Crash in Concord Causes Minor Injuries – Neighbor Fed Up With Bad Drivers

January 30, 2013 10:07 am · 52 comments

crash

A Tuesday afternoon crash on Willow Pass Road sent a few people to the hospital with minor injuries, and one neighbor in the area of Monte Gardens Elementary says she’s seen enough, she’s sick & tired of drivers who don’t pay attention to the road!

On Tuesday, a small pick up truck with a camper shell was in the left lane on Willow Pass Rd. coming from the Pittsburg direction waiting to turn left onto Ashdale. That is the street that goes down to Monte Gardens Elementary School. It is just about a block past Landana. A white car with two male occupants hit the rear end of the small pick up with great force. It sent the pick-up through the intersection and the camper shell and the contents in the bed of the truck stayed behind coming off the truck and landing right in front of the white car. It most likely hit the car and fell off.

A police officer was at the scene just a few feet away out of his car talking to a resident about a different matter when this happened. So he was on the scene within seconds. I heard the collision from two blocks away and walked over. The resident was the one who told me about himself and the officer basically witnessing this accident. The occupants of the pick-up were a young girl, say 18 to early 20s and a toddler to small kindergartner size child in a car seat in a small rear seat behind the front passenger seat. The driver was out of the vehicle walking and talking with the officers and medics. The young child was put on a stretcher and taken away in am ambulance, most likely as a precaution. She was not crying and appeared fine and they lifted her out of the car. But seemed too young to be able to clearly discuss symptoms with medics.

I want to document just how dangerous this street is for both left turners and more importantly, for pedestrians trying to cross Willow Pass Rd. For six years I walked my child to Monte Gardens and crossed in that very same cross walk. DRIVERS DO NOT STOP! A big bright yellow crosswalk does not matter. A yellow road sign with School Crossing, does not help. That pick-up could have been stopped for school children crossing. And would have been shoved right into them if that was the case.

For six years cars rushed right through as I crossed my child, practically running over our toes! And I have to tell you, it was people of all color, white, black, brown, or what ever, and people of all ages. Young kids, 30s, 40s, 50s, 80s. All ages, all sexes, didn’t matter. You take your life in your hands when crossing Willow Pass Rd. Down at San Vincente Dr. a block away they installed a post with a button. It makes a yellow light flash. The sign for the drivers right at the flashing light says “PREPARE TO STOP”. A loud speaker plays very loudly for about 30 seconds for the pedestrian to hear…. “CAUTION, CARS MAY NOT STOP” Ya think? This message needs to say Cars WILL NOT STOP. And as for the sign to the vehicles, Prepare to Stop. When are they supposed to prepare? Shouldn’t a sign warning you to prepare come maybe 500 ft. before the time they need to be stopped by? I’m not a rocket scientist, but I don’t think it needs one to figure out that a 4,000 lb. car cannot stop on a dime. Over 30 years ago a young girl was hit and killed in this intersection.

Everyone please slow down on Willow Pass Rd. It is a thoroughfare right through our residential neighborhood. Drive the speed limit! Pay attention. I have to wonder if this driver was texting. He barely braked before running into the back end of a stopped vehicle waiting to turn left. It was about 12:30 PM, so although the sun was low, it was not blinding like it is at about 4:30 PM.

Concerned Monte Gardens Tract Neighbor

If we all slowed down and learned to pay attention to the road, we wouldn’t have any collisions.

Thanks for the note, Concerned Monte Gardens Tract Neighbor!

1 Menegene January 30, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Whenever I see that little cross on the fence I think of the poor little girl who was plowed down by a drunk driver 30 years ago on willow pass. She was in the cross walk I believe and went to my elementary. SLOW DOWN. You are only going to be sitting at the next red light anyway, dummy!!!

2 WASP January 30, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Kid was killed years ago at San Vincente. That is why the cross walk was installed. The city needs to hire a couple of traffic officers – tickets could easily pay for the salary.

