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3 sent to hospital after head-on crash

Original post made on Jul 19, 2008

Three people were sent to a hospital Friday afternoon following a head-on collision involving a wrong-way driver on a Pleasanton roadway, according to the Police Department.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, July 19, 2008, 3:13 PM

Comments (33)

Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Jul 19, 2008 at 8:17 pm

Isn't this the same location where Laurel Williams was killed. It's a really dangerous blind curve with very limited visiblity of on-coming traffic. Be very cautious at that location.

Posted by Judy
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 21, 2008 at 2:26 pm

The driver in the Focus is a friend of mine. No idea why she was on the other side of the road but she does have multiple sclerosis and I wonder if that was a factor in her reaction time. She is badly hurt and this will be a life-changing event for her. She will need to give up her home and dog and change her lifestyle completely to compensate for her injuries. I saw the cars involved and it is amazing how much damage two cars at 40 mph can do (or an 80 mph impact). Hope the other drivers will be okay and recover quicker and less tragically than my friend. Thank God they were in a Lexus.

Posted by Beatrice
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 21, 2008 at 2:43 pm

She needs to give up driving, too.

Posted by John
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jul 21, 2008 at 4:58 pm

I'm surprised that the police officer quoted said that the posted speed limit was 45 at that location. It is 45 for the northbound (uphill) traffic, but it is 35 for the southbound (downhill) traffic at that curve for the very reason that it IS a blind curve, there are driveways coming up on the right and there is an increased speed and momentum picking up from the downhill curve itself. Granted, the driver is said to have been going only 40 down the hill, but that can still be an unsafe speed.

The other person who posted is correct; that's around the same spot where the other car lost control last October. People should slow down there to the posted speed, even if you have 100% confidence in your own abilities. What if there is a deer in the road right around that blind curve and you have to swerve because you can't stop in time?

Best wishes for those involved in the accident; healing thoughts for a speedy recovery.

Posted by Lee
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jul 22, 2008 at 8:46 am

This particular curve has been the scene of many accidents and at least 3 fatalities since we have lived here. We have warned our children when they are driving at night to be very careful. On the west side of the street there is not a side walk or shoulder as the road curves down hill into a blind turn. My understanding is that the developments have paid for the improvements to the surrounding parts of Foothill Rd as they have been built. The lack of improvements on this side of the street has created an even more dangerous situation. Many of the accidents that happen here don't hit the papers. I really hope that the city takes a serious look at this very dangerous portion of Foothill before there is another serious life changing or fatal accident. Perhaps large warning signs about this blind curve and an enforced reduction of the speed limit would help.

I too hope and pray for a speedy recovery for those in this latest accident.

Posted by Drive Slowly
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2008 at 9:49 am

If I am not mistaken, Foothill Road is not a City street... If not a City street, Pleasanton is not responsible to either maintain or police the street.

Posted by Lee
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jul 22, 2008 at 10:27 am

It is within city limits. Why wouldn't it be a city street? Check out this link.

Web Link

Posted by Drive Slowly
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Foothill Road MAY not be a City street...any more than I-680 is a City street. I-680 is also within Pleasanton city limits as shown by the Web Link posted above by Lee of Highland Oaks on July 22, 2008 at 10:27 AM.

Posted by Drive Slowly
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Foothill Road MAY not be a City street...any more than I-680 is a City street. I-680 is also within Pleasanton city limits as shown by the Web Link posted above by Lee of Highland Oaks on July 22, 2008 at 10:27 AM.

Posted by Grace
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jul 23, 2008 at 10:05 pm

I agree that we should "Drive Slowly", but I think that the person who is posting with this name/handle is a bit confused. I have seen Pleasanton Police regularly patrol Foothill Rd. and respond to traffic accidents and violations there. How can Foothill *not* be a part of incorporated Pleasanton and *not* a city street when Foothill High School in the Pleasanton Unified School District is located on this road?


Posted by Lee
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jul 24, 2008 at 9:46 am

The debate should not be centered around whether or not Foothill is a Pleasanton City Street. This section of road is extremely dangerous with three serious accidents in the past 18 months, which include one fatality. It is irritating that someone out there is more concerned with abdicating any responsibility on the part of the city than with looking at a possible way of making this less dangerous. It seems constructive solutions to a dangerous situation would be more appropriate.

