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Vehicle hits 2-year-old riding in a bicycle carrier in Alamo

Original post made on Jul 19, 2010

A vehicle struck a two-year-old girl while she was riding in a carrier attached to a bicycle Saturday afternoon, an officer for the California Highway Patrol said. The incident occurred on Danville Boulevard.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, July 18, 2010, 5:45 PM

Comments (35)

Posted by Concerned, a resident of Alamo
on Jul 19, 2010 at 9:15 am

Very poor judgement on the part of the father for having towed his toddler down such a busy thoroughfare.

Posted by Alex, a resident of Danville
on Jul 19, 2010 at 9:17 am

Poor judgment on the father's part??? Who are you??? POOR JUDGMENT ON THE DRIVER'S FAULT!!!! Geez.

Posted by Mari Jo, a resident of Danville
on Jul 19, 2010 at 9:22 am

So very sad everyone who lives around this area knows there are always bicycles and many times the toddler ones....Folks need to be more careful will hope the little girl and her Daddy will be alright.....

Posted by Mike, Danville resident, a resident of Danville
on Jul 19, 2010 at 10:37 am

Drivers don't take care to respect the traffic rights of bicycle riders. The father is in the bike lane. Clearly the driver went out of the car lane to hit him. Too many drivers are distracted, talking on their cell phones and texting.

Posted by Don, a resident of Alamo
on Jul 19, 2010 at 10:41 am

VERY POOR JUDGEMENT? I assume he was in the bike lane. Get real. Why blame the bike rider? Maybe the car didn't stop where it was supposed to. How can you make that kind of statement with the small amount of information available?

Posted by Eloise, a resident of Alamo
on Jul 19, 2010 at 10:54 am

You're blaming the father?!! The driver came from Camille. He or she was not driving on Danville Blvd.

Posted by Mimi, a resident of Danville
on Jul 19, 2010 at 11:05 am

When I learned how to drive, I was and still am very aware of the lethal power a car can have. Whether a cyclist is in a bike lane or not (cyclists can legally ride on streets where there are no bike lanes), whether a pedestrian is in the cross walk or jay walking, it won't kill you (the motorist) to yield, but you might kill the cyclist/pedestrian! And who ever wants that on their conscience?!! Use common sense and show some common courtesy. The story doesn't give a lot of detail about the accident, but I just hope the little girl is okay.

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Danville
on Jul 19, 2010 at 11:07 am


Posted by Julia, a resident of Alamo
on Jul 19, 2010 at 11:10 am

You are ALL wrong...
Parents...if you want to ride your bike, ride the darn thing but DO NOT tow a child behind you...makes no sense. Your child is NOT getting any exercise and you know for darn sure he/she is getting all the pollutants from all those passing cars and trucks.

Drivers...wake up and pay attention. Hitting a towing cart behind a bile may mean you just couldn't wait until the biker crossed in front of you to jump out and go. And if you were on a cell phone, I hope the law handles you accordingly.

Thanks for Listening...Julia from Alamo

Posted by john tanner, a resident of Danville
on Jul 19, 2010 at 11:15 am

My reaction, and of course we are all commenting on hearsay, since there is no statement of fact, is that riding a bicycle on Danville Boulevard with a child in a carrier is TERRIBLE judgement. Exactly for the reason given for the accident, a car hit the two on a bike. Let's assume that it is 100% the car drivers fault. It still is bad judgement on the fathers part.

Posted by Ron, a resident of Danville
on Jul 19, 2010 at 12:03 pm

I dont know why the guy was where he was or heading but the iron horse trail is only two blocks from where he was. I ride a lot and I dont ride thru town on weekends and stay on the iron horse as much as possible. Too many distracted drivers on the road, not only distracted but careless and clueless. Lets just hope the kid is o.k. I saw a guy get hit just a few weeks ago when they had the art show downtown. I watched him pass in the bike lane and at that moment I told my wife that guy is crazy riding thru here and in 30 seconds he was on the ground. Person decided at the last minute to pull to the right to park. The guy was not hurt bad but the trail is only 200 feet from that spot. Bikers have to think as well.

Posted by Karl, a resident of Danville
on Jul 19, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Don't have all the facts, BUT what responsible parent / person carries a child in a carrier on a bike? Nobody I know.

Julia has it right; John Tanner is right on, also assuming Driver is 100% responsible.

