News

Mountain View bicyclist dies after being hit by car

Collision occurred at Grant Road and Oak Avenue intersection in Los Altos

A 67-year-old Mountain View man died Sunday after being hit by a vehicle while riding his bicycle in Los Altos the previous day, police said Monday.

Stephen Purcell died after the collision reported at 9:26 a.m. Saturday, March 9, on Grant Road at the intersection with Oak Avenue, according to police.

Emergency responders took Purcell to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 6 p.m. Sunday, March 10, police said.

The driver involved in the collision stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators. Alcohol and drugs are not suspected to be factors in the case, according to police.

Anyone with information about the collision is encouraged to call police Sgt. Liz Checke at 650-947-2659.

— Bay City News Service

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

82 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 11, 2019 at 12:29 pm

Does it matter if he was wearing a helmet? A helmet won't save you from being hit by a car, those injuries are gruesome to a cyclist who is unprotected from all that metal. It might save you from having a concussion in a fall, but the rest of you will still break.

I've been biking around Mountain View for twenty years, and been hit twice. Once by an electric car that I didn't hear clipping me from behind that completely didn't see me, and once by being "doored" as I biked past a parked truck - that one really hurt. Helmet didn't help much in either case.

My condolences to Mr. Purcell's family. Any human life cut short is tragic.


22 people like this
Posted by Jeremy Hoffman
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Mar 11, 2019 at 12:53 pm

Jeremy Hoffman is a registered user.

How sad. This week there was also a woman in SF killed on her bike by a person opening a car door. The sooner we implement real bike lanes and connectivity, the more lives we will save. Both from reducing collisions and from more people getting a bit of exercise.


15 people like this
Posted by AC
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2019 at 1:50 pm

AC is a registered user.

I'm afraid that this underscores why I think we need proper bike/pedestrian roadways, completely separate from auto surface traffic. With driverless cars and autodriving systems, I only see the frequency of this kind of thing increasing.

Condolences to the family.


156 people like this
Posted by Really?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2019 at 2:07 pm

I'm not sure anything is called for at this time except for condolences to this man's family.

Once the details come out we can all jump in with our blame or pet issues.


5 people like this
Posted by MV Parents
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 11, 2019 at 2:17 pm

MV Parents is a registered user.

there was a post on NextDoor dated Jan 18 showing a pic of a kid on a bike getting cut off by a car turning right onto Covington from Grant. The kid almost got hit but slammed on his/her brakes. Grant road appears to be a dangerous road for bikers. Condolences to the victim's family.


35 people like this
Posted by Marta
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 11, 2019 at 2:22 pm

Sadly, this gentleman DID have a helmet and brightly colored reflective clothing, but it did not help in this instance. I saw the immediate aftermath of this accident and it was very sad and disturbing.

My condolences to the family.


151 people like this
Posted by Details matter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 11, 2019 at 2:24 pm

Do we know what happened? Assuming a bike lane would have prevented the accident is a stretch. While I fully support sharing the road with bikers, there are many bikers that don't adhere to the rules of the road, stop signs, red lights, etc. And there are many reasons for bike accidents which are unrelated to bike lanes. We should get the details before proposing solutions.


78 people like this
Posted by Ellen Wheeler
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 11, 2019 at 2:33 pm

Ellen Wheeler is a registered user.

I'd like to comment here that Steve Purcell was one of our local giants of technology and a great human being as well. Condolences to his wife and daughters.


4 people like this
Posted by dont go away mad
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 11, 2019 at 3:02 pm

dont go away mad is a registered user.

I’m so sorry for this man. That should have never have happened on that stretch of road. The bike lanes are wide and speed limit is 25? For school zone. I predict the next incident will be on shoreline due to the fact motor homes are parking in the bike lane and bikes must ride in the street to get by. R. I. P.


1 person likes this
Posted by hyper
a resident of Gemello
on Mar 11, 2019 at 3:23 pm

hyper is a registered user.

Sad that the streets aren't safe for all people. Would be great to understand the cause and have some corrective actions. Sounds like cyclist was experienced and wearing visible clothing. Not sure if the car was a high visiblility color or a hard to see gray as article didn't mention. Human error and poor road design are often involved in collisions.


