Concord High School Senior Dies After Hit & Run Collision

February 13, 2020 17:07 pm · 31 comments

An 18-year-old Concord High School senior has passed away after a hit & run collision in Concord.

As we previously reported, officers responded at about 9:15 p.m. on Monday to a call of a pedestrian down in the roadway on the Port Chicago Highway on-ramp to eastbound Highway 4. The victim, a Concord resident, was taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where he was listed in critical condition at the time, CHP officials said.

Investigators did not find any vehicle or driver at the scene, but have since located a person and vehicle of interest in the case, CHP officials said Tuesday morning.

Concord High School Principal Rianne Pfaltzgraff sent the following update to parents on Thursday afternoon:

“Good afternoon Concord Families,

It is with great sadness that I share that CHS Senior Joe Barratt has passed away. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and our thoughts are with them as they deal with this difficult time. We will have counselors available on Tuesday to support any students who may need a space to process this. If you have any concerns about your child over the four day weekend, please feel free to email any counselor, administrator, or teacher so we can provide support when we return on Tuesday. We will keep the community informed about services or celebrations that may be held in memory of Joe. Joe was a kind and thoughtful young man and he will be dearly missed by many. Thank you for your support and compassion. Good evening.

Rianne Pfaltzgraff
Principal, Concord High”

Anyone with information is asked to call the CHP’s Contra Costa office at (925) 646-4980.

jeffsterz February 13, 2020 at 5:24 PM

RIP Young Joe.

Cellophane February 13, 2020 at 5:25 PM

Condolences to his Parents, family, and friends.

May his memory be a blessing.

S February 13, 2020 at 5:44 PM

sympathy to all

JRay class of 91 February 13, 2020 at 5:47 PM

RIP young man. My thoughts and prayers are with your family, friends and fellow classmates.

WhoDat Gurl February 13, 2020 at 6:35 PM

My prayers for his famy & friends. There is truly nothing sadder than when a young person passes. May the memories you all shared bring comfort to you now. RIP.

Sabrina February 13, 2020 at 6:41 PM

This is sooo heart breaking ! Who hits a child and leaves them for death? I hope who ever did this gets the punishment they deserve I can not imagine! My heart goes out to his family friends and all his peers 🙏🏻☝🏻😩💜

Crystal February 13, 2020 at 7:44 PM

AGREED!!!!😡 Just about to start his life, and it was ripped away from him!!! No sympathy, for the driver!

Crystal February 13, 2020 at 7:46 PM

AGREED!!!!😡 Just about to start his life, and it was ripped away from him!!! No sympathy, for the driver!

MarMar February 13, 2020 at 8:29 PM

I’m a concord high school student. It was devastating to hear the news about Joe. He was a very kind dude. RIP Joe. My love goes out to him and his loved ones. All of us at CHS will miss you. 🙁

Darwin February 13, 2020 at 9:08 PM

Sad. So very young.

John P February 13, 2020 at 9:30 PM

I’m struggling to understand how this accident occurred. I’ve read about it from other sources, which reported he had just gotten off a bus after being at the library, and that he was headed home. He was struck at one of the eastbound Highway 4 onramps, where there are no nearby bus stops. The closest is up at the North Concord BART station. can anyone clarify how it happened?
I’m sorry if my comment seems cold, but I need to get my analytical mind around this to see if there’s something to be done to prevent a similar incident.

dog February 13, 2020 at 10:31 PM

he may have possibly lived in clyde on the other side of highway 4 up port chicago and tried to cross the street near the on-ramp. very sad this happened.

Anon February 13, 2020 at 11:00 PM

I saw Joe heading home often from the North Concord BART station. He lived further down Port Chicago Hwy, in Clyde. Reports say he was hit on the on-ramp from Port Chicago Hwy onto Hwy 4. He would have had to cross this on-ramp to get home from the BART station.

He was a really sweet guy. I’ll miss him.

John P February 14, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Thank you both for the explanation. I’ve walked, biked, and driven that corridor a lot and we need the city and/or Cal Trans to improve pedestrian access. We have folks walking to work or home along a roadway that provides very few safety measures. We need to focus on the east side of PCH, since BART feeds that side of the road. The east side on ramp to 4 east is a speed way. People fly down that hill without regard to or awareness of people walking. We need a crossing light there and no, I don’t care about the traffic back up that that might extend up towards the BART station, If the city wants to spring for a pedestrian bridge, i’d support that idea as well.

Dragana Sandoval February 13, 2020 at 10:32 PM

Dear Leslie and family,
I am heartbroken for you and all whose lives Joe touched💔💔💔
Ever since I learned about it Tuesday night at work, I could not put it out of my mind.
Being a parent to an only child myself, my heart and soul goes out to you and the whole family and all the young friends Joe has made.
I can not fathom the devastation you are feeling.
There are no words that can comfort you now.
I only hope you have your faith to wrap you in it’s arms, and I know that Joe will live on through you and with you in your hearts❤️❤️❤️

Janice February 14, 2020 at 11:37 AM

🙏😢😢 So very sorry. My heart 💔breaks for your family. My deepest condolences.

