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No Charges for Driver in Pedestrian Fatality

Investigators could not establish reason for collision that caused death of Joshua Baker on Sept. 15, 2012.

The driver who struck Joshua Baker as he crossed a Mountain View street on the night of Saturday, Sept. 15 will not be charged, law enforcement reported Wednesday.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office decided not to pursue charges after Mountain View Police Department investigators determined that the sobriety of the driver, the vehicle speed, the types of injuries sustained, the evidence recovered at the scene, the damage at the location and the statements from the driver and witnesses did not contribute to the collision.

Baker, who visited Mountain View from Illinois, suffered fatal injuries and died at Stanford Hospital after the nighttime accident which occurred at 10:23 p.m. on California Street near Pettis Avenue.

The police department reminds pedestrians of certain risks, since pedestrian deaths occur in 19 percent of all traffic fatalities.

  • Pedestrians may be at risk walking near hybrid and electric vehicles because these vehicles are virtually silent while operating. Use extra caution when driving near pedestrians.
  • Respect the right-of-way of pedestrians. Always stop for any pedestrian crossing at corners or other crosswalks, even if the crosswalk is in the middle of the block, at corners with or without traffic lights, whether or not the crosswalks are marked by painted lines.
  • Do not pass a vehicle that has stopped at a crosswalk. A pedestrian you cannot see may be crossing the street. Stop, then proceed when all pedestrians have crossed the street.
  • Do not drive on a sidewalk, except to cross it to enter or exit a driveway or alley. When crossing, yield to all pedestrians.
  • Do not stop in a crosswalk. You will place pedestrians in danger.
  • Remember, if a pedestrian makes eye contact with you, he or she is ready to cross the street. Yield to the pedestrian.
  • Allow older pedestrians, disabled pedestrians and pedestrians with young children sufficient time to cross the street.
  • A crosswalk is the part of the roadway set aside for pedestrian traffic. Most intersections have a pedestrian crosswalk whether or not lines are painted on the street. Most crosswalks are located at corners, but they can also be located in the middle of the block. Before turning a corner, watch for people about to cross the street. Pedestrians have the right-of-way in marked or unmarked crosswalks.
  • Crosswalks are often marked with white lines. Yellow crosswalk lines may be painted at school crossings. Most often, crosswalks in residential areas are not marked.
  • Some crosswalks have flashing lights to warn you that pedestrians may be crossing. Look for pedestrians and be prepared to stop, whether or not the lights are flashing.

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MV Resident October 11, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Today, KGO's lead local news story at 5:00AM was about an increased police presence on California Ave due to the speeders on this road. They specifically mentioned the Escuela intersection, which is right outside of my home. They also mentioned Bill Ware. Just the other day, while crossing California at Escuela with several other people, some idiot turning off Escuela came right up to us, seemingly oblivious of who had the right of way. This is just the latest of many close calls I have personally had at this intersection. I also hear police cars racing up and down Escuela. Escuela is a very narrow street, and I really doubt that most of these incidents are necessary.
Claudia Cruz (Editor) October 11, 2012 at 05:38 PM
I'm meeting with the police department public information officer today. I'll ask about this. Also the new lights should be coming on at Escuela and California. I'll find out when that's going to happen too.
commuter October 11, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Unfortunately, in cases like this the cops have to listen to the car driver, but not the pedestrian. Very difficult to prove guilt unless the driver is DUI. At least the driver stayed at the scene so the victim did not have to die alone in the street.
Claudia Cruz (Editor) October 11, 2012 at 08:10 PM
No question that drivers and pedestrians should be more careful, but when it's an accident (which do happen, like in this case) I can only imagine the distraught mind and guilt the driver must feel. I pray I'm never on either side of this lose-lose situation.

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