Posted by Qwerty, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2010 at 11:36 am
It is always sad to hear about a fatal accident, but I have to ask what a pedestrian was doing on I-580. Was this someone who was on the side of the road dealing with a car problem? Or was it someone who was walking on the shoulder to reach a call box?
Posted by art lover, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Feb 1, 2010 at 9:12 am
New 2010 law that went into effect- If there are people pulled over to the side of the road (I'm not sure if there have to be cops there or not) and you have the room to get over to the left and don't- that is an over $700 fine AND 3 points on your record. This just happened to a driver from Pleasant Hill. 2 Cops had pulled a car over on the side of the road, and he did not get over a lane, so the 2nd cop pulled him over!
It is very dangerous to be on the side of the road for whatever reason- and maybe you have a better chance if you stay in your car. A semi hitting a pedestrian or a car, however, is not a good thing no matter what.
Posted by p-town girl, a resident of the Laguna Vista neighborhood, on Feb 1, 2010 at 12:56 pm
we went through this mess yesterday. So sad to see... but the cars involved did not have hardly any damage. looked to me more like they pulled over voluntarily after seeing the pedestrian hit. there was a car pulled over a ways before the accident scene, so it could be that the person had broken down or something, then got out of his car.
Posted by Arroyo, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 1, 2010 at 1:18 pm
"Art Lover" -- This is the second time I've heard of this new law.
Never saw anything in the news about it, but apparently many people are being ticketed. $700 + 3 points is a MAJOR penalty. It seems unfair that there wasn't a better effort to make the public aware of the new law. I understand the reasoning, but this seems to be another of those "arbitrary" situations where an officer makes the decision as to whether a ticket is warranted, or not. I imagine there will be many contested citations.
I usually try to move over to the left when I see cars, tow-trucks, or police officers, on the right shoulder. Sometimes, it isn't easy to do. It would help the flow of traffic on the freeways if the CHP, when possible, would make those they pull over travel to the next freeway exit and find a resonably safe place to park.
Sorry, to hear about the guy who was killed. It usually takes some investigation to learn exactly why it happened.
Posted by Laura, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Feb 1, 2010 at 1:51 pm
I was riding (thankfully not driving) in the car directly behind the poor big rig driver. He did everything he could to avoid that man who ran out in front of him. I can only imagine what he is going through as I continue to replay the accident in my mind over and over as I saw him skid down the slow lane to the right of my car. Being hit a total of 3 times while in the slow lane (2 other cars could not swerve in time) crushed his head and left pieces of skull and brain all over the highway...something my knowledge of CPR was not going to be able to help as I had hoped. An image I will not soon forget...
Yes he was dead on impact as evidenced by no blood from the body for the hour it lay on it's side/stomach. His heart had stopped before the 2nd and 3rd time he was struck. I think he ran in front of the semi around 9:15am based on when I looked at the clock just before it happened (to see how late we were going to be to church services). But 9:20 is close enough. It took almost 10 minutes for rescue workers to show up due to interstate entrances, etc. We were trying to figure out how to cover the body with all the traffic continuing to pass and the pieces of skull all over the road...no one had a solution. Finally rescue workers brought a yellow blanket.
And no there was not a 12-car pile up. Only 2 fender benders of cars attempting to avoid the body. One car attempted to back up to help block the body and was then rear-ended. Others were those who stopped to help in some way. Still though, this selfish man affected many people he didn't even know, much less if he had a family. Based on how my sleepless night went last night, I feel desperately sorry for the truck driver and this man's family.