3 kk downing January 30, 2013 at 10:36 AM

I live off willow pass and this doesn’t surprise me. I’ve seem numerous crashes on wp, usually due to someone making a left turn and the person behind not paying attention and running into them. I go out of my way and take Concord blvd as it seems a little safer. Willow pass is a very dangerous road in that area. Either install speed bumps to encourage the dbs to take another route or set up a daily speed/cell phone trap. It’s sad that it has to come to that, but dbs always ruin it for everyone

4 Peter January 30, 2013 at 10:37 AM

From just looking at the google map of it. It seems like a good place to put a traffic light. Or concord could just do what walnut/danville do wit the light up crosswalks.. not that I know they are any more effective.

5 whatever floats your boat January 30, 2013 at 10:37 AM

If that area is not 25 MPH or less, it should be…….anytime there are children present and in this case, it sounds like the school is close by, it should be 25 MPH or less. Concord police should patrol this area for speeders, violators, etc.

In Nevada, they are serious about the safety of their children in school zones. The cops sit there and hand out tickets to those who don’t comply with the MPH signs. They make a bunch of revenue this way.

The Concord police also need to patrol North bound Clayton Road during rush hour in the early mornings starting at 6:30AM. I have people zooming past I’m guessing 60MPH! This morning the CPD would have made a bunch of revenue off the morning commute. They always seem to patrol on days when the traffic is jammed. They need to patrol on holidays and days when school is out when traffic is light and speeders can have their way.

Clayton Road is an accident waiting to happen.

6 slagheap January 30, 2013 at 11:02 AM

my neighborhood. willow pass west bound from hwy 4 down to the lights at olivera is a racetrack at all hours, east is bound even worse from about 3 pm until 8 pm or so. the tailgating that occurs is so outrageous i’m surprised a day goes by without an accident or a road rage incident. it’s posted 35 mph, as it should be, but even if you fudge & drive 40 mph you get flipped off, or aggressively taligated.basically, it’s a drag race to hwy 4 from the eastbound lights at olivera. as for the crossing at san vincente, an old or infirm person, or a mom with a stroller & kids, is taking a huge chance, i see near misses frequently, with stupid, cowardly, drivers whizzing by just a few feet away! truth! once again, a cop hiding off to the side in that strip mall at san vincente, monitoring east bound traffic from 4 – 6 pm, could write a book full of citations for speeding and reckless driving.

7 Deborah Mathewson January 30, 2013 at 11:05 AM

You think Willow Pass Rd. is bad, try living on San Carlos Ave off Clayton Rd. You would think having 3 major dips within 5 blocks would slow people down! My neighbor lives on the corner of San Carlos and Prospect and has had 3 cars already go Thur her fence and end up on her front lawn.
So, last year I got fed up and walked my entire block and had every single tendant sign a petition to get speed bumps put in on our block, (since almost every street in concord almost has one.) turned it in, and did not get 1 single call,email or anything!!! It was very upsetting!!!

8 Ridiculous January 30, 2013 at 11:05 AM

I live not far from this and use WP to commute to and from downtown Concord. Try getting out in the morning, traffic is flowing non stop from hiway 4. They need to do what WC did with the street traffic that used to cut through off treat, block it somewhere.
As for the flashing lights, how many times have I stopped (also remembering the child that was killed) yet people just fly past me. How many people get in the turning lane at 5:00 pm and then immediately cut over when it goes to 2 lanes? Where are the traffic cops?

9 SLOWdowwwwwn January 30, 2013 at 11:06 AM

I always drive pretty slow in residential neighborhoods. Sometimes dimwits behind me get annoyed that I’m going the speed limit and speed around me. I think having some speedy bike cops that can easily catch speeders in this and other neighborhoods would be a good thing. Fines should start at $500 for speeding in a residential neighborhood and $200 additional for anyone who is distracted while driving. That would be a great wake up call to all the bozos out there. If these fools can be caught and cited, it would be more money for the community as well.

10 Walnut all day January 30, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Put a light in at bonfaire that’s a long stretch to have no lights.

11 anon January 30, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Its the same by Clayton valley, nobody stops at their crosswalk eitherandpeople drive way too fast on all the local streets….

