Two Kids Struck by Vehicle on Mitchell Canyon Road in Clayton

October 30, 2012 9:42 am · 59 comments

Two students of Mt. Diablo Elementary School were struck by a vehicle just before 8am on Mitchell Canyon Road in Clayton, according to police.

The students were apparently crossing the street at Four Oaks Lane when they were struck by a car. It appears they were crossing Mitchell Canyon Road in a spot where there is no crosswalk.

Both students were injured but no life-threatening injuries were reported.

anonanonagain October 30, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Watch out for the children folks!! Nothing is worth getting to where your going 2 minutes ahead of schedule……

Alex October 30, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Seriously you drivers are idiots! This is a Bay Area wide problem I almost got hit in the crosswalk here in Berkeley last night. Also this may come as a shock but your turn signals don’t magically grant you the power to make a left turn from The middle lane. You’ll need a left turn lane for that! How do I know these rules when I’m only a bicyclist! Pedestrians are sacred no matter what!

School Zone October 30, 2012 at 10:03 AM

The 25 mph speed limit in school zones is there for a reason people…slow down near schools.

claytonista October 30, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Oh no! It gets so crazy down there during pick-up/drop-off. Everyone should be more careful!

anonanonawhat October 30, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Walk your kids across the street IN a cross walk. Since even drivers moving slowly might not see them dart out in between stopped cars. ^^^

KA October 30, 2012 at 10:10 AM

This is so incredibly sad and very happy the injuries aren’t major. That being said, I must say I’m not at all surprised. Everyday, I witness very rude and stressed out drivers. After I drop my two kids off there, I come back by after dropping my other child off at daycare and I am constantly blown away by how many people drop their kids off so late to school. I see them literally running across the street at the same spot this accident happened. Curious why folks aren’t being more responsible as parents. Agreed it is stressful at times getting kids up and moving yet considerably easier waking them up 10-15 minutes earlier and minimizing the stress.

hmm October 30, 2012 at 10:25 AM

elementary school students (under 11years old) crossing in a spot with no crosswalk… and no mention in the article about parents or crossing guards present. ok.

LOL October 30, 2012 at 10:27 AM

I love how people jumped to the conclusion that the car was speeding….where in the article does it say anything about the car speeding? My mom taught me to use the crosswalk, look both ways before crossing and to not always assume the cars are going to stop. I see pedestrians constantly running across roads with no regard to the cars coming. Why is where they are going more important then where the driver is going? Maybe we should all stop being the center of the universe and look out for our fellow humans?

Concerned neighbor October 30, 2012 at 10:32 AM

I live right on the corner and parents allow or walk with their kids in this area all day long for drop off and pick up. There are signs that say not to cross there and to walk to the crosswalk but they don’t. Cars turn in where Rey shouldn’t and neither are enforced much. Why no crosswalk there or flashing light or something? Tons of kids cross here why not make it safe?

Concerned neighbor October 30, 2012 at 10:36 AM

The signs say to use the crosswalk but Mitchell canyon has no safe sidewalks for families to walk to a crosswalk. So kids are at risk there too. Mitchell Canyon is very busy with parents and big trucks several times a day. It’s a tragedy waiting to happen.

anon October 30, 2012 at 10:36 AM

The sun is so low this time of year. There are places it is almost impossible to see looking into it. Kids should be made aware to be extra careful. Cars may not stop.

Dangerous area for pedestrians/bicyclists October 30, 2012 at 10:37 AM

My husband and I sometimes ride our bikes to work and back, riding along Pine Hollow and Mitchell Canyon Rd. One of us rides to Walnut Creek. The other to downtown Concord. Both of us comment regularly that it seems very surprising the most dangerous part of our ride seems to be along Pine Hollow/Mitchell Canyon.