Posted by Andrew, a resident of another community, on Feb 1, 2010 at 6:13 pm
I drove past the scene of this shortly after it happened. I am still having serious trouble dealing with what I saw. I did not sleep well last night at all, I could not get the vision out of my mind. It is very disturbing, very traumatic. All day at work today I kept seeing it, I had to stop what I was doing at one point to re-compose myself. All that said, I did not see 12 cars - I saw 6 cars and the big rig pulled over on the side of the freeway. The man appears to have been struck in the far right lane, and the skid marks left by the truck seem to indicate that he tried to swerve out of the man's way. My initial thought as I passed was that this was a suicide, and the Contra Costa Times indicated that it appeared to be a suicide, as stated above. There were no cars or vehicles that I could see on the side of the road adjacent to the body, they were parked on the shoulder much further down. There were about a dozen CHP cars and some other emergency personnel.
I feel terribly for the family of the deceased, as well as the driver of the truck that struck him. As much as seeing what I saw affected me, I can't even fathom how the driver of the truck must feel. I wish I hadn't seen it, I am having a terrible time dealing with the vision of what I saw.
Posted by Linda, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 1, 2010 at 6:39 pm
My husband and I drove past this scene right after and you explained it just right. I wish I hadn't seen this because for me also it is hard not to keep thinking about it. I too have to try so hard not to have it replay in my head. I said many prayers for this man last night and his family and all involved. It was just awful.
Posted by Andrew Range, a resident of San Ramon, on Feb 1, 2010 at 8:53 pm
I'm sorry you had to see that as well. I had never been exposed to a scene like that before, and having seen it firsthand, I feel for everyone who had to see that and every other scene like it. I never fully understood how traumatizing seeing something like that could be. The freeway wasn't terribly busy at the time, but as traffic was moving slowly I'm sure a lot of people saw the same thing I saw.
It is unfortunate that I have to drive along there every day on my way to work in the morning. I did not see the skid marks on the road until this morning when I passed, and the whole rest of the way to work I could not help but think about the intense heartache the truck driver must feel now, and will surely continue to feel for a long, long time. I don't think you ever forget that sort of thing. I cannot possibly imagine the feeling of total helplessness, the immense fear he must have felt when the man stepped out. To be in that position, where there is nothing you can do, I just don't even know what to say about that. I grieve for the family of the man who died, but every bit as much I feel so badly for the truck driver, since he now has to live with that vision for the rest of his life. Though it is not even remotely his fault, I can still imagine the guilt and sorrow he must surely feel, and it tears me apart to think about it.
I'm not looking forward to having to drive past there every single day for the foreseeable future. Very, very sad what happened. I don't think I can say any more, except to say that I feel for everyone who has been affected by this. You have all of my best wishes, for whatever little bit that is worth.
Posted by disgusted, a resident of another community, on Feb 2, 2010 at 9:55 am
Gee thanks Laura for the graphic description of the accident. Now I and those that read it will be able to sleep soundly. And, talk about selfish.......your statement "I was riding (thankfully not driving)...... What could that mean, other than....(better their car, instead of mine... Before you judge the man that IN YOUR OPINION committed suicide, learn ALL the facts.
Posted by Maybe?, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 2, 2010 at 8:13 pm
... maybe what Laura meant by "I was riding (thankfully not driving)...... " was that she was so shaken by what she saw that she knew that if she were driving she wouldn't have had the strength or presence of mind to operate her car safely.
I have no doubts that this was a horrifying incident to witness or to come upon soon after. And, as others have said, what deep despair must have led a person to this final action, one that affected so many others?
Posted by disgusted, a resident of another community, on Feb 3, 2010 at 6:24 am
Now WHO is judging? Birdland and Del Prado residents? My point was that she was so graphic in her description, that it sounded as though she got pleasure out of describing every detail. She made me sick with her first hand knowledge. Save it for the Police report!
Posted by cryptic, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Feb 3, 2010 at 8:41 pm
I know exactly what you were trying to say. It was just a bit too much information. I have a sister who is mentally ill and it hurts everytime I hear people who are not as lucky as her...people who are sick and can't get help. Suicide it is a selfish thing but also so very sad and lonely I would assume.
And to Laura...maybe you could redirect and reword what I am sure you did not mean to come across as heartless...somethings are better left unsaid.