Posted by unclehomerr..
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 25, 2008 at 8:44 pm

Southbound on Foothill.. after North Muirwood, and before Highland Oaks, there is a yellow warning sign very close to the right edge of the road.

I think it would be a natural tendency to 'ease' to the left, a bit, when approaching/passing this. If someone wasn't paying full attention, or perhaps had been drinking, the reaction might be more of a 'jerk' than an 'ease'.

Could this be part of the problem??


Posted by Grace
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jul 25, 2008 at 9:46 pm

Possibly, yes, that could have some bearing on the situation, although I don't think that drinking had anything to do with the latest accident. Lee is absolutely right; this is a dangerous curve, with no sidewalk, no shoulder on the right, no room for swerving or error. In addition to the possibility of deer on the road during dusk or night hours, there are often bicyclists during the daytime hours, and if they are riding side by side, there is even less room for cars and less time to react to the situation. Instead of splitting hairs about who is responsible for patrolling this road, I agree that there should be some group organized to investigate what can be done to make this stretch of road safe for all. Any takers?

Posted by Ricardo
a resident of Oak Tree Acres
on Jul 28, 2008 at 1:23 am

ok can we like get rid of foothil rd already

Posted by Paul
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Jul 28, 2008 at 11:01 am

Deadmans curve. Apology for the pun.
That's our familiy knickname for this bend.
There should be be immediate action taken before another catastropy occurs. Is it the bureaucracy that's killing us?
Can we get some more signage and drop the speed limit please?
How many more will succumb to this killer corner on Foothill?

Posted by Really
a resident of Foothill Place
on Jul 28, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Is it really that hard to stay on your side of the road around a turn? Maybe some people just should not drive. Or just slow down when you get to the turn.

Posted by Lee
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jul 28, 2008 at 10:31 pm

For "Really": That is unbelievably trite and simplistic. Judging from the posts, those that live around Foothill Road know that there is a problem. In fact it is our friends, neighbors and their kids who have been the first on the scene to witness the serious injury and death that have happened here. We get a first row seat when the life flight helicopter lands on Foothill Rd., not for a high school program but for the real thing. We have gotten first hand narratives that have not been cleansed by the newspaper. Worse yet, we get a close up of mangled bodies and twisted metal. (In one of the fatalities several years ago a high school age boy was the first on the scene. My neighbor's niece was killed and the daughter of the another neighbor was the first one on that scene and my husband has the memory of a boy in a red honda a number of years ago.)

At the end of the day the widening, narrowing, developing, and not developing Foothill Road, has made this curve very dangerous. This certainly doesn't look much like "planned progress" to me.

Posted by Old truck driver
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Jul 29, 2008 at 7:53 am

Back in the 60's before 680, Foothill road was the main north south highway east of 880. I used to drive 18 wheelers over this highway 2-3 times a week on my way to Stockton and back. We drove 40 to 50 mph in some spots, 30 in others. But we drove with caution and awareness of the area. Most of all the accidents that have happen on Foothill were caused by human error. No amount of warning signs, widening of the road (would just make drivers speed up) or police patroling is going to make people drive responsibly. I walk Foothill every day. I see these mothers pick up their young ones from school and then drive off down Foothill as fast as they can. Great driving lessons for their childern. But lets blame all this on the city, the police, the planning department, the Mayor, me. Wake up. It's the drivers.

Posted by Sam
a resident of Foothill High School
on Jul 29, 2008 at 2:14 pm

I agree with Lee: one way or another, we need to do something to improve that dangerous section of Foothill Road, whether it's through the city, county, or state government.

I'm so sorry to learn of yet another tragic accident on that same section of road, and remain puzzled as to why we, as a community, haven't done anything to address the safety concerns about that section of Foothill after poor Laurel Williams was killed in virtually the same spot.

