News

PPD: Student hit by van near Harvest Park; driver comes forward after media report

No charges in hit-and-run case so far; investigation ongoing

Pleasanton police are investigating an incident during which a minivan driver left the scene after striking a Harvest Park Middle School eighth-grader who'd crossed into the street during pickup near the school last Friday afternoon, according to a department spokesman.

The woman behind the wheel came forward on Monday and is reportedly cooperating with police after local television news stations picked up the story by posting photos of the injured boy and minivan involved as part of an interview with the boy's mother earlier on Monday.

No charges have been filed in the hit-and-run case, and the driver's name is not being released at this time with the investigation still ongoing, according to Pleasanton police Lt. Kurt Schlehuber.

The situation unfolded around 3:15 p.m. Friday when police responded to an off-campus student pickup area and found a boy had been hit by a minivan after he stepped off the curb and attempted to cross Greenwood Road between parked vehicles north of Valley Avenue, Schlehuber said.

The boy, who was walking toward his mother's parked vehicle, sustained injuries to his mouth and face that required medical attention, according to the lieutenant.

Witnesses told officers that the minivan continued traveling on Greenwood Road but soon parked and waited five minutes until her child arrived and they drove away, Schlehuber said. One witness captured video of the silver Toyota Sienna minivan and female driver on a dashcam, giving police their only lead at the time.

That changed on Monday, when the driver came to the police department and reported she was involved in the collision, saying she didn't realize she was involved until seeing a news story on social media, according to Schlehuber.

"We appreciate the community's support and help in identifying all involved parties in this case," Schlehuber said. "We are fortunate to have an involved public that helped get the word out and uncover all facts in this unfortunate event."

The woman gave officers a statement and is cooperating with the investigation, the lieutenant added.

Schlehuber also noted that Pleasanton police provide traffic school at various sites around town as the school year is coming to an end, but it is vital for motorists to always be aware when driving near schools.

"We understand the unique traffic issues that arise during pick-up and drop-off and are working with Pleasanton Unified School District on mitigating school traffic issues. Parents and citizens are reminded to use caution when driving in and around school sites while students are present," he said.

Anyone with information about the Harvest Park incident can contact police at 931-5100.

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Comments

10 people like this
Posted by Richard
a resident of Birdland
on May 7, 2019 at 4:53 pm

So she hit the boy and drove away. How can you not know you hit something. She realized Monday it was her involved after she saw the news story. I hope the young man is ok. She wasn't charged and is cooperating. Isn't that considered hit and run?


11 people like this
Posted by Ellen
a resident of Del Prado
on May 7, 2019 at 7:28 pm

And she wasn't charged with hit and run...WHY?


12 people like this
Posted by James Michael
a resident of Val Vista
on May 7, 2019 at 8:00 pm

James Michael is a registered user.

It's amazing that this doesn't happen more often. I see kids dart out on their scooters or skateboards or bikes just oblivious to the dangers before them while parents sit in their vehicles on their cell phones. So who is really to blame? I live near Donlon and I am never on the streets during drop off or pick up times.


14 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 7, 2019 at 8:24 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@James Michael,

The driver deserves the blame if it is hit and run.


9 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 7, 2019 at 8:32 pm

This person deserves to be charged with a hit and run.

They moved up the street to wait for their child?, they knew exactly what happened and chose to pretend nothing happened.


9 people like this
Posted by Kate
a resident of Birdland
on May 7, 2019 at 8:41 pm

How can she not be charged with hit and run? That is exactly what it was. She hit the boy and kept going. I don't understand this at all.
What makes this an nonchargeable offense? If it's not hit and run then what is it?
She didn't know it was her responsible until she saw the news report. That is crazy, she knew exactly what she did.


12 people like this
Posted by MeToo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 7, 2019 at 9:04 pm

Be careful out there! Everyone needs to take responsibility. Please teach your kids, to watch for vehicles, use caution and pay attention to traffic signals. But they are still kids, it is hard for them to anticipate when a driver's view may be blocked. So always assume that there are students crossing the street. This lady had to wait for 5 minutes, which means she wasn't in any hurry, and probably texting is why she didn't realize she nearly killed someone.

I'm surprised more high school students are hit as they are apparently oblivious to the do not walk signals around Amador.

Always remember, "pedestrians have the right away" will look good on your tombstone. It doesn't really matter if they have the right away if they are dead.


5 people like this
Posted by Ed
a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 8, 2019 at 6:57 am

Anyone have any insight as to why she isn't being charged with hit and run?
Because that is exactly what it was!


8 people like this
Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on May 8, 2019 at 9:11 am

Grumpy is a registered user.

