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Huff crossing guard hit by car

Original post made on Mar 26, 2013

A Huff Elementary School crossing guard is alive but doesn't remember being hit by a red-light-running car on Monday, while she was on the job at the intersection of Grant Road and Phyllis Avenue. In this photo, another crossing guard, Mary Davis Mahari, helps students, parents and other pedestrians safely cross the street the day after the incident. Photo by Michelle Le

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 12:47 PM

Comments (41)

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Posted by parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 26, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Mountain View has the worst drivers on the peninsula. I'm very glad that this victim survived. I hope that she does not have any problem with medical insurance.

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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 26, 2013 at 1:43 pm

It's Carmageddon in this town. You aren't even safe on the sidewalks. The person or persons responsible for this particular incident should be charged to the maximum.

Hitting a crossing guard is so out of line that jail time seems reasonable. And no more driving, EVER.

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Posted by w
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 26, 2013 at 1:48 pm

My kids saw the accident happen - the driver raced through a bright red light along Grant road and hit a car crossing from Phyllis. It helps if people just look out of their windshield while driving. The crossing guard was lucky she was not standing in the middle of the road like she usually does when helping kids across.

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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 26, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Whatever happens after running a red light is not an "accident", its called carelessness and recklessness!

Quit calling thsese things accidents!

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Posted by Seriously??
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 26, 2013 at 2:04 pm

This is getting ridiculous. How many pedestrians need to be hit before something is done about this? It seems like more than one pedestrian is being struck by a driver every week.

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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Mar 26, 2013 at 2:05 pm

It use to be Crossing Guards were scared, even today when I see one I slow and prepare to STOP, even if I don't need to stop I do to let their charges get across safe.

We must slow down, enjoy and be safe to one another. Why must we drive this crazy to get where again. Are we having to get in hurry and injury or kill people.

Slow down, no place is that important.

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Posted by PEG
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 26, 2013 at 2:18 pm

PEG is a registered user.

To a parent from the Old Mountain View Neighborhood: The article says that the driver, a 19-year-old Livermore woman, Madina Siddiqi, is not from Mountain View or the rest of the Peninsula.

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Posted by Mary
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Mar 26, 2013 at 2:26 pm

So sorry to read of the event.

I often use that intersection in the mid afternoon and see that crossing guard at work. She is very diligent and protective of the children. I've seen her have to face down some drivers who want to jump the gun on the traffic light. She does a very good job.

Traffic on Grant and Phyllis at that time of day is often pretty jammed up due to Huff school letting out and early rush hour "going home" traffic both ways on Grant but esp going north on Grant. I've learned to be patient and to watch carefully for foolish drivers.

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Posted by Heather
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 26, 2013 at 2:28 pm

If a crossing guard was on duty, then I would assume this occurance was during school hours in a school zone. Which means this 19 year old broke a few more laws than just running the red light and running over a person. She should be darn lucky that no children were involve. Speedy recovery ma'am! Thank you for putting your life on the line for our children!

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Posted by McGruff
a resident of The Crossings
on Mar 26, 2013 at 3:30 pm

This is going to be a tough one for the chronic driver apologists out there to spin. We'll see what nonsense they come up with THIS time to try and blame the victims.

Police, the citizenry of mountain View is under attack from careless drivers. Children in school zones have not been safe, school crossing guards have not been safe, and we have some horrible fatalities in the mix as well.

Its time to come down hard on drivers who break the law...any law. Ticket them like crazy. I'd like drivers to FEAR breaking traffic laws in MV just like drivers feared to drive over the max speed limit on 101 through King's City in the 80's and 90's

If MV gets the reputation of a city that drivers dare not even forget to use their turn signals, we'll all be safer...even the drivers themselves.

Selfish drivers, we've ad enough of you around these parts.

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Posted by Selfish Driver
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 26, 2013 at 3:41 pm

"But if I wait for a red light, I'll be here 90 whole seconds!"

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Posted by BvP
a resident of another community
on Mar 26, 2013 at 3:47 pm

I'm sorry, but I can't help but wonder if the driver was texting.

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Posted by Safer Than
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 26, 2013 at 3:56 pm

These incidents certainly do put a perspective on things. Remember when some used to think cyclists were the big problem on the roads?
That opinion sure looks silly today. I hope the school crossing guard who was hit by a law ignoring driver recovers both physically and financially.

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Posted by Jack
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 26, 2013 at 4:21 pm

If this was the usual crossing guard for the Huff school that I have seen so many times - she is the most conscientious, no-nonsense, in-charge, and alert guard that I have ever observed. You couldn't ask for a better one. You cannot mistake her hand signals or other controls unless you are totally mindless.
If this one could get injured, absolutely no one is safe.
We all wish her well and a speedy recovery.
As for the driver - make an example out of her and make a documentary about what she did and make it required viewing for all young drivers.

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Posted by Honor Spitz
a resident of another community
on Mar 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm

...the supreme irony: the person who is trying to protect pedestrians from harms way is the one who is harmed!! When-o-when will drivers slow down, pay attention and stop thinking about themselves and their "needs" before the good of all?!!

I hope that the victim gets all the help she can...and for free!!

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Posted by S. L.
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Mar 26, 2013 at 5:21 pm

S. L. is a registered user.

MVPD you're doing a great job monitoring speeders in a variety of areas in the city, however, can you please come over to this neck of the woods during peak Huff hours and survey the chaos...and no, not in light of this reckless incident, but rather due to the fact the Martens/Phyllis/Grant intersection has been problematic for a looooooong time...and while I'm at it, how about the traffic engineer (Sayed Fahkry) reevaluate those ineffective "traffic control" Grant cameras....

