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February 27, 2004

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Publication Date: Friday, February 27, 2004

Hit-and-run driver kills Mountain View resident Hit-and-run driver kills Mountain View resident (February 27, 2004)

Suspect has been booked on manslaughter charges

By Julie O'Shea and Bill D'Agostino

A Mountain View man was killed in a bicycle accident over the weekend. The crash occurred at 1:35 p.m. Saturday along Highway 9 in Monte Sereno when a man driving a red Ford van struck him and his bicycling partner and fled the scene.

James Dein, a 56-year-old Mountain View resident, was killed by multiple blunt force injuries to head, neck and thorax, according to the county's chief medical examiner's office. The injuries were so severe, an official said, that Dein died minutes after the impact.

His friend, Ted Aberg, a 65-year-old Palo Alto resident, was critically injured in the accident but has demonstrated some signs of recovery. Although Aberg remained on life support Monday, he has responded to his son's voice.

The suspected driver of the van turned himself into police on Sunday evening, more than 30 hours after the accident. David Espino, 38, of San Jose, was booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail on vehicular manslaughter charges and also for violating probation.

Dein, a computer programmer and, Aberg, a retired accountant, were bicycling friends for more than two decades. They typically rode more than 100 miles a week.

"They pushed themselves as hard as they could," said Aberg's son Mike.

Dein -- recently laid off from his job at Apple Computer -- had decided to take time off from job-hunting to go for a joyride, according to his aunt, Susan Matheson, a Palo Alto resident.

The two men liked to start at Bicycle Outfitters in Los Altos and take a break at Pizza My Heart in Los Gatos, and then return back the other direction. It was a 45-mile route, primarily along Highway 9, where the crash occurred.

"You think that if you'd be safe anywhere, you'd be safe there," Matheson added. "Obviously we'd like to see some sort of justice done."

Dein never used his car and only biked. He grew up in Pelham, N.Y. He had a Ph.D. in geophysics and taught himself German and ancient Greek, according to his aunt.

"It was a big shock," Matheson said. "He was very much loved by his family and friends, and we are really going to miss him."

Matheson said she had recently seen Dein, who never married and has no children of his own, at a family get-together to celebrate his 56th birthday.

Besides Matheson and her husband Jim, Dein is survived by his father Bruce Dein of New York; a brother, Bruce Dein Jr.; two sisters Margaret Bradley and Eleanor Sharpe and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A memorial service for Dein is scheduled to be held on Sunday, Feb. 29 at 12:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Palo Alto, 625 Hamilton Ave. Those who attend are encouraged to bike, to raise awareness of safety issues.

A memorial ride for Dein is planned for later in the month. It will follow the path the two men were traveling on Saturday.

And a memorial fund has been set up in Jim Dein's name. Donations can be sent to the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, P.O. Box 831, Cupertino, CA 95015. The money will be used to subsidize bicycle road skills training.

E-mail Julie O'Shea at [email protected]
Bay City News contributed to this report.

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