UPDATE: Driver Arrested for DUI Following Head-On Injury Collision on Willow Pass Rd.

August 29, 2014 1:08 am · 68 comments


A person is in custody this morning for driving under the influence after a head-on vehicle collision on Willow Pass Rd., near the Kinne Bridge Overcrossing (prior to Hwy.4) in Concord.

The collision occurred just after 11pm on Thursday night.

Concord Police say serious, but non-life threatening injuries were reported. The driver of the Honda Accord was arrested for Driving Under the Influence, and the passenger in the Honda was taken to the hospital with moderate injuries, police said.

The driver of the Mercedes SUV sustained a minor injury and was treated at the scene.

Police say the Honda driver was driving on the wrong side of the road on the bridge when he crashed head-on into the victim’s vehicle.

The suspects identity has not been released at this time.

This crash occurred just a few feet away from where a woman and her baby were killed by an alleged drunk driver in June of this year. The driver in that case is facing murder charges.

Thanks to Andrew for the picture of the collision.

RELATED STORY: UPDATE: Head-On Collision on Willow Pass Rd. Near the Kinne Bridge Overcrossing

adam August 29, 2014 at 1:14 AM

Its good to know everyone made it out alive. As for drinking and driving, not worth it!

AAA Sean August 29, 2014 at 1:22 AM

That bridge from 1944 really does need to go.

student August 29, 2014 at 1:23 AM

There should be zero tolerance for DUI

Damn DUI drivers August 29, 2014 at 1:45 AM

People will never learn. I am extremely glad there were no fatalities in this incident.

Mimi (original) August 29, 2014 at 1:54 AM

That stretch of road has always made me a little uncomfortable but since Lorena’s death I will not ever drive that road again.

Sinn Feiner August 29, 2014 at 2:21 AM

@ AAA Sean,

That’s probably what the drunk driver said too.

Jess August 29, 2014 at 5:12 AM

Ever since my friend lorena passed and her baby i hate passing by that bridge. I always feel so nervous. i always make sure I go home before dark because their is so many stupid drivers. Seriously WHY DONT THEY HAVE A CHECK POINT THERE CMON CHP!!

Killjoy August 29, 2014 at 5:47 AM

Perhaps once the city finally gets that Naval Weapons property, that bridge can be torn down, and a proper roadway can be built. That bridge has always been a dangerous location, with no room to swerve out of the way.
Maybe even a divided road?

Terri August 29, 2014 at 5:55 AM

Rip up your stupid $60k white picket fence, piece it out on Craigslist and apply the money to fix this problem.

Anonymom August 29, 2014 at 6:23 AM

AAA Sean…..I am not sure the bridge is the problem but Willow Pass could afford some safety upgrades that’s for sure. Glad everyone will be ok. Throw the book at the DUI driver.

Save the Bridge August 29, 2014 at 6:34 AM

The bridge appears to be sound and is actually surprisingly huge. Replacing it would cost a fortune. Maybe attacking the problem from a driver behavior stand point would be better. Reduce the speed limit. Put up ugly, flashing yellow lights and one of those radar gun signs that flashes your speed at you. Enforcement. Make it a notorious speed trap. Rumble strips.

ms. mom August 29, 2014 at 6:37 AM

It’s not the roads fault folks it’s the Damn drunk drivers fault! ! The bridge wasn’t in the wrong lane.

Claycord native August 29, 2014 at 6:47 AM

Though the bridge may not be needed anymore, and may be outdated and unsafe, it’s not the bridge’s fault there are idiots who continue to drink and drive. If the court system would give hasher sentences to drunk drivers who MURDER people, maybe there wouldn’t be so many drivers who drink, then get the stupid idea to drive. I saw a case recently where a driver got 7 years for killing, then dragging a 20 year old girl’s body down the freeway. He chose to get in his car drunk, and drive. He’ll get out in 5 because of time “already served awaiting trial”. That should be considered pre-meditated murder, and the driver should go on death row. The system is screwy, and needs to be fixed!!

I’m glad the people who were in this collision will be okay, but the driver will be out in a few days (if not today) to do it all again. Call a cab, designate a sober driver, call a friend, but don’t ever get in your car after having a drink and think you’re okay to drive!!

