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on Nov 1, 2007
Pleasanton Police Emergency Number - (925) 931-5122
Police Non-Emergency Number - (925) 931-5100
I've now stored both numbers (and Fire) on my cell phone.
Last week I was standing over and trying to help a young girl who had just been struck and seriously injured by a vehicle in front of a Pleasanton school and called 911 from my cell phone within seconds of the incident.
I was unable to get through on 911 and received a CHP recording. Fortunately the principal of the school was able to use a school line to get through directly. I later checked my cell phone timer and found that I had been holding for 2 minutes and 4 seconds before I hung up. I don't know how much longer I would have had to wait had the principal not been there with his phone.
My hat's off to the principal, police and fire. The 911 system was the missing link.
God forbid I ever have to use the emergency number but if needed, while in town and on my cell, I'm calling directly and bypassing the Vallejo routed 911 just to call the PD who were, as in that case, literally around the corner.
Hi MB...thanks for the info, this is important information as we are new to Pleasanton, but we are Pheasant Ridge neighbors. What a terrible tragedy, it sounds like a lot of people made poor decisions but you have to feel for all the families involved. Life can change in an instant.
I believe the student driver teacher that it did take that long. I've called 911 on my cell many times for drivers on one lane roads that appeared to be drunk- it took me almost 5 mins just to speak to someone cuz I was always transferred. Anyway, this should be a wake up call to all parents in the tri valley here. Many students go to parties on weekends and drink. It's sad that something tragic like this had to happen but this sort of thing does happen right here in our own community. It's not "over the hill" in some other town- it is and has been here in Pleasanton for many years. Yet I still hear from people that "it could never happen to me" or "my child/teenager doesn't do that." Parent's would be surprised at what kids really do when they "go to the movies."
What Sgt. Collins said about the emergency response not being delayed is pure baloney.
I was also one of the witnesses at the accident scene, and many of us kept saying, "Where is the ambulance?"
FYI, it was nearly 20 minutes before ANY police officer or firefighter arrived at the scene--and I've been reading my watch since I was 30, Sgt. Collins. I KNOW when people called 911 and I KNOW when the ambulance arrived--it was 10:17 a.m., nearly 20 minutes after the accident occurred and 19 minutes and 59 seconds after the first 911 call.
Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.
Why is there a cover up on the toxicology report? I heard last weekend what the results were, from a very senior someone in-the-know.
my call is the call that went through at 9:58am, i was there just after the accident occurred.
The comment from Sgt. Collins was that there were "officers" who showed up at times he mentioned. He did not comment as to when the ambulance arrived in the article as mentioned above.
I'm a new resident but have a son at Foothill, based on what he has told me and what I have read. The investigation and the reporting of it has an odor to it. It's a terrible tragedy, but there needs to be closure, for all the families involved as well as the community. I see someone used the word "cover-up", is that possible??
the driver's family has connections- this is starting to smell like a cover up.
What kind of connections can you have that the police would cover up the death of Lauren. I would really hope this is miss information.
A cover up that there daughter was drunk the night before and she and her friend were sickly hungover the next day. Possibly they don't want this information getting out to the public. If you are related to cops or close friends etc,it's not hard to keep things on the DL- I come from a family of police officers. Yes I agree with what others said about the cop and people showing up- I wasn't there but maybe many officers did show but not the ambulance. Cops don't have the same abilites as EMT's, which I'm sure any person would know. Cell phone companies need to figure this out cuz calling CHP 911 in a real emergency is costing lives.So tragic though =(
Well Pleasantonians, your lovely police officer's are dragging this on because they think it will be forgotten and they will make sure to make some type of mistake to let this teenager off the hook. Katie is not in jail, but relaxing. Healing from a head injury. While the fate of yet another young woman who does not get the same attention is resting in her bed forever. This is a travesty that is unjust and wrong from the city of pleasanton letting influences decide the fate of a guilty drunk driver. Toxicology does not take this long to transpire. I see drunk drivers daily get breath tests, blood work back within a matter of minutes and sometimes hours. This is dirty work at its best. Pleasanton residents need to make a stand for Lauren and her family for justice. Make justice happen people. Please for the safety of your children and friends and family!!!!!!!