Enough is enough. Improving that section of road shouldn't be too hard: the government has eminent domain and can claim whatever property it needs to widen and straighten that section to make it safer. The police should also be running speed patrols on that section of road as often as they can manage it. They may be already, but I drive Foothill Road daily and I don't see the police there all that often.

As to whether or not Foothill is a "Pleasanton city street"...if it's not, then why are Pleasanton motorcycle police units running speed checks on Foothill Road and handing out speeding tickets if Foothill Road is out of their jurisdiction?

Posted by still
a resident of Foothill Place
on Jul 31, 2008 at 12:42 pm

Yet again its the drivers and their decisions they have made. If you don't like the road don't drive it. Why people like to drink and drive is unexplainable and even worse that they choose to drive foothill road is just stupid. I jst dont understand how someone sober going around a turn cant even stay in their lane. It boggles my mind.

Posted by Lee
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 1, 2008 at 1:20 am

One of the things that is being over looked is that in a head on collision, one vehicle may very well be driving safely in their own lane. People who bare no responsibility whatsoever have been severely injured or killed here. And what about the single car accidents that end up in the sound wall? Wouldn't it be tragic if someone were on the side walk?

Maybe some of you remember when Highway 17 did not have a center barrier. There were many head on collisions and traffic deaths until finally a center divide was put up. Would you suggest that should not have been done? Maybe a concrete divider around the Foothill curve would protect the innocent people that get wrapped up in these accidents.

I have been born and raised in that Bay Area. In terms of traffic and population you simply cannot compare it to the 60's especially in this valley. These were country roads in an area with a fraction of the population, no freeways, and very few developments. I think we as a community do have a responsibility to help identify and then rectify situations that hurt innocent people.

Posted by Old truck driver
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Aug 1, 2008 at 8:40 am

Traffic in the 60's Bay Area on two lane roads was the same as today as far as having to use caution and stay alert. Highway 17 is a high speed 4 lane highway. In no way like Foothill road. What about the rest of Foothill to Sunol? This is a case of a bad driver, not the road. I don't understand the thinking of some of these people who post here. The first post the writer is so concerned about her friend but shows none for the person that was killed. She is more worried about the woman losing her house and dog. The person killed lost his life.
Another posted using eminent domain to take people's homes so we can widen Foothill. Lets start with yours. Organize a group. Are there that many traffic engineers out there who want to join or are you going to use stay at home moms? We have a traffic engineer downtown, has anyone talked to him. Please do so before they take my home for street development. On another post someone posted about being cut off by a cell phone driver(using cell while driving)and there was a post stating we should build the Las Positas Interchange and that would solve that. Also lets beat up the cops because they don't sit there 24/7. There are roads like Foothill all over the U.S. I know because I drove a lot of them. These things are going to happen no matter what you do. They still have road closing accidents on Highway 17.

Posted by Lee
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 1, 2008 at 11:29 am

Highway 17 was not always a 4 lane highway, it was once a curvy two lane road. Foothill Road was also once an undeveloped two lane country road. It is now developed for a couple of miles and then all the sudden there are no side walks on the west side of the street, the road narrows to one lane and it drops around a blind curve. From 580 south this looks like a parkway rather than a country road until you get to this spot. Additionally I guess some of you would be OK if one of your family members was killed in a head on collision here while traveling safely northbound, because it is just fate.

I admit that I am not comfortable with seizing property under eminent domain. If you look at the road traveling north bound there are two northbound lanes until just after Highland Oaks drive where it goes to one lane. I am not a traffic engineer but it sure looks like there is some sort of plan here to continue four lanes.

Posted by John
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 1, 2008 at 11:34 am

I'm a bit confused about something "Old Truck Driver" writes above"

"I don't understand the thinking of some of these people who post here. The first post the writer is so concerned about her friend but shows none for the person that was killed. She is more worried about the woman losing her house and dog. The person killed lost his life."

The article that we're all posting under says that the man driving the other car had a cut on his hand. Did he subsequently die from this injury and Old Truck Driver has knowledge of this, but the article hasn't been updated? Or did the writer simply misunderstand?

