Details of the accident were not released by the Mountain View Police Department until April 10. The Santa Clara Coroner's Office ruled the cause of Golukhov's death was accidental, the result of multiple blunt traumatic injuries from being struck.
The accident occurred at about 4:25 p.m. on April 3, after the minivan — a gray, 2012 Honda Odyssey, which was traveling west on Central Expressway — veered off the road and onto the sidewalk, colliding with the woman. She was taken by ambulance to Stanford Hospital, where she died April 6. The driver of the car, a Mountain View resident, remained on the scene and was cooperative with investigating officers.
Early police reports indicated that the driver of the car was "distracted" at the time of the accident. However, the April 10 press release makes no mention of distraction. Instead, the release says that the MVPD is "investigating the collision to determine a cause." Neither alcohol nor speed are believed to have been a factor.
Details remained scarce for a week following the accident. Sgt. Sean Thompson, public information officer for the MVPD, confirmed a few days after the incident that the victim was an 81-year-old woman, but it was not revealed that she had died on April 6 until about 7:30 p.m. on April 9, when the press release was posted to the MVPD website. An email, alerting local media to the press release was sent out shortly after 7 a.m. on April 10.
Thompson said the police department was delayed in releasing information because the traffic investigation team wanted to make sure it had all the basic facts of the incident correct before putting out a press release.
The MVPD is requesting that anyone who may have seen the accident to get in contact with investigators to help them reconstruct what happened on April 3. Anyone with information on the incident is encouraged to call 650-903-6344.
Pedestrian, bike safety
In addition to providing details on the accident, the MVPD press release included information on recent department efforts to crack down on dangerous driving practices in Mountain View.
"In recent months, the Mountain View Police Department has been working to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety, and has conducted several decoy operations targeting vehicles that do not yield to pedestrians at intersections and in crosswalks," the release noted. "Pedestrian safety is a serious issue."
Over the past year, Mountain View has seen a number of fatal car-on-pedestrian collisions. On June 21, 2012, William Ware of Mountain View was struck and killed while he waited for the bus on California Street. Ruifan Ma was hit by a car while crossing Phyllis Avenue on March 4; she later died in the hospital. A Huff Elementary School crossing guard was hit by a car less than a month later and only a few blocks away — at the intersection of Phyllis Avenue and Grant Road — and suffered a concussion. And in October 2012, three Graham Middle School students were hit by cars near their school, resulting in injuries, all within three weeks of each other.
The Mountain View City Council recently approved a "Pedestrian Master Plan" in January. The plan provides a rough outline of steps the city will take to make the streets safer for cyclist and pedestrians. According to the MVPD release, pedestrian deaths account for about 19 percent of all traffic fatalities in California.
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