Oh my gosh, no one told me that Mel Gibson was living in Pleasanton, still promoting his old movie, "Conspiracy Theory". I personally believe that the Pleasanton police are well aware of where Katie is - and that instead of it being "dirty" police work, they're dotting every "i" and crossing every "t". And as for the timing of the police and ambulances arriving, I watch enough Law & Order to know that the police always arrive first and then call for the ambulance. And from what I've read and heard, sadly, Laurel had already been killed and her body was lifeless when the police arrived. Think about it, they said that Katie's body flew out Laurel's window - Laurel was probably killed instantly. Do you really think there is ANYONE doesn't want to see Katie held responsible to the fullest extent of the law? The police had to see the bodies, help remove Laurel from Katie's car, and then go & tell the families - it must have broken their hearts. The whole thing is such a tragedy - so many lives changed forever. Let's unite as a community and help all of these families who have suffered such incredible losses these last two weeks.
Let's see, Blood Test from the hospital. What i's or t's need to be dotted to justify a DUI????? Oh, Pleasanton Officers are not that competent!!!!! It takes days, weeks, months to get the facts to file a DUI. Please, get over the half/a** attitude. The police do not remove anyone from the scene!!! It is the first responder who takes control or even an EMT. The driver was not seat belted in and flew out the passenger side. Laurel was alive for a short time....She was not dead on impact. Stop making excuses for the lack of respect and consideration to Laurel's family for the incompetent PD !!!! Thank God there was competent witnesses who tried to help when the accident occurred. Pleasanton PD is as useful as the side of the freeway garbage cleaners.
Just another note Law and Order would have made an arrest!!!! DUH DUH Great, a Pleasanton resident I probably live by basing this off of a TV show.
The naivete of the majority of bloggers in this string absolutely astounds me. I hear many of you commenting on how "disrespectful" the apparent sluggishness of this investigation is to Laurel's family... but clearly the only disservice is the ignorant speculation you bring to this forum, which is ultimately read by that very same family. When all is said and done I'd be quite interested to hear if their experience with the police was even remotely similar to what so many of you are suggesting. I went through a very tragic situation with the same Pleasanton Police many of you so quickly describe as inept and incompetent... I can assure you they were anything but that. The care they demonstated to my wife and I, calling us almost daily with progress reports, explaining protocols etc., was like nothing I would have expected from a public agency. I applaud the mom above who had the courage to take issue with what so many of you want to believe... SHE is the one who makes sense. CSI is great entertainment, but even the producer of the show will tell you they take extensive literary license when it comes to time compression so they can fit the episode into an hour. Blood work DOES NOT come back in just a matter of minutes or hours... not the blood work the COURT recognizes and will use in their prosecution. Nor am I aware of any situations where an ambulance would arrive within minutes... just how many of those white mercy wagons do you folks think we have floating around Pleasanton at any given time?? In my family's case, the police were on scene within five minutes, as was the same here, but our ambulance didn't arrive for another 15. Why? Because it was coming from Castro Valley. Typically fire personnel arrive far sooner than an ambulance and are more than capable of handling 80-90% of the on-scene lifesaving work the ambulance techs would do. Honestly, wise up people. If you think the local cops don't take these things seriously you're flat wrong... I personally watched two of Pleasanton's finest break down in the aftermath of our incident... unless you really know what you're talking about you simply need to have some faith that justice will be served. It just may not happen as quickly and YOU'D like it to.
Naive, are those who do not support the family that this has torn apart. I know more than speculation....Go to Pleasanton Court house and review public record.....No speculations there!!!! There needs to be justice, plain and simple......This was an unfortunate accident waiting to happen. Unfortunately, Lauren was the one who had to suffer. There should be no waiting for another situation like this to happen again. (Comment edited by Weekly staff)
If that is the excuse that you do not have the means of medical attention, stop upgrading your community with wine strolls and houses, and buildings, and apply funds to help save those in situations like this.....Finances are not being directed to where it is needed....To save innocent lives because you have to wait for out of area medical attention.