"The woman driving the Ford sustained a compound fracture to her leg and a laceration to her hip, police said. The man driving the Lexus sustained a cut to his right hand and his 59-year-old wife riding in the car complained of chest and back pain, police said"

Posted by Old truck driver
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Aug 2, 2008 at 5:55 am

Thank you for the update. A nice lady my wife and I run into while walking told us there was a fatality. We were so glad to hear otherwise. Over the years there have been so many all along Foothill, 84, Vasco, and at the 680/580 interchange.

Posted by Pleasanton resident
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Aug 3, 2008 at 11:00 pm

I don't understand why Pleasanton has not done something to rectify this VERY dangerous section of Foothill Rd - especially given the accidents that have occurred and the fact that it is regularly travelled by high school students with limited access in and out of Foothill. If the city has millions of dollars to unnecessarily widen the bridge at the intersection of Bernal and Vineyard to better accomodate cut through traffic - and Ruby Hill residents - then why do we not have funds to widen or straighten an extremely hazardous section of road? Just a thought!

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 3, 2008 at 11:10 pm

What makes you think the Bernal bridge widening project is unnecessary?

Posted by Jonus
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2008 at 7:52 pm

That curve has been dangerous for years and more people travel upon it. The other night our daughter was bringing us home from the airport. She slowed down north of the curve going southbound on Foothill Road. I asked her why and she said she has seen deer at the same time of night as she travels home. Sure enough four does ran across the road right in front of us. She also mentioned that she has been nearly clipped a couple of times near the curve. I told my daughter she was wise to slow down and be prepared to take defensive measures if needed. Speed kills.

Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 7, 2008 at 11:41 am

I know that curve and I've never had any problems with it. I think that there are WAY TOO MANY WANNABE RACE CAR DRIVERS IN PLUTONIA! WAY TOO MANY! The problem with soooooooo many deaths is that not much happens to the killer drivers that threaten the lives of innocent others.

In my opinion, anybody caught speeding or driving with abandon would benefit from 10 years to life in jail. No more no less. If somebody is killed, then up the penalty to 30 years with no possibility of parole.

Keep it simple! HOORAY! I'm back...tee hee hee, tee hee hee...

Posted by Pleasanton resident
a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Aug 7, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Why do we need another bridge when Bernal and Valley Ave limit the amount of traffic already. You certainly can't widen those sections of road at this point. The only reason that bridge need exists is to accomodate MORE traffic that is cutting through at the rush hour from the freeway. Cars get off at Sunol and cut through to Vineyard or Stanley. We are just adding incentive for easier cut through. If I were spending millions of dollars it certainly wouldn't be on that small section of road. I would fix some of the dangers on Foothill or build an exit ramp at Las Positas to give more access to the high school. Look at how many millions of dollars has already been spent in the "bridge project" area for an overbuilt - over landscaped median strip on Vineyard. Why did we need a gigantic median strip with landscaping as an entry way to Ruby Hill???? The traffic is horrendous on Foothill trying to get kids to school but that doesn't seem to matter to the City. If we had a real emergency at the high school or Lydickson - heaven help us to get those kids off the campus quickly.

Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 7, 2008 at 9:41 pm

The Bernal bridge widening project benefits residents. Southbound Bernal is very backed up in the afternoons with all the "cut through" traffic of _residents_ headed to their homes in Vintage Hills, Ruby Hills, Grey Eagle, etc. I agree with you that the Las Positas interchange should be built.

Posted by Lee
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 7, 2008 at 10:40 pm

Please do not start calling for the interchange at West Las Positas to be built. There are four schools less than a mile from that proposed interchanged; Lydiksen, Donlon, Foothill and Hart. I believe that not only would you have school traffic but it would actually increase traffic on West Las Positas especially if there is a morning back up on 680, which there frequently is. How about the short cut created from east bound 580 to south bound 680 via Foothill road and around the blind curve? Or how about northbound 680 jumping off at West Las Positas to northbound Foothill Road to westbound 580? I might want to do that to avoid the 580/680 interchange, another killer. Seriously, do you really think that is a good idea to stick a freeway interchange in a residential neighborhood with a few thousand kids going to school less than a mile away in every direction?

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Ridgeview Commons

on Apr 26, 2017 at 8:20 pm

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