It doesn’t seem to make sense…it’s a fairly quiet neighborhood, there are bike lanes and crosswalks, there is not as much traffic as the other areas, but there are many near-accidents and problems with drivers driving recklessly, and with people doing ‘pranks’ like yelling or screaming as they go by to try to startle us. He was nearly run over last week by a car making a turn in front of him at an intersection along Pine Hollow and cutting him off so that he had to turn sharply and brake hard to miss being hit, and his heart was pounding from the near-accident in a place where he should have been clearly visible.

We take every precaution, wearing high-visibility gear, and driving defensively…so if cautious, conservative adults have so much difficulty in that area, the problem must be much higher for kids who are less aware and cautious.

Drivers in that area need to be much more aware/cautious/considerate, and look out carefully for foot and bicycle traffic.

Antler October 30, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Does there NEED to be a crosswalk there?

concerned citizen October 30, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Don’t assume cars were speeding…. i have repeatedly witnessed kids and adults, darting out in front of traffic, crossing where there is no crosswalk, daring some drivers not just walking but also on their bikes. Sometimes driving on Contra Costa Blvd in particular around the kmart shopping center and target shopping center in recent weeks have seen people crossing without a thought in front of cars etc. Some of them are homeless but a lot of kids like to be daredevils on their bikes and the median strip etc…

LoriesStories October 30, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Civic Drive by the back of Walnut Creek Intermediate is the worse. One day some child will be killed. I see parents waving their children on from the parking lot across the street. Kids ride their bikes into the traffic, several times I have seen drivers swerve to avoid kids and/or their parents. With a speed limit of of 40-45 it is just crazy!

Wisecracker October 30, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Yes, drivers should slow down, use caution and watch for children no matter where you are driving.

And, yes, how about if people of all ages use crosswalks – that’s what they are made for. I see more and more people crossing streets where they shouldn’t and they wonder why they get hit.

Sunrise is Very Dangerous This Time of Year October 30, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Sunrise is Very Dangerous This Time of Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep your windows clean, defrosters on high, sun visor in action. If you can’t see pull over untill you can. Watch for J Walkers they have the right of way no matter where they are!, complete BS and one hell of a crappy law, but creates revenue and attorney’s are happy and cops just write ya up day after day after day.

Miss Lisa October 30, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Around 1970, my mom complained to Mt. Diablo Ele. about how dangerous it was for kids to cross the corner of Mitchell Canyon and Pine Hollow in the morning. It was a truck route from the quarry (still is), but the school claimed there wasn’t enough money in the budget to hire a crossing guard.

Back then, most kids walked to school or rode bikes without parents along (different times). A fourth-grader was riding her bike in the crosswalk but a truck driver didn’t see her and she was killed. A horrible tragedy. The school immediately hired a crossing guard after that. My Mom is still bitter about it.

I hope these two girls will be all right. I can’t believe it’s still so dangerous around that school, 40 years later. None of the schools in this area were ever built with multiple car drop-offs in mind. They were built for school buses. The danger has actually increased with all the vehicles in a small, congested area.

ArtToChokeHearts October 30, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Although it’s very unfortunate the kids were hit, they should have been crossing in a safer area. Whatever happened to stop, look, and listen? Perhaps they were distracted with an ipod/iphone/whatever gadget makes people look down when they should be looking up.

If its an area that kids frequently jay-walk, perhaps a lighted crosswalk or crossing guard would prevent this from happening in the future

Anon October 30, 2012 at 11:41 AM

The parents were where?
Why were they crossing where there is no crosswalk?

Hopefully it teaches a lesson to everyone involved.

mask October 30, 2012 at 11:52 AM

The article says the driver was driving under the speed limit.

Anon October 30, 2012 at 11:52 AM

I bet the Mother of the children gets cited. She dropped her kids off where it states this is not a crossing area. The driver was going under the speed limit and the girls darted across the street into traffic.

I love how some of the posters here jump to conclusion and then are completely wrong.

