Bicyclist Killed in Redwood City Hit-and-Run

Note: We’ve posted an update and a profile of the bicyclist, Mary Yonkers.

According to KCBS radio, a bicyclist has been killed in a hit-and-run crash involving a dump truck this morning in Redwood City:

Authorities are looking for the driver of a dump truck who hit and
killed a bicyclist in Redwood City this morning and then drove off. Redwood City police tell KCBS that the incident took place shortly before 8 o’clock on Shoreway Road at Redwood Shores Parkway. The truck turned right from Shoreway onto Redwood Shores, running over a female bicyclist. The bicyclist was dead by the time paramedics arrived on scene. It’s unclear if the driver of the dump truck was aware that his vehicle had run over the woman. Police are interviewing a witness who believes he or she could identify both the truck and its driver.

Thanks to bicyclist Ted Goldberg at KCBS for the tip. 

  • kit

    god dammit.

  • *tears*

  • It is always sad when these stories come out. Hopefully someone was able to keep track of enough information on the truck to get this person prosecuted to the highest extent of the law.

  • This is very sad news. Be safe everyone.

  • A little close to home. I work in RWC. They have done great work extending the bicycle lanes throughout the downtown area. Sadly, these things still happen. Condolences to friends and family.

  • So sad. Just yesterday I thought I was going to be clobbered by a huge city truck. I don’t think the driver ever looked for me as he weaved in-and-out of the bike lane.

  • Peter Smith

    More details from the examiner:

    http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/Police-search-for-dump-truck-driver-after-fatal-hit-and-run-64214367.html

    I took the mini-shuttle bus from San Carlos Caltrain into Redwood Shores today. The accident was at Holly and Shoreway Road. There were cop cars everywhere — that was at about 8:50 am.

    My shuttle bus driver and some of her passengers saw the accident happen real-time during her earlier run. Said people were honking horns, others screaming — one bus passenger who saw the accident was crying.

    All badness.

    i wrote to Christine Wozniack, Belmont Infrastructure Comm., and Ina Gerhard, bike coordinator for Caltrans District 4, just yesterday about the disappearing bike lane on the other side of the Redwood Shores Parkway. The entire area is very car-centric, even while having some bike lanes. It’s definitely a drag strip, with 3 car lanes in either direction in many places, sometimes more, especially near the 101 overpass, where this incident occurred.

  • I commute in this area everyday via a bike. This is a overpass connecting two busy roads, and it’s a total cluster-flock trying to bike through this area. The bike lane is IN the merge area.

    I’ve contacted the police department of San Carlos twice involving this issue, maybe they’ll get off their ass and do something about it.

  • Jym

    =v= The /Examiner/ quotes a Redwood City police officer purporting that the bicyclist tried to squeeze past the truck on the right. Assigning blame already.

  • x181

    I drive through this intersection every day. These dump trucks come off of the Northbound 101 Freeway at full speed and merge across 3 lanes, over a short span of roadway, to turn left at this intersection.

    I know they are on a tight schedule but these dump trucks need to slow down. The dump center is just down the road where this accident happened.

  • Henry

    R.I.P.

  • Peter Smith

    made a quick google map of the area: http://j.mp/3xsbY2

    my bus driver said she was so scared of hitting bikers all the time, because there’s so little room to share the road between bikers and her big-ish vehicle — she can’t see bikers when they ride up or alongside her.

    as i happens, i’d included in my note to officials the need for buffered bike lanes — the whole area has too much car-carrying capacity — it’s hardly crowded during rush-hours, and most of the time the area is completely empty. lots of families in the area, too.

    the SVBC was helpful on letting me know what was going on in the area. three main agencies are involved in the bike infrastructure — Redwood City, Belmont, and Caltrans (for the area near and over 101). Redwood City has some some bike lanes, Belmont has (somewhat famously, I believe) not. Caltrans apparently said they’d do a bike lane, possibly continuing up and over the bridge/101, but not until Redwood City and Belmont did their parts. Belmont has not done their part. But I don’t believe Belmont is area in/around this incident — it’s Redwood City/Caltrans.

  • Gary

    I know a motorcycle lawyer that agrees, motor vehicle drivers should be held for one of the degrees of murder. It’s long overdue and I agree with him.

  • Peter Smith

    x181 — that’s so weird. i see the official descriptions of what happened, but my shuttle bus driver kept talking about — and don’t quote me — ‘crazy driver crossing so many lanes without even looking’.

    so, i don’t know what’s going on…

  • x181

    This happened at the intersection of Shoreway Drive and Holly Street, one block before the picture displayed in Google Maps at the top of this page. There were 2 or 3 police cars and a KCBS van parked at this intersection.

    I too have biked through this intersection. The bike lane ends just after this intersection as you as you head toward the overpass on Holly Street.

  • Andy

    Terrible terrible. My heart goes out to her loved ones.

    That section of Redwood Shores Parkway was always frightening and the drivers on that segment were either crazed to get into the dump or hot on getting to the highway as quickly as possible – never mind they had to shed half their speed in order to safely negotiate the ramps to 101.