Overall, I agree with the sentiment. However, she probably hadn't been charged yet because she said she didn't know she hit anything or anyone. You are required to know or reasonably know you were involved in a collision to be guilty. And that requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

How she could not have reasonably known is surprising. I hope that dashcam shows the actual collision, which can help prove that she should have reasonably known.


8 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on May 8, 2019 at 9:25 am

If this one slips by because the driver “ didn’t know that she hit someone” then we will all be targets out there for all these bad, inconsiderate drivers who can just state that they “didn’t know they hit someone”— sounds like a good excuse for a license to kill!!


5 people like this
Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on May 8, 2019 at 9:32 am

Grumpy is a registered user.

Map, no need to be extreme. Give the police time to develop their case. They aren't looking to let these go either.


3 people like this
Posted by Rich
a resident of Birdland
on May 8, 2019 at 10:55 am

I agree with Map!
Get in an accident that was your fault then just say I didn't know and you are home free. I call BS.


8 people like this
Posted by Frank Lynn
a resident of Valley Trails
on May 8, 2019 at 11:00 am

It seems to me if you hit someone with your mirror with enough force to break their teeth (as happened to the young victim), and you didn't notice - you're either impaired in some way, under the influence of drugs or alcohol or severely distracted - regardless you shouldn't be driving - and should be charged with hit and run and have your license revoked.

Pleasanton city and school board leadership over the years has kicked the can down the road on building new schools - now we have gerrymandered school districts that necessitate car travel with overcrowded pickups and drop-offs - in fact the Donlon overcrowding solution is to build a campus next door - which means more people on the same arterial street which will undoubtedly result in more bad driving behavior. Can't the school district team with a private bus service for the schools? I'm sure parents would be willing to pay an extra few hundred a year so they can get to work 30 minutes earlier every day and/or not risk their kids on bike and foot getting hit by the crazy distracted drivers in our neighborhoods.


4 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 8, 2019 at 11:13 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Frank, there’s Wheels. Maybe better routes are needed, but quite a few Amador students use it. Also, the district tried charging for busing and people did not pay. Tough for bus drivers to tell a student they have to walk. Tougher yet because buses were eliminated and drivers lost their jobs.

There are people working with the city to make our community more bike friendly, but I think we are a long way from parents having comfort with what we have so far. My opinion, but I think staff is focused on getting new facilities for themselves and increasing residential building. They don’t appear to be spending time on what a community of 100,000 needs to function safely, especially for the youngest (the district either).


16 people like this
Posted by Rider
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2019 at 12:35 pm

Rider is a registered user.

To all you people who are saying this woman should be charged with hit and run, from what I've heard, the boy hit the minivan, not the other way around. I heard he was on his skateboard and came racing out from between 2 parked cars and hit the side of the minivan as it was passing by. I completely believe that the woman didn't know the kid hit her car. She even stopped and waited ~5 minutes for her kid to arrive before driving away. Would someone who knew they were involved in an accident and wanted to run do that?


3 people like this
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on May 8, 2019 at 12:54 pm

@Grumpy- not being “EXTREME” just concerned about future accidents in this town that has changed for the worst with more and more bad, inconsiderate me first get out of my way drivers!! I’ve got my kids and my grandkids on full alert don’t take any driver for granted,watch out for red light runners, consider that stop sign a suggestion only for oncoming drivers, there is no pedestrian safety in this towns crosswalks, illegal u-turns on main st will happen right in front of oncoming cars, and if you are anywhere near a school zone at drop off or pickup beware of speeding SUV’s and Tesla’s


5 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 8, 2019 at 2:30 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Map - what do you have against Tesla?


5 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 8, 2019 at 2:33 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Rider,
Either way, the driver should be alert enough to know something hit her, or she hit something and stop and investigate. Cars are robust, but I can't think of a time that something of the size of a person hitting my car (or vice versa) wouldn't be felt.

Yes, you could be completely correct in the determination of liability or fault, but that doesn't absolve her of her responsibility as a licensed driver from fleeing the scene of an accident.


11 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 8, 2019 at 2:59 pm

It doesn't sound like she fled the scene - she waited for her child before leaving. I agree that drivers need to take responsibility on the road - but it sounds like she went to the police - not the other way around. Let's be honest, we are all lucky more accidents aren't happening. And it could be us next time. PEDESTRIANS do not take the initiative to keep themselves safe. They walk, run, ride right behind moving vehicles and expect the driver to see them. I know our cars are equipped with better safety features but WE ALL need to follow the rules of the road. Our parking lots are ridiculously designed nowadays. It is severely congested everywhere around here. People are texting as they walk, bike and drive. Let's all wait and see where the punishment lies in this accident. I'm sure the responsible party will be dealt with according to the law. And let's ALL be careful and responsible out there - especially when school bells ring. Walkers, bikers and drivers - do your part to make the streets safe for yourself and each other.