Blessed be to all who have been affected by this tragedy
Posted by Laura, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 5, 2010 at 2:49 pm
'What does it matter' and 'so sad' - Reactions happen from people like this (disgusted) are for a reason. It does not help to get upset at them as well. We, as humans, are not meant to see these images and in a country as blessed as ours, we are spared these images unlike numerous other countries. You are correct to the suicide. There were numerous police that told us the hour that we waited at the accident that yes it was a suicide. They had his wallet, keys, something that appeared to be a cell phone, all from his car he had left back further.
‘Linda’ & ‘Andrew’ - I am sorry for what you saw. Many people passed on the way west that morning and the only thing we could've done to block him from people (many even had video cameras and that was very helpless and frustrating). I am thankful help did arrive when it did, but a lot of traffic passed before that time. I, too, am having a HORRIBLE time revisualizing everything that happened 50 yards in front of us.
‘Maybe?’ – Thank you for reading with an open mind to understand what I meant. My thankfulness is in fact that I was not the driver of my car, but that my boyfriend was. I was so focused on this man in the road that he had to redirect me to stay in my car until the fender benders even quit happening, otherwise I would have been running up for assistance in the middle of all of those accidents. My boyfriend had the presence of mind to not only avoid the body who had not landed in the slow lane yet but to also know NOT to brake and cause the people behind him to wreck, but to slow down and watch what the semi was going to do.
‘Cryptic’ – I apologize that it was difficult to read. What I wrote was in an attempt to clarify several miscommunications on several websites so I wrote that story to clarify and posted in on several pages. It needed to be clear that no one that hit him was at fault and that CPR was not a viable option. I, myself am a special education teacher at a non-public school that serves students with autism and mental impairments that are wonderfully caring and loving people. My aunt is also mentally handicapped and as a result of her I joined the field I am in and also abhor phrases like “that’s retarded,” etc. The rest of your concerns I will address next…
And to ‘Disgusted’ – I am disappointed that you choose to take your anger and frustration out on me and on so many. I would rather you take it out on me than on others that you consider narrow-minded for not learning all the facts. If that is only me on that boat, then so be it. I know this is not a pleasant topic however please, in the future, do not be so quick to judge what you think people mean. The trouble with written medium is that intonation and affect are lost in personal translation. The statement “I was riding (thankfully not driving) in the car directly behind the poor big rig driver” is self-explanatory. You jumped without fully comprehending what you were reading. Perhaps if I had written “I was riding in the car (thankfully not driving) directly behind the poor big rig driver” would have made you more sympathetic. Had you been one of my friends attempting to comfort me and my boyfriend in these last few days, you would have heard the exact same level of detail (we have been told my counselors and the cops that day to talk about it as much as we can). The ability to edit my thoughts is not a luxury I have learned yet but I apologize for what was too graphic for you. In an attempt to help this man, we stopped. We stayed even after knowing CPR would work for the man because we felt it important to help clear the truck driver's name...people were asking if he was negligent. I hope that deep-down you realize no pleasure can ever be derived from this experience from any view point. This is the image that many saw on the road that we were attempting to cover with a blanket. This is the image that will take days/weeks/longer?/never? to erase from my mind and many others’ minds. First-hand knowledge is what helped the police understand the big rig driver was NOT negligent and many others that heard about the story. Focus your frustration on me towards prayer and good thoughts for the truck driver, the 2 other cars that struck Mr. Lopez, and for Mr. Lopez’s family. They need positive energy, as so many others will too...
Finally, I do want to say, I have never seen a better truck driver. Not only did he maintain control over his big rig and not fishtail or start flipping down the road (killing who knows how many more), but he was able to pull to the shoulder a short distance from the accident. My thoughts go out to him and to Mr. Lopez’ family during this difficult time.
As ‘Andrew’ said, You have all of my best wishes, for whatever little bit that is worth.