Foothill father, et al.,
Just a word of warning. The commenter may sign "mom", "parent", "concerned parent", etc., but could in reality be a teen trying to stir up things with speculation on such an emotional topic.
Just some points:
1) The results of any toxicology report are probably withheld during a pending investigation. Citizens are still innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Citizens are still guaranteed due process of the law. That is not a conspiracy.
2) Police don't normally arrest people with car crash injuries until after they've been medically cleared by a doctor.
Concerned parent of another pleasanton neighborhood, I don't know who you are or where you are getting your information but even if LAUREL was alive for a short time do you really think this needs to be posted on this website for her family to read. I'm sure they already know but have some decency and respect.
And by the way if you didn't catch it earlier in the blog, or in the articles or in hearing rumors, her name is LAUREL not Lauren You are so concerned about getting justice for this family yet you can't even get the beautiful girl's name right.
I am sure that the police already know what the blood alcohol level of these girls was that morning but they are waiting for a full toxicology report to absolutely make sure they are correct before giving information to the public. Instead of being concerned about both families, you people just seem to be nosy, the police know how this horrible tragedy has affected this entire community and the surrounding communities and are just making sure they are doing everything right, give them some time.
This has nothing to do with who Katie knows in the community I don't think the bloggers that are saying this know what they are talking about, they are just spouting off in anger. Katie will get punished for this if it turns out to be that she was under the influence.
No disrespect to anybody especially Laurel and her family but everybody is blaming Katie for this horrible accident and don't get me wrong she does need to take some of the blame if the facts come out to be that she was under the influence, but we have all been taught and taught others that you do not get into the car with somebody who has been drinking. Laurel was an adult and was capable of making her own decisions that day as well and I truly believe if it had been Laurel's car there that day instead of Katie's, she would have drove as well.
I am sure that Katie is not at home resting comfortably, she has to deal with the fact that her best friend is dead from horrible decisions that were made on both of their parts, and she is going to deal with that for the rest of her life.
I understand that anger is a part of grieving but we have to keep in mind that Katie is a human being and she does have feelings like the rest of us.
Both families and the 70-year old woman are in my thoughts and prayers everyday. To Laurel's family and friends, I am so sorry for your loss.
I have to agree with the last post. Laurel was also at the party she could have been the one driving Katie home. They are both to blame. And they are both paying for poor choices. This has been going on for a long time with these girls and I am sure that when they got in the car they did not believe that they were still drunk. Katie will pay for her choices for the rest of her life. Causing the death of her friend will be a much heavier cross to bear than any jail time will. Lets not forget the families that have been impacted by this. A 70yr old women was caught up in this, now she has to deal with this too. Parents need to tell kids if you chose to drink please call me and I will come and get you any time any where.
After having read two weeks worth of commentary about the October 20th Foothill Road collision on this forum I feel compelled to write. From a purely police perspective, blog venues such as this are simultaneously good and bad. On one hand they provide a viable outlet to vent frustration, air opinions and have somewhat meaningful dialog; alternatively, the associated anonymity of these forums allows for potentially destructive "stirring of the pot," be it maliciously intentional or otherwise, with absolutely no accountability whatsoever. Unfortunately it's the latter - as well as sheer ignorance on the part of many bloggers - that not only disrespects ALL families involved but also further complicates our on-going investigation. I've been in law enforcement for over 16 years and know all too well that tragedies such as this can either bring a community together or rip it apart... there's already been enough loss, so maybe it's time to dispense with the lynch mob mentality and move forward by seeing what can be done to lessen the likelihood of a recurrance. The demand for instant justice is understandable, but inconsistent with the constitution upon which this country was founded... these things take time and I'm fairly certain if it were your son or daughter involved in this incident you'd expect nothing less than the utmost care and professionalism in the investigation therof. I'd like to offer up my direct line to anyone who wants to understand what's really going on and is willing to forego the damaging speculation and rumors until they've at least talked to me. I can be reached at (925) 931-5186 Monday through Thursday, typically from 9am until 5pm. I won't be able to provide you with any "inside" information that isn't yet available for release, but I can certainly dispel some of the misconceptions many people have about the investigative process. I'd also be happy to discuss with anyone the various outreach programs already in place for both teens and their parents, all designed to address the issues of Teen Driving Safety. If you get my voicemail simply leave a message and I should be able to get back to you within 24 hours or less. Thanks...