12 WC44 January 30, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Install a light. Who cares if backs things up. People should use 242 anyway.

13 Same thing on Clayton Rd./Concord Blvd. at Sutter St. January 30, 2013 at 11:40 AM

There have been 3 accidents at this corner in the last week…at least. We hear the brakes and metal crunch, and say, ‘another accident.’ People usually are rear-ending others who have stopped at a crosswalk to let pedestrians cross. Sometimes, they are turning left when there isn’t time, or the car coming the other way is going to fast to stop when they see them.

It is unsafe to cross in that crosswalk. I try to never break the law…unless following the law is unsafe. So I go half a block away from the crosswalk and jaywalk when there are no cars approaching…much safer than crossing in the crosswalk where some cars will stop and others won’t.

14 Kimchee January 30, 2013 at 11:41 AM

They removed the crossing guard there at Willow Pass and Ashdale. Of course it has to do with money. The crossing guard at Larkspur and Landana is USELESS! She sits in her chair and refuses to cross anyone but walking school children. I saw her sit in her chair and continue to read her book as a young mother pushing a stroller and holding the hand of a toddler waited patiently to be crossed. The young mother finally began to cross and was almost hit by a car. Get rid of that useless piece work at Landana and Larkspur and put a crossing guard back at Willow Pass and Ashdale.

15 Blink January 30, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Close access to hwy 4

16 Winston January 30, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Willow Pass is an outdated, dangerous road design. It should be narrowed to two 10′ lanes east of Galindo with chicanes to slow down the traffic coming in from Pittsburg. As it stands, 1 lane each way with a center turn lane in some locations could handle the traffic and the lower speeds would encourage commuters to take 242 instead.

17 J. January 30, 2013 at 12:10 PM

@Deborah Mathewson
It takes more than a Petition to get traffic-calming going; you have to fill out a whole traffic survey thingy.

AFAIK, there is no money to fund the Traffic-Calming Program at this time.

18 BagsFlyFree January 30, 2013 at 12:11 PM

The issues with this corridor are as follows:

#1 Bad street lighting… The entire left side of the street (driving east) is dark due to the CNWS or cheap commercial property owners not installing lights (Monte Gardens shopping center, Palms roach motel, trailer park etc). Light up the entire road between San Vincente and Olivera evenly and watch accidents decrease along with the loitering and dealing that takes place daily!!

#2 The transition from near highway speeds to residental speeds is too quick for drivers to adjust gradually (50mph+ is typically seen coming downhill).

#3 All crosswalks in the area need led strips across the road.. This area has traffic coming off residental blocks, school kids, and people speeding up from a stop. Drivers cannot react fast enough if distracted for a split second.

#4 Install speed signs… Yes they aren’t that big of a deterrent, but it does help drivers know they are 10+ over the limit..

Drive safe in this area folks!

BFF Out

19 Very Concerned January 30, 2013 at 12:14 PM

People just do not slow or stop for anyone anymore in crosswalks and lights are needed. Unfortunately nothing is done about the problems until someone is killed. A blinking crosswalk or signs do not help from what I found out. I work for PGE in San Ramon and everytime I step off the curb to walk across the street for lunch my life is in danger. Supposedly the city is going to be installing lights in the crosswalk that blink but that will not stop the speeders that are flying through this 4 way intersection to turn on to Crow Canyon Rd. Ocassionally there is an officer that will sit in our parking lot and observe, and has cited cars for not stopping but it’s not consistent. Just last week me and my pregnant co-worker were almost hit when were were already half way across this street. One car didn’t stop and proceeded through the intersectin and the other stopped pretty hard. Both were atleast going 10miles over the 35mph speed limit. It’s plain scary. Also this has happened to me many times. I stop to let someone cross in the crosswalk and fear of being rear ended because people are not paying attention. I’ve had very close calls there as well. Concord and all the other cites that have situations like these need to install stop lights which will help but not stop red light runners.

20 Menegene January 30, 2013 at 12:34 PM

You know, I remember a few years back there must of been a traffic grant for Willow Pass Rd or something because you couldn’t drive past the Royal Palms Hotel or various spots the motorcycle units would hide out… Too bad it’s gone because they were pulling people over left and right.