Geo August 29, 2014 at 6:47 AM

Jail. Sorry but the drunk driver deserves that for his irresponsibility.

I’m glad no one was killed.

Roz August 29, 2014 at 6:48 AM

Back in 2004, we had a close call near the bridge on Thanksgiving, driver in a large pick-up,…coming towards us to pass a slower car. I do still drive this portion sometimes (about 6 times a year), only in day light hours. Not a fan of this route.

Rebecca N. August 29, 2014 at 7:16 AM

It is not the road’s fault. People are stupid and reckless sometimes (more than we care to admit). That being said, maybe it’s time to widen that road and put a lane barrier up. Too many idiots on that road to be safe anymore. I had a car pass me on the RIGHT one time. Went into the gravel to pass about 3 cars. He came up behind me so fast it scared the you know what out of me.

mrs.mom August 29, 2014 at 7:18 AM

Go home bridge, you’re drunk!

BagsFlyFree August 29, 2014 at 7:33 AM

@ 11… The people that crash here either think the roadway is opening to two lanes or need the extra width to avoid the outer wall (because drunk, speed, lack of overhead lighting). All your suggestions are sound and demand attention from our downtown loving council. The day this stretch of road no longer becomes a shortcut to 4 is the day we will finally see less crashes and lives lost.

BFF Out!

Krystle August 29, 2014 at 7:34 AM

Do something city or navel weapon station who ever is in charge of that. Needs to be something done

anon August 29, 2014 at 7:41 AM

Big crack down on DUI’s this holiday weekend?

WC August 29, 2014 at 7:57 AM

Yeah, it’s the bridge’s fault….

Rollo Tomasi August 29, 2014 at 8:02 AM

There are two lane roads everywhere. Only a short stretch of this road has a 55 mph speed limit posted. Unless we are going to thumb our noses at the environmentalists and widen every road to four lanes with a concrete divider, the talk about the dangers of this stretch of road is pointless. The recent fatality here was also caused by a drunk driver. What say we impose a mandatory six months behind bars for a first DUI (whether there is a collision involved or not) and ramp it up from there? Sound draconian? Good – don’t drink and drive.

Mike K August 29, 2014 at 8:17 AM

DUI laws need to be more severe, mandatory 6 months in county for first offence minimum. There are those folks who are convinced they are best drivers ever and can drive while intoxicated, all the while fooling with their phone, it always happens to somebody else, right?
DUI is one of the most irresponsible thing humans do on a regular basis, problem is, they usually end up killing somebody else. Fools and morons.

Chronic Halitosis August 29, 2014 at 8:23 AM

I agree the bridge is a huge span plenty of room but kind of narrow. Replacing is not necessary. It needs better lighting, signs, etc. like mentioned above…maybe a dui check point…So the drunks will tend to avoid the road because they tend to avoid the check points. Smarter cars need to have sensors to avoid the hot car deaths and head on collisions and DUI. The Mercedes SUV was treated and released at the scene (better cars).

Mamatosix August 29, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Yes I agree Rollo and Mike K!
Six month mandatory jail time for a fist offense and no license for a year.
Second offense 1 year jail time and no license for 3 years.
If someone gets hurt or killed treat it like what it is murder. The intoxicated driver made a choice that the sober driver & passengers paid for.
Driving while intoxicated is not acceptable in any way.
The sober drivers have a right to be safe on the road.
And if the offender goes to a program and gets a second one anyways even more time. If you cannot stay sober we still have a right to be safe on the road.
No more excuses. This is unacceptable.

Jessica August 29, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Yes, it’s the drivers fault for sure. Don’t drink and drive- it’s common sense. However this road is scary, and needs some improvements. I’ve driven this road many times in the daylight while picking up my daughter from daycare and all it took was a glance at her in the mirror for me to realize that my car was dangerously close to the other lane. It can stand to be a little wider, for sure….

Marianne August 29, 2014 at 8:45 AM

No good comes from drunk driving.

I am shocked and saddened August 29, 2014 at 9:05 AM

by the commenter’s who blame the highway instead of the drunk driver.

