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Driver not faulted in Rodney Smith bicycle fatality on Sand Hill Road

Original post made on Jun 28, 2007

The Sand Hill Road traffic accident that killed Portola Valley resident Rodney Smith apparently happened as a result of Mr. Smith turning his bike from the eastbound bike lane out into the path of an eastbound car traveling at about 35 mph, the California Highway Patrol reported Wednesday. The car's driver, Woodside resident Anthony L. Rose, 87, is not being charged. Caption: Rodney Smith

Read the full story here Web Link

Comments (8)

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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 28, 2007 at 5:39 pm

How is it possible to know the cyclist was making a u-turn when there were no witnesses (other than the driver -- who, of course, cannot be trusted for obvious reasons)? Also, I find it incredibly strange (unlikely?) that the car was going 35 mph -- the speed zone for that road is 50 isn't it?

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Posted by VeryConcerned
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 28, 2007 at 9:55 pm

This doesn't pass the smell test. How could he have been thrown 46 feet plus the stopping distance if the driver was going 35 mph? The speed limit there is 55. Why was all the debris in the bike lane? This just doesn't make any sense at all unless the CHP is just trying to whitewash the situation and be done with it.

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Posted by John
a resident of another community
on Jun 29, 2007 at 6:29 am

"Concerned"'s comments highlight how poorly the above article informs our community about the conclusive information the CHP report contains regarding this terrible accident. The Almanac staff needs to read and then report from the entire CHP report. Then, an article could provide a fact-based update to our community and hopefully end speculation and assumptions. A thorough article would then serve to educate our cyclists and drivers on lessons learned from this horrible situation and we could try to move on a little wiser.

Because this accident involved two upstanding and deeply rooted members of our community, it would also be wise for the editorial staff and community to be respectful and base comments on the facts instead of assumptions. And importantly, be sensitive to the immense pain and sorrow that this tragedy must be causing everyone involved.

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Posted by Fellow Rider
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 29, 2007 at 7:00 pm

I ride that section of Sand Hill every week, it is such a wide bike lane. If what the CHP says is true ("Damages to the bike included a detached front wheel and a broken front fork"...), then wouldn't that indicate that the rider was hit while facing the car? If he had been hit from behind while riding, the back of the bike would have been crushed. Even if he was making a U Turn, the bike lane is so wide you can do it safely and not go into the car lane. In that scenario, the driver probably veered into the bike lane (the road does veer right near the top of the hill (where the memorial is for this rider) and hit the rider. In any case, it is tragic and could have happened to any of us who ride out there.

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Posted by observer
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 2, 2007 at 6:36 pm

observer is a registered user.

Sand Hill Road, especially between Whiskey Hill and I-280, is unsafe for everyone. This afternoon I saw what was very nearly a high-speed head-on collision between a Ferrari (passing while traveling uphill eastbound) and a Bentley traveling very fast westbound. A double-fatality was averted by a very narrow margin. And everyone who rides that stretch eastbound sees one vehicle after another cutting well into the bike lane... as Fellow Rider surmised occurred in the Rodney Smith fatality.

That stretch of Sand Hill needs something like bright yellow rumble strips to mark the bike lanes, re-painted double yellow stripes with bot dots in the center, and above all a lower speed limit.

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Posted by Bob Blum
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jul 15, 2007 at 9:33 pm

I'm a fellow Menlo Park cyclist who regularly rides that very scary stretch on Sand Hill.
A couple of months ago I saw a woman lying on the side of the road with multiple severe injuries, her bike
smashed beyond recognition, an ambulance in attendance, and an old man being handcuffed by police.
Here's my action item: CREATE A BIKE PATH on Stanford's Land where SLAC resides. This is going to
take some political activism. Candidate organizations to lead the effort: the big bike clubs: Stanford's,
Western Wheelers, etc. Enough carnage.

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Posted by Bob Blum
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jul 15, 2007 at 9:42 pm

Addendum to my note above: Fellow cyclists - especially club cyclists - we need a central database where these incidents are collected. This will be important evidence to present to Stanford
SLAC or to CETA (the horse riding facility on the north side) when it
comes time to get the land for the path.

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Posted by John Murphy
a resident of another community
on Jul 16, 2007 at 4:22 pm

there is a database at

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

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