21 Robert January 30, 2013 at 12:38 PM

I too live in this area & was rear ended at that same spot. Cars are driving way too fast coming from Hwy 4 and too many drivers don’t pay attention or on their cell phones.

22 Hit & Run January 30, 2013 at 12:44 PM

I was rear ended on the same road a couple blocks up by Bonfaire Market about 5 years ago. I had my two small children in the back seat and I was at a dead stop with my left blinker on. I saw the car in my rear view mirror, it was coming up really fast. “They will see me and just get over” I thought as I keep watching traffic on the other side so I could hurry up and turn. The next thing I know we are hit, and hit HARD! We were knocked into oncoming traffic as people swerved around me. After checking to see if we were all OK, I look back and the car was GONE! I have no idea what kind of car it was and to this day, I have no idea who hit me. It was a few days before Christmas and I was in so much pain for weeks. I am so thankful we were all OK. I guess karma will find them eventually.

23 Triple Canopy January 30, 2013 at 12:48 PM

For information regarding traffic signals, signs and street markings, or general transportation questions and requests, please call (925) 671-3132.

24 Mad Mom January 30, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Like others have said, the problem is speed leading to and from HWY 4. It’s beyond dangerous. I use that intersection every day. Really scary. I heard that accident and saw the camper shell fly right off the damaged truck. The horn from the white car kept blaring. I do believe those boys were traveling way too fast. The city needs to make this stop!

25 @WASP January 30, 2013 at 12:55 PM

How many tickets at $100 to cover $100,000 sal.? Tickets don’t cover squat.

26 Jim January 30, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Toatlly agree, although i hate lights…one that operates ONLY when the walk button is pushed would be beneficial and make the area a no left turn area, people will firgure it out…same problem on the one way section of Clayton Road down by the Bank of America buildings. There is a stop light and a crosswalk by the “salon salon” beauty salon, yes it’s called salon salon, anyway…people run that red light as they are looking at the green light @ Galindo and not paying attention to the light in front of them…several times I’ve reported it to the city of Concord as I’ve almost been hit and they don’t seem to have any worries about it….not sure they’ll mae any changes any where until someone gets killed…sad it takes an event like that to make a city take action but that’s going to be the catalyst, I’m sure

27 JLG January 30, 2013 at 1:43 PM

I think we at Claycord need to list these dangerous locations. Myself on Tuesday crossing the street on the canal trail at Monument I almost was hit twice before getting to the other side of the street. As the crossing light said walk I always wait couple of seconds when stepped off the curb I had a car run the red light with the pedal to the metal. I was almost half way across the street when a lady coming from Mohr Ln. onto Monument refused to yield the right of way and was racing to cut me off crossing the street with her SUV.
This is not the first time this has happened to me in this crosswalk.
signed roadkill

28 Futurama January 30, 2013 at 1:44 PM

People are jack-asses on that street I used to live there on it and I’ve been cut off, swerved around, almost plowed into, it’s ridiculous. How stupid do you have to be to swerve in an out of traffic to make up a couple car lengths? Decided where your going and stay there, drivers especially around commute times are to damned consumed with me-first-itis. What we need is for police to relentlessly pursue these individuals and our prosecutors to throw the book at them. Use your turn signals, go the speed limit, follow the rules or take their cars and licenses and let them rot.

29 Shannon January 30, 2013 at 1:54 PM

The little girl that was killed on that road 30 years ago was a close friend. The memories were horrific and the family eventually moved out of town. Your right…..something needs be done about that road.

30 Anon2you January 30, 2013 at 1:59 PM

I drive that road twice a day, and I just can’t believe how stupid some of the drivers are. They ride up your ass and go way to fast coming into Concord (from the Freeway) around the final bend right up to that first light… I duck into the turn lane on Landana as soon as I can, and let the idiots rear end each other…

31 Willow Pass Road driver January 30, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Willow Pass has become so dangerous (including people driving on the wrong side of the road) that I won’t drive into town any more; always turn on Landana and take an alternative route.

