Police Bulletin | November 18, 2022 | Pleasanton Weekly | PleasantonWeekly.com |

Pleasanton Weekly

Community Pulse - November 18, 2022

Police Bulletin

One dead after successive crashes on I-680 in Tri-Valley

A driver was killed after her vehicle was involved in four separate crashes in quick succession on Interstate 680 near the San Ramon-Dublin border early Saturday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The decedent was identified by the Contra Costa County Coroner's Division as Angel Beth Green, 46, of Sacramento.

The situation unfolded just before 3 a.m. Saturday on southbound I-680 just north of the Alcosta Boulevard interchange in San Ramon, according to CHP Officer Tyler Hahn.

A Mercedes C230 struck the center divider in a solo crash that occurred for unknown reasons, causing the sedan to stop in the left-most, No. 1 lane. "Shortly after coming to rest, a Ford Fusion collided with the disabled Mercedes, causing the driver of Mercedes to be ejected," Hahn said.

The Mercedes sedan then came to rest in the No. 3 lane of the freeway, where it was hit again -- this time by a semi-truck, a collision that sent the Mercedes back toward the center divider where it struck another vehicle that was stopped in the median, according to Hahn.

The driver of the Mercedes -- later identified as Green -- was pronounced dead at the scene. No other parties involved in any of the crashes reported being injured, according to Hahn.

The successive crashes led emergency responders to close all lanes of southbound I-680 through the area for just over an hour early Saturday morning. Hahn said the No. 2 lane reopened first, at 4:17 a.m., followed by the No. 1 lane at 6:08 a.m. and the remaining lanes at 7 a.m.

The causes of the collisions remain under investigation. Alcohol is not believed to have been a factor at this point, according to Hahn.

-- Jeremy Walsh

In other news

* The Livermore Police Department collected nearly 100 firearms, along with ammunition and gun magazines, during its first gun buyback event, held on Nov. 5 at Cornerstone Fellowship.

The department reported that the participants "included people who inherited firearms and didn't know what to do with them. Many appreciated the service to safely discard them. Others chose not to have guns in their home so they wouldn't end up in the wrong hands."

The total haul saw people turn in 94 firearms, including one gun that had been reported stolen, along with 26 gun magazines and 55 pounds of ammunition, according to the department.

"We are pleased with the success of our gun buyback and want to thank our faith-based and law enforcement partners who helped with the event," Livermore Police Chief Jeramy Young told the Weekly. "This event allowed those who no longer wanted to own a firearm with a safe option."

The city-operated program offered a $100 Safeway gift card to each person who submitted an operable gun, with $8,300 worth handed out overall that day -- non-operable guns, plus ammo and magazines, were also accepted but not eligible for a gift card.

-- Jeremy Walsh

* The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority announced a settlement last Friday, with the families of eight victims of last year's shooting at the Guadalupe Light Rail Yard, including Dublin resident Jose Hernandez III.

The eight families filed wrongful death lawsuits earlier this year against the VTA, Santa Clara County, the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office and the security company tasked with protecting the rail yard, Universal Protection Service, over accusations of failing to investigate or take action after workers complained about the shooter's actions while at work.

VTA Board Chair Chappie Jones said the agency wanted to "move swiftly to meet the families' needs." The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

"We commend VTA for agreeing to provide a prompt resolution for our families as to their claims against VTA," said the families' attorneys Gary Gwilliam, Philip Borowsky, Jeff Rickard, Randy Strauss, William Mayoff and Richard Alexander in a joint statement.

Nine VTA employees -- Hernandez III, 35; Abdojlvahab Alaghmandan, 63; Adrian Balleza, 29; Lars Lane, 63; Michael Rudometkin, 40; Paul Megia, 42; Taptejeep Singh, 36; Timothy Romo, 49; and Alex Fritch, 49 -- were killed during the shooting at the maintenance yard on West Younger Avenue in San Jose.

A 10th worker, Henry Gonzales, was found dead in his home in August 2021 of an apparent suicide after witnessing the shooting.

The families of Fritch, Megia, Rudometkin, Singh, Alaghmandan, Hernandez III, Romo and Lane filed three separate lawsuits on May 26, 2022 -- the one-year anniversary of the shooting -- arguing that the VTA agreed to a $50 million security contract with the sheriff's office and Universal Protection Service, both of which allegedly failed to conduct proper security screening, risk mitigation efforts and surveillance.

The lawsuits also alleged that the shooter, 57-year-old Sam Cassidy, has a "pattern of insubordination," had been involved in multiple altercations with co-workers and that VTA workers had agreed he was the most likely staff member to "go postal."

Cassidy opened fire around 6:30 a.m. during a shift change at the rail yard. More than 40 employees were on site at the time. Law enforcement officials determined Cassidy killed himself before he could be confronted or apprehended.

As part of the settlement, the eight families have withdrawn their lawsuits.

Lars Lane's family is the only one that has not settled with the VTA, according to the transit agency.

-- Eli Walsh, BCN Foundation

* The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department last weekend impounded a car that was allegedly involved in a sideshow in Livermore last month.

Livermore police highlighted the investigative breakthrough in a social media post, saying deputies in L.A. stopped the vehicle in their jurisdiction on Saturday night.

"The registered owner of the car now faces thousands of dollars in tow and storage fees," LPD said. "Sideshows are illegal and will not be tolerated in Livermore. Anyone engaging in sideshows could be cited, arrested and their vehicles impounded."

The case goes back to Oct. 1, when two vehicles were seen participating in a sideshow at the intersection of First and L streets in Livermore around 10 p.m. A Livermore police lieutenant observed a black Lexus sedan spinning donuts while a large crowd gathered around the car, according to the department.

The lieutenant filed for a court order for the car, which fled the scene, to be impounded for 30 days for reckless driving if it was located by law enforcement.

-- Jeremy Walsh

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