13 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 11, 2019 at 3:41 pm

Please update this article with the cause of the collision when the police release that information. We can't reduce future traffic casualties without understanding what happened in the past.


7 people like this
Posted by Suggestion
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2019 at 3:57 pm

This is the second time a Los Altos driver has committed homocide here using their automobile in just a few years. Assuming there was no malice, why not send the whole city to traffic school to re-learn the safety rules of the road? First a pedestrian and now a cyclist...time to put our foot down and stop the madness.


106 people like this
Posted by Miramonte Resident
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 11, 2019 at 4:58 pm

Miramonte Resident is a registered user.

Agree to wait for the full information from the police report.

But something to consider: No matter what the report states/finds: Riding a bicycle in Mountain View is dangerous. The roads are not safe for cycling and the abundance of an inordinate amount of potholes and debris in the streets has made even driving a car dangerous, let alone maneuvering a bicycle. Our infrastructure is in terrible shape and the conditions of our roads are a prime example. I have stopped riding a bicycle around town and do not allow my kids to go to school by bicycle anymore. It is very sad to say that this is where we live! One does wonder where all the TECH money is spent. Not on local infrastructure and making the city livable...


18 people like this
Posted by Randy Guelph
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 11, 2019 at 5:04 pm

Randy Guelph is a registered user.

Miramonte, it's called Prop 13, and Californians voted 40 years ago to artificially suppress their taxes rather than actually fund their government. Intergenerational wealth transfer from the young to the old.


7 people like this
Posted by Johnston
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2019 at 9:31 pm

Johnston is a registered user.

Steve was a great friend of the family and will truly be missed.


7 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 12, 2019 at 4:33 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

The Mountain View City intersection of Grant @ Truman has recent bike lane improvement including - green marked lanes and a separated bike right-turn protected lane (Truman onto Grant). This is a start.

The MVWSD and the City of Mountain View - a few years ago jointly worked to institute separated (protected) bike lanes on Castro St. in front of Graham Middle School. Besides the green marked lanes there are rubber bike-protect curbs (as a right is made from Mirimonte to Castro) and street parking 'outside' the bike lanes. It is hard to hit a student biker when there is a parked car between the moving vehicle and the bike lane.

However - as soon as this was installed - some driver/complainer from Los Altos stated that they would no longer visit downtown Mountain View - just to avoid these street safety features. I hope that particular complainer HAS stayed away.

I fairly recently learned - that the law is to CROSS AND GO INTO THE BIKE LANE when coming to a right-hand turn, where the bike line has a dashed line. With slow speed and caution, this helps from cutting off fast bikers (in THEIR LANE) when you make a right turn in a vehicle.


25 people like this
Posted by ResidentSince1892
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 13, 2019 at 2:23 pm

ResidentSince1892 is a registered user.

this is another sad example of how bikes and cars are not equals on the road, despite the popular fiction of "share the road". the stakes for bikers are so much higher than for drivers in any collision. when drivers complain about bikers not following the strict rules of the road, they need to get real: bikers will bend and break the rules of the road all day long if it means they can reduce or eliminate the likelihood of coming into contact -- or even entering the sphere of possibility of interaction -- with a car. no biker wants to compete for space with a car, and every biker fears they will be overlooked, ignored or even targeted by a driver in a hurry with an attitude of entitlement to the entire road. just like every biker has fallen or will fall, every biker has had a close call with a car or will have a close call, or worse. RIP Steve Purcell. ride safe out there, people, and drivers, slow down and leave some space for bikers


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

After experiencing harassment, owner of Zareen's restaurants speaks out about Islamophobia, racism
By Elena Kadvany | 28 comments | 7,127 views

Don't Miss Your Exit (and other lessons from an EV drive)
By Sherry Listgarten | 14 comments | 2,383 views

Goodbye Food Waste!
By Laura Stec | 8 comments | 2,290 views

Premarital and Couples: Tips for Hearing (Listening) and Being Known
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 807 views

 

Register today!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Learn More