Anon October 30, 2012 at 11:58 AM

It’s a spot that LOTS of parents use to either park and walk their kids across or like in this situation drop their kids off and let them walk alone across the busy street. An accident like this was bound to happen. The streets around the school wouldn’t be so congested if the school district brought back buses and if there was safer places for the kids to walk. There are no side walks along the street until Pine Hollow Road crosses Mitchell Canyon.

jen October 30, 2012 at 11:59 AM

The Crossing guard is paid by the quarry not the school. They hired one after the accident. There is an article in Contra Costa Times online, it is saying that the mom let the girls out in the street to cross. An officer that was there has it on his dash cam.

Starfish October 30, 2012 at 12:10 PM

All Cars–Watch Out For Our Kids! Slow The Hell Down!

coolkat October 30, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Hey Alex,

Drivers are the idiots huh? I think you bicyclists are the idiots who think they own the whole gosh darn road. You don’t even belong on the same streets as us drivers. You think you have the right of way just because your on a bike? You hold up traffic and are just a liability as far as I’m concerned. You try to take advantage of the streets, you don’t have a horn in case of an emergency/accident. You cause more trouble than you actually think you are. There are “Bike” lanes for crying out loud. Every time I see a bicyclist in front of me at a red light I get upset and want to drive you off the road. I will honk at you and let you know to stay off the f’in streets and use the bike lanes.
I hope these kids that got hit are all okay, and yes, drivers need to be more aware of the “Pedestrians” who are simply walking around.

I have a bad feeling! October 30, 2012 at 12:25 PM

To the parents of scooter-boy who crosses Clayton Rd. and Claycord Ave to get to Silerwood in the morning(very dangerous intersection) I’ve seen him almost get hit Twice. He’s very little and fast on his scooter. I hope you read this and at least walk him safely to the other side. Cars hate to stop at that light and run it every chance they can. He’s way to young to be crossing such a dangerous street. To many people on phones/texting on top of running late for work/school=disaster waiting to happen.

Sympathetic parent October 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM

I feel horrible about the accident but it is a crazy place to cross the street. The school is very difficult to get to so parents like to park and walk. But they have to cross a very bust road. The direction going toward the school backs up. Cars going the other way (even if you just barely creep along) can not see the people poke theirs heads out before they cross. It’s crazy and scares me every day. I am sad for everyone involved. It’s just not a safe place for anyone to cross.

Anonymous October 30, 2012 at 12:27 PM

My daughter goes to an elementary school in MDUSD and we have heard the same thing from our teachers and principal that there isn’t any money in the budget for crossing guards.

Our principals solution, parent volunteers and the principal herself grabs a stop sign before and after school and makes sure our kids get safely across the street. When I teased her one day about being a crossing guard she told me, NO, you can’t call me a crossing guard because the district won’t allow that. I’m just helping the kids cross the street, no title.

Luna925 October 30, 2012 at 12:28 PM

We were shrouded in fog folks I doubt this is a sun issue . But glad the little ones will be ok.

StarFish October 30, 2012 at 12:37 PM

@ I have a bad feeling!

If people hate to stop at that stop light–then there should be a cop there every single morning when kids have to walk to school. WTH!

To Scooter Boy:
Ride fast, scooter boy….ride fast!

Ven Xeter October 30, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Obviously we don’t have all the details, but we really need to move the Daylight Savings Time change back to the weekend prior to Halloween. It Is ridiculous this teas changed to Nov and we now have children walking to school in the dark.

DisneyMatt October 30, 2012 at 12:48 PM

I drop my son off at Mt. Diablo every morning. I park in a patking lot and make sure my son gets safely to the school property. There are MANY parents that stop in the middle of the street in the middle of traffic and let their children out of there cars. A strong guess is the parents of these children drop them off in an area they at not to forcing them to walk across the VERY busy Mitchell Canyon Rd.

Claire October 30, 2012 at 1:11 PM

I am not saying that this particular driver was on the phone, but this is just a general comment from a parent that takes their kid to school everyday. It is alarming the number of adults that I see texting, on their cell phones chatting away while driving their kids to school not paying close attention to their surroundings. I also see parents stoppping in an unsafe areas letting them out of the car and they are in danger crossing a busy section.