32 @VeryConcerned January 30, 2013 at 2:38 PM

I know just what you mean. I work in the same area of San Ramon. I do not feel safe walking on teh streets. People do not slow down and they do not stop for anyone in the cross walk. The other day someone was in front of me making a right turn. There were pedestrians halfway across the street. The car in front of me when through it regardless of how close the people in the crosswalk were. Very rude and dangerous. I feel safer walking in San Francisco. I do not feel safe walking in San Ramon.

33 anonamiss January 30, 2013 at 2:39 PM

People are self centered idiots. Putting a light there would only mean that they would run a red light. Perhaps if the police cannot patrol it they should put in cameras to record the violators and then punish these fools by impounding their cars. Put a sign up stating that fact and then see what happens……..

34 slagheap January 30, 2013 at 2:43 PM

here’s why the city won’t install speed bumps, or more lights, or conduct a serious traffic enforcement effort on Willow Pass: business people will raise hell about having to use hwy 242. huge numbers of 10 wheelers, big dump bodies, moving vans, etc. use WP as a freeway.

35 momo January 30, 2013 at 3:28 PM

I live on denkinger by tabernacle school. There have been many accidents in front of my house as well. When our street petitioned for speed bumps the city’s reply was they couldn’t because the fire truck drives need to drive down our street. Well doesn’t a fire truck have to be able to drive down every street in town? My daughter has her drivers permit right now and it is incredible how rude people are to her when she is driving when all she is doing is obeying the law

36 Screwy Louie January 30, 2013 at 3:40 PM

As for walking/bicycling around traffic anywhere, eye contact and hand signals with drivers are critical, along with your head on a swivel.
No ear phones, looking down tapping a screen hoodie I-pod boy!

Unprotected left turns are a crapshoot at best. I got rear ended making a left turn over a double yellow line pulling into a driveway on Detoit ave.
It’s pefectly legal, there’s just alot of bad things that can happen.
Now, I usually go past one block and make a left/u-turn at an arrow or 3 right turns.
I wont be a sitting duck for some arrogant jerk who’s late, distracted, or both.

37 ctown January 30, 2013 at 4:34 PM

I live near Monte Gardens elementary school and unfortunately this kind of thing happens a lot. Especially between the morning hours and afternoon hours of kids being picked up or dropped off at school. It is very sad when you live on a side street near a school that is unsafe for kids to play on. Some of the worst drivers i see speeding by with there starbucks coffee in one hand and cell in the other are moms dropping there kids off at school. I would like to think that they would be the most aware of driving slow in residential neighborhoods, but it is just the opposite. PLEASE LEAVE YOUR HOUSE EARLIER SO YOU DO NOT NEED TO SPEED.

38 anon January 30, 2013 at 5:31 PM

A little girl was killed to blocks down from that intersection years ago. She was in the crosswalk at the time she was hit by a car.

39 Bimbo Slice January 30, 2013 at 5:35 PM

where aren’t people fed up with bad drivers?

40 Antler January 30, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Blinking lights at pedestrian crosswalks (including trail crossings) should be flashing RED….RED….RED.

41 Anon January 30, 2013 at 6:44 PM

“If we all slowed down and learned to pay attention to the road, we wouldn’t have any collisions.”

You are too native to write this blog. Accidents will always happen, and yes your advice could reduce it but not eliminate it.

42 V January 30, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Maybe his tail lights were out…that is also a cause that should be addressed. Not only slow down but maintain your vehicles. Maybe they need an actual crossing guard or have the police direct traffic during the busy times, just for a while. Like until people get the hint.

43 Anonymous January 30, 2013 at 7:55 PM

To Bimbo Slice #39 can’t you tell by reading these comments that we pretty much ARE fed up with bad drivers? The problem we have is the City of Concord won’t do anything about it. If anyone reading this post has any connections at all, please use them. Even if it is just to forward this posting to someone with the city to read it and possibly pass it along.