Sgt. Collins wrote: "the associated anonymity of these forums allows for potentially destructive "stirring of the pot," be it maliciously intentional or otherwise, with absolutely no accountability whatsoever"
That drawback can be somewhat reduced by requiring people to register an online identity and login before being allowed to post, but unfortunately this forum isn't configured that way. The larger news outlets also tend to require registration and login prior to posting. I wish they did here.
Wow I never expected this forum to get like this. But I do agree with "parent from another community"- money not being spent in the right areas. Instead of having the wine strolls or tasting events, why not improve/create the programs that teens need. Lets be real here as well- DARE was very silly when I went through it as well as for my sibilings and friends. Once one has gone through DARE and understands their education, it comes off as another class, someone taught, where everything goes in one ear and right out the other. With this tragic event and the other's that have occurred recently, lets hope some programs will start up that focus on the needs of teenagers and not the needs of adult satisfaction.
One question though, will the girl who was driving the car still ge held responsible if her blood work is clean? She is 19 so I'm assuming she could still be tried as an adult.
I would hope some type of prevention in the future could be that parents offer safety and anonymity to their youth if they unfortunately decide to drink. I know it may not be preventable to stop under age drinking, but to let them know that they can call someone to pick them up and not get in trouble for making a smart decision to not drive. I know it sounds crazy , but it could be a way to save lives. When teenagers want to do what they want, we have a hard time stopping them. But if they had a safe person to call that could help them in that bind, and it could prevent more harm to themselves and others. If they know they will get in trouble, they may take a chance and the repercussions could be devastating. Just food for thought. I know everyone will not agree, but just a thought.
How about a program that will expose them to real life situations, going to a morgue to view a real DUI incident. Maybe that will help open the eyes of a teenager and why they do not want to drink and drive. And possibly not drink at all!!!!Maybe have them tour Santa Rita and be in there with the DUI s that come in 24 hours a day.
I know this was already stated before, but this is not just a problem with teenagers. My son was 16 when he was hit by a drunk driver. That drunk driver was over 60 years old. Did you read other local news recently. Within the past couple of weeks, a child was airlifted to Oakland Children's Hospital with head injuries after her parent's vehicle was rear ended by a drunk driver. This happened here in Pleasanton and I don't remember reading that the drunk driver was under age.
I see a huge movement by parents my age with teenagers pleading with them not to drink and drive. First, not to drink, but if you do for God's sake please don't drive. We just want them to survive their teenage years intact. Lord only knows we made many stupid choices ourselves at that age and are lucky enough to have survived it.
I believe these girls did try to follow what thier parents and teachers taught them about drinking and driving. They didn't drive until 10:00 am. To the parents of these girls, my heart goes out to you. I am so sorry for your pain.
Reading this blog absolutely breaks my heart. The media and television has really taught everyone to think that they know exactly what's going on. Who are we to decide what the right procedure is? We don't know everything. Let the police do their job, while we do all that we can to help this family and prevent these situations from occurring again.
I can't believe the ignorance of people in this area. I would have thought people would have joined together to support a family going through a crisis; a family in need. Instead you all run your mouths about it being a "conspiracy" theory. What a joke you've made this. Have some respect.
I so appreciate Sgt. Collins for making himself available to those to discuss. That shows his commitment to this case and also to this community. Thank you, Sgt. Collins.
May we all refocus on what's actually important.
Thank you Sgt. Collins. While we are new to the area, I have a son at Foothill and have been following the blog and the story, we do know a family directly impacted by the accident and while we do not know them well, I do know their entire family is devestated. My family's thoughts and prayers have been with the victims and their families...yes, including Katie.