It takes just a little distraction to cause a tragedy. If you are taking your kid to school, lead by example. Put the phone away while driving and drop them off at a designated safe area for them to get out of the car and get to school.

anon October 30, 2012 at 1:47 PM

I hope the PD will release that dash cam video, as a warning to all the idiot parent drivers out there. How DARE a parent (I don’t care who they are) encourage your kids to cross any street, much less that damn street, w/out a cross walk and most especially without your help. What did she do, pull to the shoulder and said “get out and run!?” Come on people, be smarter! This could’ve been a horrific tragedy but for the grace of whoever you worship it was not. Are you all in such a hurry or running late that you can’t just drive your child all the way to the school? Or at least the cross walk , ONE BLOCK up where there is an experienced crossing guard. We all know that is a busy busy BUSY road, w/ tons of harried parents PLUS flippin’ quarry semi trucks. Irresponsible at best, downright neglectful at worst.

Momof4! October 30, 2012 at 2:10 PM

There is already a crossing guard at Pine Hollow and MC and a policeman at Tiffin and Mt Zion….come on people do the right thing. Why isn’t Officer White handing out tickets to people on his bike anymore. I’d like to think that if people started having to pay they would start paying attention. I certainly hope the mom gets sited for endangering her children

Captain Bebops October 30, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Unfortunate but pedestrians these days should not take the right-of-way too much for granted. As mentioned all look carefully before crossing. Drivers have to be hyper alert anymore (yup, put away that mobile phone) as many streets and crossings may have been poorly thought out or not kept up due to budget cuts. And jaywalking on busy streets is crazy.

A year or so ago I heard a news story about an assemblyman in another state trying to get pedestrian right-of-way rescinded. This is because a pedestrian had been killed at a crosswalk as the driver in the middle lane came up on a UPS truck who he thought was stopped at the corner to make a delivery. The truck was stopped for someone crossing but the driver had no way of seeing that and the pedestrian took for granted everyone would stop because of their “right-of-way”. The assemblyman felt that law made pedestrians more careless.

We also have crosswalks around here that will flash lights embedded in the crosswalk but you would be surprised at how many people fall to push that button before crossing. And I can’t believe how many times pulling out of a pull in parking space idiots will still walk right up behind my car even with the rear lights indicating I am leaving. I am always vigilant of drivers pulling out and stop or give plenty of room.

LocalGirl October 30, 2012 at 3:13 PM

The pick-ups and drop-offs are out of control … I live on a quiet side street near the Jr. High in Clayton … but at pick-up time, LOOK OUT, parents are flying down our street, rudely turning around in driveways (darn near hitting the garage doors sometimes). I actually wrote to the school about this and was told that the parents are encouraged to drop off and pick up on school grounds … but many choose not not (for convenience, obviously). I’m not saying this is what happened this morning, but the PARENTS need to be more careful, not just the folks driving down the street minding our own business. The SCHOOLS need to work with the parents to make it a safe environment for the kids … the residents are not at fault here!

Concerned neighbor October 30, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Can someone explain why it’s an issue to have a crosswalk there? It’s clearly a busy crossing area that leads right to the front of the school, there is a bike path at the end of four oaks that brings parents and kids to this spot, and there is no safe passage for them to get to an existing crosswalk. Why not put one there and a flashing light perhaps?

Jewel October 30, 2012 at 4:40 PM

There are no sidwalks on Mitchell Canyon between Pine Hollow and Clayton Road, therefore, there is no need for a crosswalk @ 4 Oaks. The place to cross Mitchell Canyon is at Pine Hollow Road where the always a crossing guard at the beginning and end of the school day. Parents set an extremely bad example every day by crossing with their kids to/from their cars parked on 4 Oaks (even though it is posted as a no-pedestrian crossing intersection!

@Concerned neighbor October 30, 2012 at 4:47 PM

We should put a crosswalk every 10 feet, flashing light, donut stand and Bonnie Bell lip gloss dispenser at every intersection too….