My advice to the parent: Wake Up.

I would be very surprised if he takes his daughter out again like this.

Posted by Dead Right, a resident of Danville
on Jul 19, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Common sense. When I was younger and I was attempting to convince my father that owning and driving a motorcyle was safe, he in turn relayed to me a simple story of the motorcyle rider who was dead right. He said that even if you drive a motorcyle extra safely, operate well within your lane, and even properly signal for an extended period of time, if the automobile doesn't see you, you can certainly end up "dead right".

I still bought my motorcyle, against my father's wish, and although I was never injured, the story of being "dead right" has stuck with me all these years.

Posted by John B, a resident of Danville
on Jul 19, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Seriously People! I am appalled that the majority of you could not spare some concern for the condition of the young girl and instead focus on useless and unfounded speculation. Prayers for all involved and that the young girl had only minor injuries and she gets well soon.

Posted by Treebeard, a resident of Danville
on Jul 19, 2010 at 3:38 pm

There's no speculation to it. The father was going the WRONG WAY on Danville Blvd. It's just the same as if you went the wrong way down a one-way street and hit someone. Who do you think would be at fault?

The driver WAS NOT on Danville Blvd, she was on Camille Ave and was making legal right turn.

I'm sorry there were injuries, but they were self-inflicted.

Posted by Barbara, a resident of Danville
on Jul 19, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Gosh, This is bad - and I have seen other weekend cyclists traveling the wrong way. When cyclists see other's traveling the wrong way - speak up, tell them. This could have been very tragic and no fault of the driver.

Maybe there should be cycling rules posted at all of the bike stores. Awareness is key. I would hate to have been the driver in this case and I hope for a speedy recovery for the child and dad.

Anyone riding a bike NEEDS to know the rules and share with other's so nothing horrible happens.

Posted by Kevin, a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 19, 2010 at 8:59 pm

I hope this little girl is ok. Talk about an innocent victim.

I'm a avid cyclist, over 200 miles per week. Its dangerous enough by yourself on Danville Blvd, yet alone with a baby. Take the ironhorse if you have a child, please.

No matter who is at fault, I can guarantee the driver and the Father are sick beyond belief over this accident.

Posted by Danville Parent, a resident of Danville
on Jul 19, 2010 at 9:03 pm

I hope the dad and the girl recover quickly.

Just a note on the accident--the driver was making a right turn from Camille onto Danville Boulevard. She was proably looking over her left shoulder to determine if there was any oncoming traffic or bikes in her lane. The man was riding the wrong way, so he was on her right, and he tried to get around her before she turned.

This is a common problem when walkers and runners are crossing the street and right-turning drivers are looking over their shoulder at oncomining traffic and fail to look the way they are turning. The bottom line is that both parties need to be more aware of their surroundings--the driver should have looked right to determine if there were any pediestrians (in which case she would have seen the oncoming bike), and the biker should not have been traveling on the wrong side of the road.

Posted by Derek Mueller, a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2010 at 11:47 pm

I came across this accident just minutes after it happened. My primary concern was for the little girl in the crushed trailer, who was screaming and not moving arms or legs, that I could see. It was a frightening scene, not knowing her true condition. I said a sincere prayer to God for her (unusual for me) that the girl would be uninjured and able to live a long healthy life. My prayer was thankfully answered.

I am an avid cyclist, 150 miles per week, and I ride to Danville and back from Oakland twice a week. I was on my way to Mt. Diablo last Saturday.

The last 3 comments by Barbara, Kevin, and Danville Parent are right on. Especially now that we know the cyclist was traveling in the wrong direction and the driver of the vehicle was not at fault.

As a cyclist, along with other groups of experienced and safety conscious cyclists, we take it upon ourselves to call out to people if we see unsafe practices while riding, such as riding against traffic. I definitely agree that no parent should use those bicycle trailers on city streets. Stay on the trails with them away from traffic, if you use them at all. They may look like fun, but they are more a convenience for the parent and do not provide exercise for the child. Not worth the risk, in my opinion. They are too low to the ground.

Posted by Barb, a resident of Danville
on Jul 20, 2010 at 6:45 am

I've seen a mother around 8am in the morning pulling toddlers in a carrier on Diablo Blvd. Stay on the side streets or use the Iron Horse Trailerl. You are putting your children's lives at risk!