The drunk driver made the choice to drink and to drive. There is NO ONE ELSE responsible and NOTHING else to held accountable.

An inanimate object like a roadway or bridge can do NOTHING.

Its the people who are drunk, careless, reckless or narcissistic who cause accidents and kill people.

Put the blame where it belongs.

J August 29, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Face it, there is no silver bullet. If the present system of incarceration for crimes worked, there would be no crime. 6 months mandatory jail time is arbitrary and would clog the jails and stress counties budgets. Offenders would just be put in longer work release programs that already exist.

License suspension, jail time, fines,and state mandated counseling are already in place for first offenders. Not to mention probation and insurance penalties. 2nd offences carry more penalties including one year suspension, more jail time,higher fines and 10 year probation.

We’re dealing with a behavior that is more than criminal activity. There are deep rooted psychological factors that contribute to much of the criminal activity that the state is ill-equipped to handle and if some of the posts on this blog are any indication, difficult for the general public to comprehend.


What is it going to take!!!!!

Why not call a taxi or a friend or if you are going to drink make other arrangements like stay where you are over night.

It is so sad that this effects innocent people!

Mr. Pink August 29, 2014 at 9:40 AM

I’ve always hated that stretch of Willow Pass Rd. Baily Rd as well, going over the hill into Bay Point.

maria August 29, 2014 at 9:41 AM

drivers just need to mindful of safety – for themselves and everyone around. There is a police facility around that area. but that does not help. we should be accountable for our actions……DO NOT SPEED.

Mamatosix August 29, 2014 at 9:43 AM

@J I hear you however, there are lawyers who know how to make it so these people do not pay except to them. We do not enforce our laws.
I know someone who got a second 3 duis with accidents in 18 months and is already driving again a couple of years later. We actually saw the person driving with a beer recently.
What about those folks who have had every opportunity to make a change and do not. Should those of us who do make good choices suffer for them?
I say no.

Rollo Tomasi August 29, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Yep, that helps. Let’s continue to make excuses and place blame for the criminal actions of others rather than demanding responsibility, accountability and self-respect.

DUI Checkpoint August 29, 2014 at 9:52 AM

If Concord P.D. would just once due a dui checkpoint right at Willow Pass Rd. coming and going out this dangerous highway, they would score huge. Probably find a few drunks, some stolen cars. See they would have nowhere to go in advance. It would be surprise when you come over the hill!
Can’t get rid of the bridge since there is a road beneath it on the base. The road is still being used by the base employees.

Pre-meditated Murder August 29, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Is exactly what a drunk driving charge should be. Nothing is changing the minds of these sociopaths, so get them out of society. Our current laws/sentencing does not reflect any value of human life. How sad. Wishing a quick recovery to the innocent victims and a nice case of MRSA infection for the drunk.

Ev August 29, 2014 at 9:56 AM

I think anyone pulled over or in an accident under the influence should have their names published. Ad cars should be installed l with a device, that will disable the car from driving if they are drunk or under the influence.

Damn DUI drivers August 29, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Breathalyzer starter kills in contra costa county! Highly recommended!

Woody August 29, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Simple… drop a k-rail down the center of the entire road and lower the speed limit.

@#28 August 29, 2014 at 10:05 AM

You’re not allowed to blame the people responsible for things anymore. You must choose from one of the following:

1) Inanimate Object (gun, bridge, drugs, etc.)
2) “The System”
3) Corporations
4) George Bush
5) Racism

Barrier? August 29, 2014 at 10:10 AM


Owner August 29, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Not sure about Concord “owning” this bridge. I believe that it may be county property.

SKS August 29, 2014 at 11:05 AM

I hate that road… and drunk drivers too.

It's 'Meme' is that you Ma? August 29, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Any type of impaired driving is not good…

A few slow down strips could help some.

People are driving fast and crazy, distracted, stupid and discourteously, in general.

I had the green light going left onto Concord Blvd the other day and a lady in a minivan going South ran the light – I stopped and turned after she passed…

People driving badly if while legally sober is creepy too…

Knock it off!