Lori October 30, 2012 at 5:38 PM

And after that I see a mom today dropping off her little one, she pulled to the side of road in front of the exit of that school just past the old fire station. A truck had to swerve to miss her while her child was getting out of car!! Really…. as a mom that was so upsetting to see and couldnt believe it! To save 5 minutes and to possibly change your life forever for the worst.

the Shi ite October 30, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Dead right?
I don’t agree with teaching everyone that Pedestrians Always have the right of way – And everytime somebody gets hit – it just proves the point.
4,000 lb vehicles can’t stop on a dime, and what if they don’t see you?
Pedestrians need to look both ways when crossing a street and make sure to MAKE EYE CONTACT (God forbid they do that!) with the driver – don’t just step out and assume unless you want to end up in the Hospital.
If you want to Jaywalk, you had better learn how to RUN.

Teaching opportunity October 30, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Everyday I see kids and adults of all ages walking in a crosswalk with their heads down looking at the ground. I can never understand why they do not look up, do they think those lines will protect them from a car hitting them. They are painted lines not force fields.

Please take this opportunity to teach your kids to look both ways before they cross the street, then keep looking until they make it to the other side. Never assume the driver of the car sees them.

Yes, pedestrians have the right of way, but accidents happen.

Speeding and cell phones are not the only things to worry about….drivers are dealing with the sun shining in their eyes, dirty or foggy windows, late for school/work, traffic frustrations, rain, trucks coming or going to the quarry……then add kids walking to school in cross walks and jay walking.

Drive slow, watch for children and teach your kids how to cross a street safely!

winston October 30, 2012 at 7:56 PM

if I had a buck for every moron that rolled right through a stop sign cuz they were in a hurry, or are so entitled cuz they live in the area, realistically I could buy a rocket propelled grenade launcher and, well, never mind. Slow down, think about your kids, or your family’s kids, how would you feel if they were hurt or even worse by a driver either speeding, texting or rolling through stop signs. stop being Dbags.

Larry October 30, 2012 at 8:04 PM

@19 Miss Lisa. A foot-note to your post. Yes a tragic accident,The child rode her bike betwween the Truck and the trailer as he proceeded after making a complete stop at the intersection of Mitchell Canyon and Pine Hollow.I knew him,he had no knowledge or view of her when this happened.He soon after ended his own life because of his grief for this horrible accident.

Love life October 31, 2012 at 2:32 AM

Terrible tragedy, and I hope the kids will be alright. But having not heard
All the details my heart goes out to the driver of the vehicle.
Drove by min. after, very fogey, heavy tragic, and a great crossing gard who watches over all of the kids like they were her own. taking that corner at that time of the morning, I can’t imagine the car was speeding. Not to blame the parents for such a tragedy, but walk up to the crossing gard and keep everyone safe. People that don’t know the area, there is a cross walk, and crossing gard, you just have to follow the signs and rules. Please parents tell your children it’s worth going to the corner where you can cross safely, especially with the big trucks coming up and down that street.lets watch out for our children, instead of watching them being picked up off the street on a stretcher to be put in the ambulance, not the best start of amounts day.

Glad kids are ok October 31, 2012 at 6:32 AM

Mt Diablo Elementary School has a Parent Patrol volunteer at both designated dropoff/pickup locations each morning and afternoon. They are there to keep the kids safe. I have found that the Staff at the school is pretty understanding when the kids are a little late for school since they know our dropoff lane is crazy. I’m so glad it was not one of those big trucks that hit the girls. This was a good reminder for all of us parents to put safety first.