Posted by Concerned, a resident of Alamo
on Jul 20, 2010 at 6:46 am

Well conveyed, Derek.

Posted by jet lagged, a resident of Danville
on Jul 20, 2010 at 7:06 am

We visited Copenhagen where more than 50% of the population commutes to work by bicycle. They drop their children off at day care on the way. They do not use trailers behind, all the trailers are attached to the front of the bicycles where they can keep track of the traffic and their children. The bicyclists obey the rules of the road and the drivers respect the bicyclists.

Posted by SALLY, a resident of Danville
on Jul 20, 2010 at 8:23 am

I am a walker and often walk AGAINST the on coming traffic-which i will not do anymore.

Also before making a turn or walking across the street LOOK RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT .

Posted by Kirsten Branch, a resident of Danville
on Jul 20, 2010 at 8:55 am

So happy the injuries were minor! I agree, keep those trailers on the bike trail. Also, In general that intersection in particular scares the bejezus out of me, and I hold my breath each time I have needed to navigate coming and going from the Iron Horse trail to Hap Magee park with my kids...seeing that it is an access point to a very popular park, I wish that it would be upgraded to be safer for all involved.

Posted by Treebeard, a resident of Danville
on Jul 20, 2010 at 9:17 am


Here's the safety scoop:

Bicyclists ride WITH the flow of traffic, i.e. on the right. Walkers walk AGAINST the flow of traffic, i.e. on the left. Both of these are true for two lane roads that have automobile traffic.

On trails like the Iron Horse Trail, the rule for EVERYONE is walk and ride right.

Posted by Kevin, a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 20, 2010 at 9:29 am

As a parent of 2 little girls, I can't imagine the sheer horror the person driving must have felt after almost accidently crushing a baby. Thank God that little girl is ok. I'm guessing the adults in this tragidy will be dealing with the emotional injuries for the rest of their lives. I would.

Posted by Derek, a resident of Danville
on Jul 20, 2010 at 10:00 am

(a different, more snarky Derek) Ron's post nailed a major issue - "the clueless", which can certainly include both drivers of cars and riders of bikes. The big problem has always been distraction, but with the advent of cell phones, texting, etc, the number & duration of distractions has multiplied to insnae levels. Add to the doofus stuffing a burrito in his face with one hand, dumping salsa in his lap; the bimbo putting on make-up in the mirror; the yuppie reading his Wall Street Journal, and now we have some teen barely up to the task of operating his daddy's BMW, oogling his girlfriend's latest email - pic attached. Riding on the streets, in a bike lane, either direction, becomes more risky by the day. The higher the speed limit, the worse your chances. Two serious accidents on Tassajara, one fatal, in what - twelve months? More citations are in order, but that may not save your life, and there are times I choose to ride slowly with my daughter on the sidewalk, moving aside for any pedestrians.

But I must take grave issue with the other Derek on one thing, and that is his destination on Mt. Diablo. I ride about 25 miles a week, a small fraction of Mr. Meuller's output. But I have ridden for 45 years, and have owned the same bike (rebuilt more than once) for 31 years. I haven't crashed since I was 11 or 12. And when the day comes that some politician puts forth a bill that prohibits bikes on Mount Diablo, Niles Canyon, or Highway 9 in Saratoga, I will be the first one standing in line to support that bill.
At issue is not whether Mr. Meuller has the legal right to ride at any of these three routes. The ONLY issue is the consequence of his doing so, and on Mt. Diablo, Highway 9, or Niles, the consequence may be multiple fatalities. I will scream to my last breath that there are some places bikes have absolutely no business, and Diablo is tops among them. What do I do Derek, when I come around a bend at 23 m.p.h., and you are suddenly in front of me? Do I swerve into the opposite lane, and see how my Solara does against the oncoming Denali? Do I ram myself, the wife, and my daughter into the scree slope to my right? No Derek, I do not. If I am unable to stop, you my friend become "the late Mr. Mueller", a.k.a. "Derek the bumper ornament".

Posted by C. R. Mudgeon, a resident of Danville
on Jul 20, 2010 at 10:23 am

A few random comments, triggered by various posts above:

- "Danville Parent"'s post probably had the best description of the scenario - the driver waiting to turn right from Camille onto Danville Blvd. southbound, was watching to her left, waiting for an opening. The bike and trailer were riding north, but in the southbound-side bike lane. The driver obviously should have also done a quick check to the right before pulling out, but I can see how the accident occurred. And the cyclist SHOULD have been in the bike lane on the other side of the street.