ConcordGhetto August 29, 2014 at 11:07 AM

I’m glad that people who post on here don’t actually make any laws. You people are idiots. Mandatory 6 month sentence? Do you know how full the jails would be? Death row? You are sick in the head. Pre meditated murder? ok law experts.

How about instead of crucifying offenders, focus on preventing people from getting in a car after drinking. Educating young drivers. Putting DUI checkpoints where it actually matters, like on said road.

The scary thing to me is that some of you on here are actually going to be called to jury duty and decide people’s fate…

Cat Wrangler August 29, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Whatever happened to personal responsibility for one’s actions?

The WP Bridge didn’t cause the accident or take the life of innocents – the drunk driver did.

Do taxpayers expect to pay for Police to patrol behind each and every drinker as they leave a bar/party/event? Drunks imbibe and drive all hours of the day. CPD and CHP arrest drunk drivers all of the time in keeping with the laws passed with MADD hard work – then the drunk drivers and their attorneys fight the convictions and ramifications in court with pleas for not guilty and leniency.

I choose not to drink and have taken keys aways from friends, co-workers and even bosses when they have tried to leave an event drunk and driven them myself or ordered and paid for the taxi. Don’t ever drink and drive. Don’t ever let friends, family and others drink and drive.

Psycho Cat August 29, 2014 at 11:24 AM

I don’t think there is room on that bridge for a cement divider. How is Kinne anyway????

Ditch the 55 mph! Put a series of rumble strips on both sides of the bridge, across the entire section, so drivers on the wrong side of the road will feel them too, and wake their ass up maybe?

Something needs done. I agree, quit spending taxpayer money on that stupid $60k vinyl fence downtown and put the money where it seriously is needed.

Idiocracy August 29, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Haven’t you noticed by now that IQ’s have been dropping hard #45. I don’t think anyone in Concord is going to be splitting the Atom soon! Solution break bread Concord Council and build a divider already! While your at it clean up Monument and Detroit Rd and Time the Lights better during rush hour

Marissa August 29, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Hold the drunk drivers accountable for their own actions, they threaten others just by trying to put their hands on the handle of any vehicle drunk.

Vandy August 29, 2014 at 11:37 AM

The high frequency of harmful accidents on this stretch of road is a combination of factors, including problems with the road and the drunk drivers using it. There is no doubt that we need to crack-down on DUI. But also some sort of improvements are needed to prevent undeterred drunk drivers from causing deadly accidents that are a result of poor visibility, narrow lanes, high speed limit, and the location of this corridor as a back road for drunks to avoid detection: add lighting, reduce the speed limit, install a divider, monitor this stretch better for DUI.

Traffic Engineer August 29, 2014 at 11:38 AM

The roadway is not at fault when you have a DUI in the opposing lane enter your lane. Only solution is a barrier or center median, and to widen the roadway. Expensive. It would require closing WPR for almost a year.

An interim solution is to reduce the speed significantly, and perhaps place Delineator Posts or other flexible signs to provide durable delineation and channelization in order to enhance a safe and uninterrupted traffic flow.

These are highly reflective markers. They do not prevent a vehicle from entering the opposing lane.

The Drunk Driver is the sole blame for this accident. Of course it’s not an accident. It’s a criminal act. There is a difference if you think about it.

Rollo Tomasi August 29, 2014 at 12:00 PM

@ #45:

More education? You haven’t noticed that EVERY form of media, from newsprint to billboards, is saturated with warnings regarding drunk driving? Who cares if the jails are crowded? Don’t like it, don’t do anything that will land you there. This area has pretty nice weather. Lets build an Arizona type tent city to handle the overflow.

Those people posting about DUI fatalities being murder need to have a better understanding of the legal definition of murder. On the other hand, have you read the SCOTUS decision regarding DUI checkpoints and the 4th amendment? I haven’t done so in a while so I could be wrong, but as I recall there are requirements to be met with checkpoints so that the violation of 4th amendment rights doesn’t exceed the benefit to society. I believe one of those requirements is placement of the checkpoint in a place where alternate routes are readily accessible. WPR does not meet all the criteria.