Mt. D Parent October 31, 2012 at 8:30 AM

I stopped drop-offs and pick-ups in that ridiculous area two years ago. The Four Oaks spot where these kids were hit has kids AND adults dashing across EVERY day. The sign clearly says not to cross there. Yet even worse are the drivers in the “turnaround” lane around the corner. The number of completely selfish adults who feel the need to drop off at the precise opening of the gate are rude and ignorant. There is a full block to let kids out yet no one will move up 30 feet which would allow multiple cars to safely unload the kids. Selfish ” me me me” parents block the way for everyone. Now you have people swerving around parked cars and letting kids off in the turnaround lot. That being said the real problem arises from the school rule that no students can be on school grounds until 7:45. Therefore you have 900 students arriving in a 10 minute period. The district should consider allowing students to be on campus at 7:30.
Back to the drop offs….it’s a fact that the parents who drop their kids off at “Big Hill”, by the creek are cautious, on time and follow the rules. Get out of your suv’s and watch your kids get to school safely. Maybe, just maybe you could even spend a quality 5 minutes walking with them.
I’m glad the kids from yesterday are ok! But….I can’t believe it doesn’t happen more often.

Puppy breath October 31, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Watched this morning and sadly there were parents running across the street kids in tow. To police presence at all. Watched a school bus hit the brakes hard when a parent running back to his car didn’t even look. The short drop off window at school may be an issue when there are so many cars trying to get thru this stretch in the morning. Parents turn down four oaks and park when late and run across or send their kids. It’s rarely just kids walking alone, their stupid parents are with them. Not sure why they all can’t utilize the drop off route like others. Maybe the school can help. The first week of school the principal was at this spot as well as police directing parents to not cross there. Maybe their occasional presence at this location would help.

Puppy breath October 31, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Also 25 mph with kids present is too fast. It will be even darker soon. Btw what did the police car camera show? The police were there doing what?

Tyler Durden October 31, 2012 at 10:00 AM

I swear reading all these comments makes me realize what a bunch of idiots live in the Clayton area. You are all judegemental and jump to conclusions without knowing any real details.

Starfish October 31, 2012 at 10:25 AM

@ Tyler Durden

What good Claycordians will we be if we didn’t do this. There are rules to be on this blog:

Rule 1: Half read the story
Rule 2: Immediately jump to a conclusion
Rule 3: From the conclusion you draw-think about the most snarkiest way you could relay it to the general public.
Rule 4: Write down that snarky remark with haste.

Cowellian October 31, 2012 at 11:25 AM

My doctor warned me to get more exercise, so I’m spending a lot more time jumping to conclusions on Claycord.

Scott October 31, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Hey Cowellian, you may be interested in my invention. It’s kinda like hop skotch, its a mat, and you put squares on the mat and in each box you write in some sort of conclusion, then you jump onto one, it will be called the “jump to ‘conclusions'” mat.

2 things November 1, 2012 at 7:44 AM

First, there is a crosswalk one block in either direction, at Clayton/Mitchell Canyon and at Pine Holliw/ Mitchell Canyon. People cross at Four Oaks because they are impatient and don’t want to wait to cross with everyone else when it’s safe to do so.

Second, Clayton has 2 cops working in the morning, and one of those is already at the school directing traffic at Pine Hollow/Mt Zion. The police can’t be there to keep us safe everywhere at one time. We have to do our part to keep ourselves and others safe as well.

Miss Lisa November 1, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Larry–that is so very sad. I know the truck driver was not at fault in that accident. It must have destroyed him.

People tend to drive too fast in Contra Costa County. And trucks, mini-vans and SUVs are huge. Pedestrians do need to be more vigilant about their surroundings, even when they have the green light and/or are in a crosswalk. Don’t assume the driver sees you. Always look up and try to make eye contact. Kids especially need to learn to do this.

Puppy breath November 2, 2012 at 8:11 AM

Sadly people are still crossing at four oaks and cars are running the stop sign there to rush into traffic after dropping of kids. See it every morning . City of Clayton could make a mint off of citations if they ever spent any time here.

MDE mom November 2, 2012 at 7:00 PM

@19 Miss Lisa,

I had always heard of a kid getting killed by a big rig, but I always thought it was folklore, I didn’t know it was real. That is really sad.

Also, every morning when I take my 5th grader to school at MDE, I see at least one car in the drop off lane, who have their kid(s) get out on the street side of the oncoming traffic!

MDE parents, PLEASE have your child get out of your car on the sidewalk side. The street side is so dangergous.

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