MChristie February 14, 2020 at 1:12 AM

Our condolences to his family. You will be in our thoughts and prayers

stumpy February 14, 2020 at 7:01 AM

So very sorry he passed and at such a young age just starting his life. My prayers and thoughts to his family and frfiends.,

stumpy February 14, 2020 at 7:02 AM

So very sorry he passed and at such a young age just starting his life. My prayers and thoughts to his family and friends.RIP

ZZ February 14, 2020 at 9:25 AM

May the Lord help you through this terrible time. My heart breaks for his family and friends.

Neighbor February 14, 2020 at 11:25 AM

I’ve seen him walking Port Chicago for many years going back and forth to Clyde. Poor kid, he was probably wearing his headphones and didn’t hear the out of control car coming. There have been TOO many pedestrian deaths in this area the last few years. I won’t even allow my family to walk along PCH due to the aggressive reckless driving that occurs every day. I pray that the city or crooked caltrans creates a safer option for pedestrians. There’s not even a light on that crosswalk… RIP young Joe

Peggy February 14, 2020 at 3:14 PM

Can grief and pain just be put on hold until Tuesday? School staff and county mental health should make themselves available at the school before Tuesday

Uh hmmmmm February 14, 2020 at 3:43 PM

I work at concord high and received a robo call that counselors,teachers and other staff are available now if need be.
This is so sad. Joe was the nicest young man. He will be missed.

Anon2 February 14, 2020 at 4:10 PM

@Peggy…schools are on not in session until Tuesday due to the President’s Day holiday Monday. That’s why no grief counselors until then.

Michael February 14, 2020 at 8:26 PM

My condolences to the family and his friends.

I do a lot driving throughout the Bay Area and I am struggling to understand why this specific on ramp does not have a stop sign or stop light. Same goes to the off ramps from highway 4.

Caltrans and City of Concord need to review this configuration as every configuration of this sort has a barrier indicating no pedestrian crossing and directs people to use the crosswalk to go to the other side of the street or a STOP light with a walk don/t walk signal.

You can’t expect people to cross almost 2 lanes of a freeway on-ramp with no painted crosswalk while cars our traveling 45mph-60mph. Not to say even if there was a stop light or other pedestrian crossing lights that drivers would simply ignore them.

For the City of Concord per California Department of Transportation 2015-2018 TIMMS data Auto vs Pedestrian Accidents show that 66% it is the DRIVER that is cited for not yielding to a pedestrian within a crosswalk. 33% of the time the pedestrian being cited for not yield to on coming traffic while in a pedestrian crosswalk.

Michael February 14, 2020 at 8:33 PM

The stats I mentioned above is specifically for the 65 children ages 4 to 18 in the same time period. Not the overall number of pedestrian vehicle accidents.

Kirkwood February 15, 2020 at 8:30 AM

In decades past, kids, including teenagers were much more family oriented. Today many families are more loosely connected. There are more means of communication available and many more distractions to kids. Many teenagers today have closer attachments to schoolmates than to their families. Also, psychologists have worked to create markets for their profession.

Grieving in public has become fashionable especially for the media. Today roadside memorials are everywhere, highways and buildings are named after otherwise unknown dead people.

sign from above February 15, 2020 at 2:50 PM

So incredibly sad. As a father of a high school senior, who is also an only child, I can not imagine what the family is going through. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

RC February 17, 2020 at 10:33 PM


Nokeem February 17, 2020 at 9:29 PM

There should not be a freeway access in a residential neighborhood (transit to/fro BART) without a traffic signal. This is so basic and outrageous that it takes the death of this child (under such callous circumstances) to bring this to our attention. Who makes the traffic lights mandatory? Who is the key person to make this change right now? And after my rant I remember this person, this young man, with his whole life ahead of him and I’m so sorry for his heartbroken family. Just so sorry.

RC February 17, 2020 at 10:20 PM

As for the comments regarding not needing crosswalks, caution lights and the like and also why grief counselors are needed…GO TAKE A HIKE! Just because we didn’t have these things doesn’t mean it wouldn’t make life better. Perhaps the young man could have paid more attention, but it sounds as if he’d crossed over the area several times and I’m sure he was cautious. He was 18, not six. Car fly down CPH at tremendous speeds, as they come off and begin to enter Hwy. 4. My MIL lives up the hill from PCH and I never take Panoramic Dr. up nor down the hill because of the blind spot the PCH hill has. It’s much too dangerous entering or exiting the steep Panoramic Dr. hill onto or from the PCH Autobahn! Crazy drivers. Even by the time some drivers get to Ranchito Dr. on PCH, where the road has leveled, they tend to fly thru like the governor going to a fire! A bubba truck in trailer tried to cut me off as I made a right from Ranchito to PCH, where two lanes become one. He thought since he had the speed and size, he could do as he wished. He almost killed us all! So, the more things in place for our safety, the better it is. My heart goes out to the family, who must be so truly saddened by their kid getting killed! Joe is in Heaven for sure. Rest In Peace, Joe!

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