    The big rock trucks (semi-trailer dump trucks) on Marine World Parkway aren’t much better – they don’t bother sticking to their lanes often crowding out even cars and they blow straight through the left-turn lanes at Oracle and at Bridge Pkwy.

  • I ride here a lot.

    I usually am coming West on Redwood Shores from Twin Dolphin, then I turn left onto Shoreway, headed past the San Carlos Airport. Sometimes I bail out from my commute south and follow RWS Parkway across 101 where it becomes Holly. This crossing of 101 is not for the fearless. My tactic is to get right into the middle of the through lane even before I cross Shoreway. I could still get hit, but it won’t be because a driver is clueless AND careless, it will include some maliciousness. Note that there is a sharrow in the middle of said through lane.

    Now – my take is that this has very little to do with what happened here. As state – the truck right hooked her as the truck turned right from Shoreway onto Redwood Shores/Holly. If you are headed from North->South on a bike in this area, chances are you came from the bike path through Oracle. At that point I detour left and right onto Twin Dolphin because it doesn’t go past the dump (I thought this decision was made – not by me – for smells, maybe it’s for truck avoidance). But you can come out of Oracle onto Shoreway, which is probably what she did.

    She was either going to turn right over Holly or go straight, past the airport, and onto the bike path that leads to Whipple. My guess is she was headed straight, based on anecdotal evidence that I have never seen anyone take this right turn and have seen 100’s go striaght. Stereotypically, male cyclists would be more likely to have the bravado to cross at Holly, more experienced cyclists who would have the bravado to cross at Holly would be less likely to get anywhere near that truck. Not blaming the victim – merely speculating on the course of events – “not getting anywhere near that truck” is something I wish we would not have to learn from a mentor or risk learning the hard way.

  • Karen

    Her name was Mary. She rode her bike to work everyday for the last 15 years unless it was pouring down rain like it did yesterday. It’s too bad it didn’t rain today. What Mary did everyday when she came to work was care for people, she was one of the most naturally compassionate people I’ve ever known. She also loved to listen to people and their concerns, she truly cared about them. She was a dental assistant and never showed up for work today. We called hospitals and police and didn’t find out what happened until a few hours later, as the police officers, whom Mary has cared for in the past and one who was actually at the scene this morning, were kind and thoughtful enough to come in personally and tell us what happened to her.

    We drove out to the intersection today and tried to make sense of it. From the looks of that intersection I can’t see how she survived the last 15 years. It is my understanding that Mary feared this intersection, I can see why. My heart goes out to all those who were lucky enough to know Mary. My heart also goes out to the driver of that truck who accidentally hit my friend and coworker. My prayers are with anyone else who has to use that intersection in the future. The intersection needs to be marked differently if bikers are participating in it. May your concerns and comments help to bring this about.

  • Barry

    I will miss you Mary.

  • Christine

    Every morning I drive through this intersection on my way to work. Shoreway Road is a very road dangerous for cyclists. There is no shoulder, no bike path, the roads are narrow and the traffic is heavy. Allied Waste Station sits off Shoreway and all day long garbage trucks travel, in my humble opinion, way too fast for the conditions of the road.

    As an avid cyclist, I’ve often gone for rides in this area. I once road along Shoreway and have never done so again because of the dangerous conditions. As cyclists, we always have to assume that drivers cannot see us. It is simply not safe to go along the side of a vehicle when there is no bike lane or shoulder.

    There are alternate routes in this area that are much safer to ride on.

    This accident is horribly tragic and my heart goes out to the families of Mary and the truck driver.

    Out of this I hope a greater awareness of safety is gained among cyclists and drivers.

  • Shelley

    I was stunned to read today that Mary is gone. I have seen Mary running and biking on the Foster City bike path for more than 10 years, most recently with her adorable dog, Moe. She always gave me a cheerful greeting and often we spent a few minutes chatting. My heart goes out to those who were close to her, her coworkers and roommate. If Karen or anyone else can provide information on her service, I would really appreciate it. I am sure that my husband, my running partner and I are just a few of many bikepath “friends” who would love to pay our respects. We will miss Mary.

  • Rick

    From reading all the news reports it looks like the light was red and the truck was sitting, waiting to turn right. Mary came up beside the truck on her way to making the right turn before the truck just as the light turned green. The driver pulled out and caught Mary. This is speculation but I suspect the truck driver was looking to the left and did not check his mirrors to the right before he pulled out. Mary worked in San Carlos and took a right to go up over the bridge to work. As John comments above, there are a lot of people that ride bikes through here so I would say the fault lies with the City that has jurisdiction over this intersection. It should be properly marked for bicycles. I will follow up on this closely.

  • Jim Martin

    There is no bike lane on the road in question. There is not much room on the right at all. Passing on the right of a tractor-trailer truck signalling a right turn is techinically legal, but INCREDIBLY STUPID.

    Stupid Tax paid, candidacy for a Darwin Award.