We moved from an area that had so much for teens to do, the beach was the main culture, but it was ethicnaly deverse with something going on for kids every weekend. Not that it was perfect, like any where else, there were always opportunity for trouble. My Junior at Foothill has told me that the kids here only talk about drinking on the weekends, not something he mentioned at his previous high school. He attributes this to boredom and a lack of activities for teenagers in the tri-valley area. Now this may be accurate, or just his perception, but he did bring this up before the tragic accident and now this. Fortunatly, both of my children have found lots to do in Pleasanton with the excellent youth sports programs and excellent martial art studios.
Kids are going to drink, that is impossible to stop. But you all seem to have some pretty smart kids here, perhaps we can work on making sure they act responsibly and know someone they can call when things get out of hand. We are still getting setteled in here, over all we like it very much. Still we are a bit taken back by some of the recent news, a man shot in front of his home just down the road, kids taking golf carts and tearing up the local golf course, boredom again. I just hope I don't see too many more stories like the one we are blogging about in the future.
I'd like to offer this suggestion and though I know it is not foolproof it did work with a huge group of kids from Foothill. My husband and I made repetitive offers of help to drive anyone who had chosen to drink regardless of how much, when, where, or why. We'd get a call, make the pick up with no questions asked and no judgements made. I was shocked how many actually did take us up on it and the word seemed to get out to that general group of students. Kids called for rides who we didn't even know, but the word was out that we'd be there.
We were relentless with our insistance that drinking and driving was completely unacceptable and that there were options...through designated drivers, etc.
We had another rule that was impactful. If you came through our front door and had been drinking at all, then your keys were handed in and you stayed the night at our house...again, not being interrogated. It is our responsibility if a person leaves our home and drives drunk and I was determined not to have a child leave my house, with my knowledge of their prior drinking, and get behind a wheel. Many a night our house had extra sleepers in a safe and secure environment. Imagine if more parents were as insistent.
I know that not all kids are going to be open to this and many won't give a darn. But amazingly, if all you parents would impress upon your own kids and their friends and extended groups that your house is a safe house - you'll be surprised how many end up taking you up on the offer.
A side benefit? Many of the kids participated in becoming designated drivers and also became very responsible about looking after one another and not just themselves.
It's a small slice of this pie, I know, but a little is better than nothing.
I like your suggestion. Having younger children, I have thought about this a lot, but have not yet had to deal with it. My question for you is, how do you pick up your OWN child when they've been drinking and not reprimand them? I could hear them telling their friends "yeah, my moms cool, she lets me drink, as long as I call her for a ride." This is not the message I want to send to my kids, yet I don't want them to be afraid to call me if need be.
Ok, I'm only going to say this one more time.
I was one of the witnesses to the accident.
There were NO POLICE OFFICERS AND NO AMBULANCE ON THE SCENE FOR 20 MINUTES AFTER THE FIRST 9/11 CALL.
I don't care what Sgt. Collins says.
THERE WERE NO POLICE OFFICERS AND NO AMBULANCE ON THE SCENE FOR 20 MINUTES.
I'm deeply disturbed by Sgt. Collins' statement that we witnesses are a confused lot. Doesn't he realize how damaging this public statement is? He is, in effect, saying that we witnesses can't be trusted to give a reliable account of events. If we can't even tell the difference between 2 minutes and 20 minutes, then how can we stand up in court and be believed by a jury (if it comes to that) about the events we witnessed?
Why is the official Pleasanton Police Department spokesman undermining the credibility of every single witness to this fatal car crash? Because that's exactly what he's done. A good defense attorney will produce the conflicting police and eyewitness accounts and destroy the necessary "beyond a reasonable doubt" burden of proof that the state needs to pursue a manslaughter charge (again, IF it comes to that).
Why is Sgt. Collins making this statement? Are half a dozen eyewitnesses ALL wrong? Then why even bother to interview us about what we saw? I've been interviewed twice, but apparently I'm not credible witness--I can't even read a watch!
Something's not right here.