- Pedestrians, on the other hand, if not on a sidewalk, are supposed to walk facing oncoming traffic. So if the cyclist had been walking, he would have been on the correct side. But he also would have been moving slower, with more ability to stop, or even to wait for the car to pull out.

- As for the comments about bikes not being appropriate on the Mt. Diablo road - if your speed in a car driving up the Mt. Diablo road is such that you can't stop in time for something in the road, around a blind curve, then perhaps you need to slow down. If it's not a cyclist, it might be a person walking, or an animal of some kind. I agree that cyclists should be courteous, and make an effort to use as little of the road as is reasonable (even if cyclists leagally have full rights to the lane). But to totally ban cyclists from narrow roads isn't the right answer. (It is probaby most annoying when going uphill, since the cyclist will be moving fairly slowly. Going downhill the speed difference between the cyclist and a car would be much less.)

Climbing Mt. Diablo on a bike is a well-known challenging ride in our area (one I hope to do as I get fitter...) - and hopefully all can be courteous to each other in enjoying this scenic road.

Prayers go out to the father and child who are injured, and also to the driver, who I'm sure is probably very distraught over the incident, regardless of legal liability...

Posted by SALLY, a resident of Danville
on Jul 20, 2010 at 12:08 pm


Thank you for the 411 . It is so noted ! :>)

Posted by Diablo Diva, a resident of Danville
on Jul 20, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Derek #2:
I ride Mt. Diablo every week. On a typical weekday, bikes outnumber cars by 10 to 1 at least, and on Wednesday nights when the mountain bike clubs and local race teams ride Diablo, it is easily 25 to 1. I am happy to say that nearly all drivers on Mt. Diablo are watching the road as carefully as they watch the scenery, and I have only had one close call in the last 3 years with a pickup taking his half of the road down the middle. The cars pass me with caution on the uphill, and I pass them with caution on the downhill. We live in peace!

Now, as many times as I've been up Mt. Diablo, I have NEVER ridden my bike on the curved and newly paved portion of Diablo Road. I always ride through the town of Diablo, heeding all stops signs and speed limits, to be sure that I get where I'm going safely. You are correct that some risks just aren't worth taking!

I'd be first in line to ask for more bikepaths anywhere in Danville! Keep in mind however that multi-use trails like the Iron Horse have their own drawbacks--runners with their iPods up much too loud so they don't hear you when you call out "passing on your left!" Or dogs on a leash that don't get the whole "keep right" business. The bottom line is to keep the laws that pertain to your mode of travel, stay aware of your surroundings, and take responsibility for your choices.

Posted by Gray, a resident of Danville
on Jul 20, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Bike lane is not bullet proof lane. Sometimes people misunderstood that they are protected by thin white lane. Bad decision to take toddler to busy street even they were in bike lane. I agree with 'Bad Judgement'. Hope they r o.k.

Posted by Alamo Resident, a resident of Alamo
on Jul 21, 2010 at 9:01 am

There is a crosswalk at that intersection -- and the only safe way for people who live on that side of the street to cross safely in order to get to the HapMagee Park - cross over Camille and cross over Danville Blvd. There was no mention in the article if the person on the bicycle had a safe cross signal, as it seems obvious that the light was red for traffic entering Danville Blvd. I live near that intersection and see people sneak by to make the right turn all the time. Don't be too quick to judge before you know all the facts.

Posted by Derek Mueller, a resident of another community
on Jul 21, 2010 at 9:44 am

Diablo Diva:

I agree with your comments about riding Diablo. There are times when there are many more cyclists than cars, since Diablo is somewhat of a training route for cyclists. This is well established and understood by most locals in the area, I gather. I also agree that some roads are better suited to cycling traffic than others. On my way to Diablo, via Diablo Road. I noticed that the newly paved, curvy section is not safe for cyclists, and there is no bike lane there yet. However, there is a well paved trail to the side. Switching to that was a good alternative.

Posted by Greg, a resident of Danville
on Jul 21, 2010 at 2:29 pm


Posted by Dave, a resident of Blackhawk
on Jul 26, 2010 at 3:00 pm

[portion removed]
Some advise. There are many unstable, ticking timebombs out there waiting and wanting to be offended by someone like you, so be careful.

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