  • Blaming the victim appears to be a very popular psychological past time. It must make people feel good to blame this woman who had ridden her bicycle safely and successfully for fifteen years for her own death so that no one has to do anything differently ever. Better yet, if there were no pedestrians and bicyclists, drivers would never have to slow down or feel one micro-second of responsibility to others they share the earth with. Even better, bicycles should be outlawed and pedestrians should have to be licensed to use their own feet.

    Better bicycle infrastructure would have prevented this death. In cities with proper bicycle infrastructure the injury and death rate is a fraction of ours. Infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure.

  • SFResident

    Jim, a real person is dead. A person who some folk here actually knew. Show some decency.

  • Foster City Bike Trail Friend

    I live in Redwood Shores and drove past the accident scene 10 minutes before it happened. There was a light drizzle at 6 a.m. but it had cleared by 7, which I is probably why Mary decided to bike to work (thanks for the insight, Karen). I heard about the accident while I was driving to work – unaware that I knew the victim.

    I am Shelley’s running buddy: we both admired the fact that Mary ran and/or biked daily, rain or shine.

    Last night in darkness, I drove a portion of the path that Mary biked every day from Marine Parkway to Redwood Shores Parkway on Shoreway Road. It is worse than described: a winding, uneven road adjacent to Highway 101 with a sidewalk on the left and no curb on the right. Although I did not measure, it feels twice as long as the more straightforward north-to-south path along Twin Dolphin Parkway (the next stoplight and road that leads to Oracle).

    I am horrified to know that Mary died alone, but grateful that her death was quick and that police officers knew her kindness. The news reports, random speculation and indefensible attacks on her character are unfair and disheartening. I want to believe they were well-intended and that those of us who were not the victim have been granted another chance to demonstrate better manners.

    For Mary, I will attempt to slow down and be a more courteous driver, biker, pedestrian and person. I am left wondering: Did Mary consider driving to work a day after the worst October storm in 47 years? Was she early (probably) on Wednesday morning or late? Did she make her bed or leave dishes in the sink?

    From what we knew, Mary lived a life of kindness and compassion – not carelessness; discipline and decency – not poor judgment. We knew her as ‘mom’ to an energetic toddler dog named Moe, who did not always appreciate Mary’s early morning running routine. Moe lost his best friend yesterday.

    Mary’s sudden and tragic death is a sobering reminder about the precious, fragile nature of life. In shock, sadness and disbelief, I am trying to imagine how Mary’s weekday routine was interrupted; how she had no idea that Wednesday would be her last; and how Moe probably can’t understand that Mary is not coming home.

    I can’t remember the last time we saw Mary on the bike trail, but only hope that we shared kind words and did not focus all of our attention on adorable Moe.

    I tried without success to find a photo of Mary on Facebook or LinkedIn. So I decided to share these private thoughts, so readers could get a glimpse of how Mary lived, not how she died. The media has already forgotten this gentle lady who will be missed.

  • barry

    I feel I was privileged to know Mary and I believe that everyone who knew her free similarly. But as much as she was a caring person, she was also a very private person. Her passions were narrow but felt very deeply.

    She preferred to walk than to be on the computer. She was always on the move. Tough to keep up with. But she always slowed down for me.

    Literally hundreds of people of call to express their shock and loss at her passing. I know that a memorial service is in the works.

    Mary never met a dog or cat she didn’t like. A memorial donation in her name was made to the Peninsula SPCA.

    Be at peace love.

  • Me

    Hey Jim Martin,
    Maybe when it’s your time to go people will nominate you not just for a Darwin award but think that it couldn’t have happened to a more thoughtless person? You’re an ass to say something like this when friends of Mary are on this site and mourning. May Mary rest in peace and may her friends and family be comforted.

  • Ken

    I was Mary’s roommate for 20+ years and knew her for 25 years. In that amount of time you would think you would know everything about a person. After her death I found out that I knew very little about her. I knew that she was a likeable person and had many friends,but I had no idea how many people she had helped with personal problems and how she had affected so many lives. One lady told me Mary was an Angel on earth. Of course most of us knew of her love for animals. It is such a shame she did not know how much she would be missed by so many people. There will be a Celebration Of Life for Mary on Sat. Oct. 24 at the Laguna Vista Clubhouse at 3324 Kinberly Way San Mateo from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Please bring an appetizer to share for our potluck table. In lieu of flowers please donate to the Peninsula Humane Society/SPCA in Mary’s name. Moe and I are looking forward to meeting you all.

  • Bilgin51
  • Bilgin51

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Bicyclist Killed by Muni Bus on 6th Avenue in Inner Richmond

|
UPDATED Friday, 9:05 a.m. A 22-year-old bicyclist named Derek Allen was killed by the driver of a 44-O’Shaughnessy on 6th Avenue between Geary Boulevard and Clement Street late Thursday afternoon in the city’s second bicyclist fatality of the year. (The raw video above is from CBS5). A spokesperson for the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s office […]

Oakland Bicyclist Victim of Hit-n-Run

|
A bicyclist is in the hospital with life-threatening injuries after being hit by the driver of a pick-up truck who fled the scene this morning. We just received this press release from the Oakland Police Department: On February 4, 2009, at approximately 5:24 AM, Oakland Police officers were dispatched to the 5600 block of San […]