cars and are rollover prone so are more dangerous to both the passengers and other people around. Plus yes they are polluting behemoths that few need.

You guys can go elsewhere. We don't want these things around here and this story shows why.

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Posted by tired
a resident of Midtown
on May 26, 2012 at 7:18 pm

I wonder if the driver fell asleep while driving. That is the cause of more accidents than most people realize.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Ohlone School

on Jun 5, 2017 at 9:11 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

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

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