They won’t put speed bumps on a major thoroughfare. Too hard on the firetrucks. They would have to drive very slow and come to almost a complete stop at every bump to slowly go over them. And MOMO #35 yes the firetrucks drive every street in Concord. But they go very quickly down the main roads like Willow Pass, Clayton Rd., Concord Blvd., and then they are slowed way down on the side streets like Landana with the speed bumps. It was made perfectly clear to the residents petitioning for the bumps that it would significantly slow the response time. The residents felt that strongly about it, that they knowingly traded emergency rescue response time for the slowing of daily traffic through their neighborhood. The fire department was against the installation of the bumps, but they lost out and they were installed.

As for the city installing crosswalks with LED lights in the pavement flashing when the pedestrian is crossing, will never happen. It has been discussed at council meetings before. Helen Allen led the way saying that with the hot summer sun, they would just bake and stop working and cost of thousands of dollars to have lights in the pavement that has stopped working. Well, I have seen them in use in Danville and in Walnut Creek on Mt. Diablo Blvd by the Broadway Mall. Their summer’s are just as hot as ours. I have to wonder, did Concord even consult with those cities about their lights and how they fare in the hot summer sun? Or was Ms. Allen that educated on the subject that she needed nothing more than her own personal opinion? I personally would like to see them all over Concord’s main street crosswalks. I think they could save lives.

44 david January 30, 2013 at 7:59 PM

dont expect drivers to do your job. my parents taught me when i was a little kid to LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE STEPPING OFF THE CURB! yeah people need to pay attention when they are driving. but really if the state was concerned they would outlaw phone usage completely while driving. maybe im off the subject. maybe im not.

45 Cowellian January 30, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Anon@41,
What in the world does “too native to write this blog” mean?

46 Triple Canopy January 30, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Instead of whining about this in Claycord, I suggest contacting Ray Kuzbari, City of Concord Transportation Manager. Make him EARN his salary that is paid by YOU, the residents of Concord.

Telephone: (925) 671-3129

http://www.ci.concord.ca.us/about/contact/depts/ped.asp

47 @cowellian January 30, 2013 at 10:36 PM

I was assuming #41 meant naive….My phone tries to autocorrect that word to native as well.

48 Anonymous January 30, 2013 at 10:38 PM

I just wrote to Mr. Kuzbari. I suggest all of you concerned to the same. Thank you Triple Canopy for the link. I honestly did not know we had a Transportation Manager. But you are right. If we truly want something to be done, we have to all contact him and ask him. Thank you.

49 The Biz January 31, 2013 at 10:34 AM

It’s all really a joke, right? Don’t talk on your cell phone, but nevermind the hundreds of drivers who have no business owning a vechicle in the first place. There is no excuse for rear ending someone other than you’re a horrible driver. We need less drivers out on the road, period.

50 RanchgirlCA January 31, 2013 at 11:54 AM

I always get out from MG via Landana, just because I hate this intersection. They really do need to do something.

51 ItsAnInsideJob January 31, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Traffic in Concord has gotten congested to the point where it is dangerous to pedestrians AND drivers. @David has a good point, too — I cannot count the number of times idiot pedestrians just step right in to traffic because “gee the drivers have to stop for us…” or walk behind cars with their reverse lights on in parking lots. I taught the kids to WATCH for yourself and assume every car on the road cannot see you, to look both ways before you cross anywhere, to never, ever walk behind a reversing vehicle, etc. Over the past 5 years, traffic has gotten much, much heavier in and through Concord. And they want to develop the Naval Weapons land? Say NO now. The roads cannot accomodate any more cars, the cops cannot defend and protect the folks who live here now, and building more roads will only endanger more people.

52 chs student February 2, 2013 at 8:22 AM

There was a time my cousin and I were going to take a left turn into her driveway which is right in front of the apartments on Willow Pass. as we waited for cars to pass so she can make a left turn I seen a black little old honda going about 25 mph in the passengerside rearview mirror. I yelled at her to step on the gas and go straight because the man was going to hit us but before she could, he swereved onto the right lane and honked at US as if we were the ones doing something wrong. we’re 18 & 20 that would of been an ugly scene. AND she had her blinker on!!

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