One more thing: I'm open to ALL possibilities regarding the accident. I have nothing against or for Katie. If this was just a tragic accident that does not meet the definition of manslaughter, then so be it. Terrible things happen in life.
Those who say that Katie is innocent until proven guilty are 100% correct. The public doesn't have all the facts of the case and shouldn't leap to any conclusions.
However, what I am reading are people who have already decided that Katie shouldn't be punished no matter what the circumstances of the case turn out to be. I'm also reading one alarming statement after another by Sgt. Collins that are entirely inappropriate in his role as official police spokesman. Sgt. Collins tells us in one sentence that he's not at liberty to divulge all of the evidence the police have gathered, and in the next sentence states opinions that the witnesses are confused and anybody who questions the police must have bad motives.
I am disturbed by many of the comments I've read here, some reflexively and unthinkingly supporting whatever the police say, and others apparently howling for Katie's head on a pole. I'm in a third camp: I want justice done. Fiat justitia, ruat coelum--let justice done, though the heavens fall. If the driver of the vehicle was intoxicated and driving recklessly, then she has committed a criminal act.
I was one of the witnesses to a horrible accident. I'm not eating and barely sleeping because of what I saw that day, so I know full well how traumatic this accident was for everyone who witnessed both the accident and the aftermath--that includes civilians and the police and ambulance crew who eventually arrived. I don't know everything about this case, only what I saw. There are many pieces to this puzzle, and it hasn't yet been assembled. I'm just disturbed by the apparent defensiveness of the Pleasanton Police Department's official spokesman and by the rush to judgment by the community, both by people who want to say that the driver of the Mustang has been "punished enough" by the death of her friend and by the people who want her arrested and charged immediately.
I am not saying there is a "conspiracy" of any sort, only asking why the police are claiming that every single witness at the accident scene can't tell the difference between 2 minutes and 20 minutes. If this is so, then the credibility of everything else we witnessed can and should be called into question, and essentially you have NO reliable eyewitnesses.
(portion removed by PW staff) I have witnessed the police department favor ones over others. Why was the gentleman arrested immediately after he was caught with his child in the car and he was drunk. This is an open shut case with every bit of evidence they need to begin the prosecution. The major thing different in this case, the one big devastating situation is that Laurel cannot be here to enjoy her life. Who can sit there and say this was an accident. It was a choice. Katie showed everyone the signs, and those who were closest to her did not give her ultimatums and now there is a death and a 70 year old woman that is scared for life. I am a first responder, this is unacceptable, and the PD should do their job and stop him hawing and pull their heads out of the dark and make an arrest.
There is public record available to everyone to see that there is a prior offense that the driver of this accident was involved in. It is everyones right to know who we have out there in our community driving around and getting into trouble.
I agree with what, I think the post was by Jim, by what he said. There needs to be some program where teens actually see stuff. Talking to teenagers only does so much- same thing with DARE. It goes in one ear and right out the other (some do listen, yes). But if teens are able to put visuals to what they have discussed, like going to a morgue or Santa Rita, it takes the topic to a new level that it is real. The smushed car on campus was good but I remember hearing, clearly, from another student "I drive all the time and smoke a joint." This was back in either '99 or '00- don't remember exact time. That wasn't that long and I highly doubt it has changed today. More teen programs are needed in Ptown!!!
"newbie" - Your example was and is the biggest challenge of this suggestions. My own children did not call me for a long time but they saw their friends call and they always told their friends to call, so in this case they learned by example. Later, they told me that they had relied on other parents they could trust as well as building a stronger "designated driver" system. They even brought drunk kids to our home who refused to go home, sure that this was a better option than leaving them out in public or vulnerable somewhere.
One New Year's Eve I did get a call. First from one son and then from another. The key was that they knew I was disgusted with them for their choices but I stuck with the fact that they did the right thing. Luckily this idea of taking 'some' responsibility has stuck with them.
This is NOT foolproof but it did have an impact on at least a portion of the highschool community. And I never stopped preaching that they were breaking the law and making poor choices. It was not a 'parent as friend' thing.
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