2 people like this
Posted by Franco
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 8, 2019 at 6:16 pm

For those who like Rider who "heard he was on his skateboard". No, he wasn't. Did you watch KPIX news interview with Alex? He did walk out between two cars and bears responsibility for not looking. His mother and many witnesses heard a loud bang when his face hit the mirror. There is no question that the driver knew she hit something. But kept going. Even if she thought she hit another car's mirror, she is supposed to stop.


10 people like this
Posted by traffic
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2019 at 6:32 pm

If something hit my passenger side mirror, I would not necessarily see it or hear it; therefore, I don't think you can presume a hit and run at all. This would be particularly true if the air conditioning was running. Also the driver did not run, but parked at the school, which is a far cry from speeding away from the scene.

There is a traffic nightmare at most schools and though K-5 students in lower grades are too young to know many of the conventions of crossing only at corners, the children in middle schools should really know better and should have been taught by the parents to cross at corners where there is someone from the city controlling traffic rather than to dart out in the road in the middle of the block.

Also is it true that the person who went to the television news the same person that regularly used to post on the Pleasanton Weekly as Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows ?


8 people like this
Posted by Doug
a resident of Birdland
on May 8, 2019 at 6:36 pm

@Franco :”Did you watch KPIX news interview with Alex? He did walk out between two cars and bears responsibility for not looking.....There is no question that the driver knew she hit something.”

Not taking sides here because I don’t know what really happened any more than anyone else here. But if the student did walk out between two cars without looking and impacted the side of a moving van, then wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that he hit the van, and not say that the van or the driver of the van hit him?


3 people like this
Posted by Franco
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 8, 2019 at 7:08 pm

traffic... your argument is really weak. No, the loud bang would be noticeable unless you have really poor hearing. Common sense tells anyone the AC is not THAT noisy. And Doug, yes, Alex bears responsibility here. But the driver, who is an adult mother, KNEW she hit something and bore an even greater responsibility to stop. But she did not. Various posters can make excuses for her like "traffic" is doing, but I quote: "On Monday, May 6, 2019 the driver of the Sienna came into the police department and reported she was
involved in this collision. She saw a news story on social media about the collision and realized she was
involved." Yeah, she knew she hit something...........


3 people like this
Posted by Doug
a resident of Birdland
on May 8, 2019 at 9:17 pm

@Franco :”And Doug, yes, Alex bears responsibility here. But the driver, who is an adult mother, KNEW she hit something and bore an even greater responsibility to stop.“

Again, I don’t want to belabor the point but if - as you suggested - the student was not looking and impacted the side of the van, it’s more accurate to say that “something hit her” rather than “she hit something”. So your sentence above should then read as follows:
“But the driver, who is an adult mother, knew that something hit her and bore an even greater responsibility to stop.“

I think that this sentence has a bit different of a feel and flavor than the sentence that you originally wrote.


5 people like this
Posted by traffic
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2019 at 9:33 pm

Franco, my argument is not weak because whenever my side mirror encounters anything, it folds back. I doubt I would hear a loud bang because it would not actually generate a "loud bang" as I said it folds back and tucks in as does most side mirrors that have been designed in the last two decades or so.

I don't think the driver knew anything hit her vehicle that as Doug more accurately states--the child hit her vehicle from the side after darting out between the cars without looking.

The Sienna driver did not hit the child. The child hit her vehicle from the side.




12 people like this
Posted by Grumpy
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on May 9, 2019 at 8:21 am

Grumpy is a registered user.

There are two different points here being made:

1) Who is at fault for the collision, and
2) Did the driver commit hit-and-run by knowingly fleeing the scene of a collision.

The answer to 1 may lean towards the kid, or it may not. We don't know enough. If the kid stepped into traffic without paying attention from between two parked cars, he may be entirely at fault. If that happens to be true, then I'd wonder why his parents didn't teach him not to do that...but then I'd say this collision will surely be the lesson. On the other hand, if he was standing there visible and the driver ignored him, then she's at fault, even if he isn't supposed to be there, because in California the pedestrian has the right of way at all times, whether or not he's also wrong.

The answer for 2 seems to be that she genuinely didn't know, given that she didn't flee the scene but happily pulled up a few more yards and waited. However, I tend to agree with the comments that there's no way you couldn't hear someone breaking their teeth on your mirror. It feels like negligence to me, though I trust the police will do a real inspection. Even if the driver is not at all at fault for the collision, if she drove off and should have known she hit something, she can be guilty of hit-and-run. It's a separate crime.