Anon August 29, 2014 at 12:31 PM

When they run the checkpoints they should do it on Willow Pass out there. Would get a lot of them
Keep doing them in the same old places all the times doesn’t work after a while.

Kirkwood August 29, 2014 at 12:43 PM

@#29 (J) – Excellent post!

The interim solution offered by “Traffic Engineer” is also a good compromise. Anyone who has worked for a public agency knows that any permanent solution will be complex and frightfully expensive. All they can do is try to protect the public, since lawbreakers never expect to be caught.

Tom August 29, 2014 at 1:09 PM

A disproportionate amount of drunk drivers are CHRONIC ALCOHOLICS who have no desire to overcome their alcohol addiction.

You have to get to the root of the problem.

Domestic CEO August 29, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Don’t know why my comment wasn’t posted before.

I think mandatory Ignition Lock switches for DUI’s. That way, they can no longer drive while drunk. It’s only like $60/month (which perp will pay) and if there is any hint of alcohol, the car won’t even start. Plus take away license and mandatory jail time.

Pleasant Hill Resident I August 29, 2014 at 2:25 PM

I’m so glad to hear that the victim made it out of this accident with minimal injuries. I hope that driver comes to see the consequences of such irresponsible actions and does not make the same decisions moving forward. To me, DUI’s are unforgivable and need to be treated even more seriously.

Note to self: must trade Honda Accord for Mercedes SUV!

Steve August 29, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Premeditated murder is not right, sorry. Nobody thats drinking is planning to kill, C’mon. Harsher, strict penaltys, and large fines is about all you can do?

Psycho Cat August 29, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Don’t NOT do something just because it would take a year. Willow Pass Rd. will need widened anyway if they build on the Navy Property. Most of the traffic on that road is people heading out over the hill, east. They live there. They can take other routes. Us local residents know other ways to get around. If it makes our road better, and safer, and saves lives, DO IT! If it takes a year, then it takes a year.

Cat Wrangler August 29, 2014 at 3:24 PM

Wider lanes and median barriers will not stop deaths by DUI. The accidents that kill will just occur in the new and improved lane of traffic.

Rollo Tomasi August 29, 2014 at 4:45 PM

@ Domestic CEO:

Your comment was posted. I know, because I responded to it with something like this:

“Does that mean all vehicles owned by family and friends also have to install the device?”

Many drunks are continually enabled by those around them.

Craig Nelson August 29, 2014 at 8:18 PM

If you try to install ignition locks on DUI offenders’ cars then they’ll just get their mom/aunt/boo/cousin/cat to register the car for them. It’s just too easy to get around.

Kirk August 29, 2014 at 9:40 PM

Great commercial for Mercedes.

“Tired of waiting for the civic leaders to wake up? Tired of the revolving doors of liberal justice? Tired of Star Trek utopian d-bags spouting idealism that will take generations to take effect. Buy a Mercedes. It will keep you alive and send the drunk drivers to the emergency room or the morge.”

“When it comes to a street fight, fight with German steel”

What model was it, I’ll buy my wife one.

Lucky Mercedes Driver August 29, 2014 at 10:08 PM

I was in a daze, so I can’t remember his name, but to the young guy, fresh out of the Army who took charge until the responders arrived… thank you man!

Lucky Mercedes Driver August 29, 2014 at 10:21 PM

@Kirk It was a GLK350

Anon August 30, 2014 at 5:50 AM

Lower the speed limit until there is a Permanent fix my guess is the average speed at the bridge is 70 MPH

Pandora August 30, 2014 at 8:21 AM

These old roads do not cause the accidents. It’s human error and selfishness which is polluting society. I drive that road /bridge all the time, day and night. Drunk driving has been an issue for decades. ANYONE that inserts that key or pushes that button to start their car should be held accountable to murder charges when they let their intoxicated or “buzzed” selfishness attribute to crtical injuries.

Kirk August 30, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Thanks for responding, glad you walked away from that.

In a few days you may experience some anxiety, or difficulty concentrating, all part of the event.

Sometimes I still look at the scars on my arm and go into a little trace. I wrote a story about it to clear my head. Helped a lot.

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