News Briefs | March 5, 2010 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - March 5, 2010

News Briefs

Authorities ID victim of Middlefield car crash

The Santa Clara County Coroner's office has identified the man killed last Sunday in a single-vehicle crash on W. Middlefield Road as Luis Sanchez-Contreras, 24, of Mountain View.

Sanchez-Contreras lost control of the Volvo he was driving in the early morning of Sunday, Feb. 21. Police said the car hit seven trees in the median of Middlefield Road between Linda Vista and San Veron avenues. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say they believe high speed was a factor in the crash. A toxicology report has not yet been released.

On the Voice's Town Square forum, a poster identifying herself as Luis' sister Rosie wrote, "He was the most wonderful brother who put everybody else before himself and never asked anything in return."

— Kelsey Mesher

Stiffer fines proposed for cell phone violators

State Sen. Joe Simitian's latest "distracted driving" bill would sharply increase penalties for improper cell phone use and extend the hands-free, no-texting laws to bicyclists.

Senate Bill 1475 would increase penalties from Simitian's first hands-free law from $20 to $50, and for a subsequent offense from $50 to $100. It would increase the fine for texting while driving from $20 to $100. A violation would also add a point to the driver's record. A portion of the increased revenue would provide for a public-awareness program.

A twist to the new bill is that the existing hands-free and no-texting laws would apply to bicyclists as well as motorists.

Simitian, D-Palo Alto, said in a press release that there are definite links between cell phone use and accidents according to data from the California Highway Patrol.

— Palo Alto Weekly

Train hits abandoned car in Sunnyvale

Peninsula train service was halted for part of Thursday morning last week after a commuter train struck an abandoned car on the tracks in Sunnyvale.

Caltrain spokesperson Christine Dunn said that at about 5 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, northbound train No. 101 struck a car that had been left on the tracks at Mary Avenue. There were 35 passengers on the train, but no one was injured.

A "bus bridge" was set up between the Mountain View and Sunnyvale stations, shuttling passengers around the problem spot during the service disruption. Both north- and southbound tracks were reopened at about 8:40 a.m.

— Bay City News


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