4 people like this
Posted by hmmmm
a resident of Birdland
on May 9, 2019 at 10:26 am

The very next day the kid was riding his skateboard downtown without a helmet and other kids had to tell him to get out of the street because a truck was coming. I've heard he's rather reckless. Hope this was a lesson learned on both sides.


4 people like this
Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2019 at 12:05 pm

She didn't KNOW??!! Right!! She only turned herself in because the police had her on tape and would have arrested her very soon if she hand not come forward. They are not charging her; is she a cop's wife??!!


1 person likes this
Posted by Birdie
a resident of Birdland
on May 9, 2019 at 12:27 pm

Guys, we are civil here! Going after the kid Alex is totally unwarranted, he could be an active teen but it is all about this incident. There were several who witnessed this incident

my firm belief is the lady knew it but did not think it was serious, but now to avoid a hit and run she is saying that.
The below news coverage is the only reason the person came forward bcos of fear, otherwise how can you know from hindsight that you may have hit someone,
Web Link

for eg. I may see the video of my van in a similar dashcam video, but I will be damn sure it will be a mistake just because my van was spotted and the dashcam did not show the actual incident, I would have known whether I hit something or not. No one wants a HPMS mom to go to Jail for felony but she needs to be responsible and own this up and do whatever is necessary in conjunction with Alex's parents.


1 person likes this
Posted by Rider
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2019 at 12:35 pm

Rider is a registered user.

Apparently what I heard about the kid being on an skateboard was inaccurate. However, I still do not automatically assume that this woman was aware she hit the kid. The sound of a dull thump of the kid's mouth hitting the side view mirror could easily be drowned out by other noise in the car such as a radio playing or the blower fan running at high speed. It is also possible that this woman does not hear well. Of course, if this woman stopped, looked at the boy bleeding on the ground and then drove off, that would be a different story.

Anyway, the police will investigate this. If they find convincing evidence that indicates she was aware she hit the kid but drove off anyway, she will be charged with hit and run. Until then, she is innocent until proven guilty.


Like this comment
Posted by Franco
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 9, 2019 at 12:42 pm

traffic.... The boy's face and the mirror came together at a speed of about 20 MPH. Go to your vehicle, put on your hand something like a boxing glove, and punch your mirror with a strong punch so it very abruptly folds fully back. Preferably swing your fist at the mirror at 33 feet per second (20 MPH). Did you hear something? Of course it makes a loud bang. Many witnesses heard it. Perhaps being inside with the AC on is weak argument to explain not hearing it.
Grumpy..... yes, there are two issues here. Who is at fault and separately, leaving the scene of an accident.
hmmmmm.....You seem to be intentionally spreading false news. You are trolling this thread. Totally untrue what you write.


2 people like this
Posted by Vigy
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on May 9, 2019 at 2:58 pm

Vigy is a registered user.

None of you have considered the possibility of hearing impairment. You can be licensed to drive without ANY hearing.


7 people like this
Posted by James Michael
a resident of Val Vista
on May 9, 2019 at 7:08 pm

James Michael is a registered user.

Social media has rendered the verdict. Get the cell ready.


Like this comment
Posted by hmmm
a resident of Birdland
on May 9, 2019 at 8:00 pm

Franco.... calm down...... you really think I'm sitting here making stuff up, hahah.....this is why these forums are so ridiculous. I'm not spreading false news, my daughter was downtown the next day and couldn't believe he was fine and downtown riding his skateboard after getting hit by a car.


Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 9, 2019 at 8:56 pm

Vigey,
Maybe a mental lapse, or wormhole from alderon, or siezure, or passed out ftom smelling her own fart but then wss startled by the collision


6 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on May 10, 2019 at 7:46 am

hmmm,
Yes, I agree with you. This is why these forums are so ridiculous. People post gossip all the time with little thought, such as how the kid darted out on a skateboard or how the driver is a terrible person. It is judgemental, ugly, and doesn't help anything. Worse yet is when people believe the gossip.

My son was also downtown the next day and said Alex was in a parking lot, not the street. Who is correct? There may be a truth, but also a falsehood. I quit playing telephone back in elementary school! It is great to hear that his injuries weren't more severe and he could get back to hanging with friends and that the driver came forward.


1 person likes this
Posted by Mickey
a resident of Birdland
on May 11, 2019 at 11:37 pm

@Rider,

You know nothing. I am Alex's dad and the rear cam and the statements to the police, from various students and other drivers contradicts, with facts, what you heard. Don't spread rumors here. You are entitled to your opinion, but don't post [removed offensive language] you know nothing about.


1 person likes this
Posted by Mickey
a resident of Birdland
on May 11, 2019 at 11:48 pm

@hmmmm

Alex was not downtown the next day. He was on the couch next to me.....which is also on video.

Post what your daughter saw, or don't spread rumors.


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

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