My heartfelt sympathy to our neighborhood crossing guard. May you heal well and heal quickly. You have been a tremendous asset to keeping our community safe!!

And to the wanton redlight runner: hope you are remorseful and remember that what's outside of your vehicle is just as important as think of others while you're trying to figure out how to pay your array of citation fines, the looming medical and insurance bills, and how you're going to compensate our injured crossing guard for pain and suffering and lost wages!!!

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Posted by NeHi
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 26, 2013 at 5:39 pm

McGruff: you seem unclear on the concept of personal responsibility.

This incident seems clearly the fault of at least one irresponsible driver as did the incident at California and Esquela last year.

Other incidents, the previous one on Phyllis for instance, would seem [I have no more info than the Voice's story]to be due to the inattention of the victim as the sight lines there approach 200 yards.

Twice last year, on El Camino in Palo Alto, had I not noted unusual behavior of drivers and continued to cross in the crosswalk with the walk sign I WOULD have been hit and would not be writing this.

I don't walk in front of moving vehicles and I can't understand why people think of this as bad advice.

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Posted by Lynn
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 26, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Pedestrians should never step out in front of a moving car,
Driver's need to be more cautious and turn off their cell phones,
Police need to ticket more careless, distracted drivers.

Slow down... hurrying doesn't really save time.

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Posted by Tom
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:32 pm

A concussion is a brain injury and can have long term consequences. You do not remember what happens because the memory never went from short term to long term memory and was disrupted by becoming unconscious (even briefly). Concussions should not be taken lightly. I hope that the red light runnner has good insurance and the guard does not settle right away as sometimes things show up years later (think football players).

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 27, 2013 at 7:25 am


"Pedestrians should never step out in front of a moving car"

Maybe you should re-read the article.

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Posted by not an accident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 27, 2013 at 8:36 am

Running a red light is not an accident! That is reckless driving. Why does the newspaper call this an accident?

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Posted by Nan Recker
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 27, 2013 at 1:07 pm

I see her all the time, and she deserves a medal for her dedication to the safety of our neighborhood. I have always thought that was a dangerous intersection. I hope that she is recovering. This brings up the point that we need more police help in this section of town.

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Posted by Tickled @ Tickets
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 27, 2013 at 2:48 pm

So many selfish drivers, so few tickets. Time to change that.
I've been giving a heart felt thumbs up to every cop I see writing a ticket lately. I hope I get craps from doing it so much.
C'mon PD, lets keep rousting these jerks!

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Posted by Caution
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 27, 2013 at 2:51 pm

This is just a block from where a lady was recently fatally hit by a car on Phyllis Ave. This area of town has seen an increase of traffic with the expansion of El Camino Hospital and the addition of new homes. I agree that there needs to be more police traffic patrols as well as extra pedestrian safeguards, like flashing lights on the crosswalks, wider sidewalks and red light cameras. Parents often park at the shopping area and walk their kids across the street to Huff. I cringe when I see this combination of rushing cars and small children waiting at small sidewalk areas.

I wish Ms. Mahari a speedy recovery and thank her for doing such a great job protecting the kids.

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Posted by Rick
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Mar 27, 2013 at 2:58 pm

I agree with several other posters. Running a red light is no accident. Red light runners should get the maximum penalty including suspension of driving privilages. I see red light runners daily both at this intersection and at Grant and El Camino. These intersections need to be better monitored by the MVPD and CHP.

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Posted by not an accident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 27, 2013 at 3:43 pm

The penalty for running a red light and injuring someone should be mandatory jail time. The penalty for running a red light and killing someone should be several years of jail time (I mean you Matthew Pumar).

Suspension of driving privileged is a slap on the wrist for crimes that can devastate the victims.

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Posted by Terrance
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 27, 2013 at 6:04 pm

The cold, hard laws of nature tell us that when a car and pedestrian meet, the car always wins. Even holding a stop sign and a brightly colored vest does not protect you from reckless drivers (especially when they get broadsided by another vehicle!).

The nearby intersection of Grant and El Camino has been a nightmare forever. By building more housing where there is already too much traffic adds to the frustration of drivers. After a long day at work, you are tired and impatient, especially after hitting all the lights just as they turn red. There is always a temptation to "make the light", especially among younger drivers.

Installing red-light cameras and adding more police presence could be counter-productive as people may hit the brakes too suddenly to avoid a ticket (and be hit by the impatient driver behind him). Having police writing tickets to more drivers will cause "gawkers" to be distracted and could slow down traffic even worse.

My proposal? Find a top-notch traffic consultant to find a way to improve safety in our most hazardous intersections. Improved traffic flow will prevent driver stress which could lead to fewer traffic incidents.

These are just a few suggestions based on what I observe every day. I hope the crossing guard a speedy recovery.

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Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 27, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Out around Denver ( the CALIFORNICATORS rule in Denver proper ), anyone who hits a crossing guard and tries to flee will be chased down and held at gunpoint until the cops finally get around to the scene.
There is no tolerance when it comes to harming children and their protectors....

" I'd rather be judged by twelve rather than carried by six " still applies outside the Denver/Boulder Corridor....

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Posted by ui
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2013 at 2:15 am

so sick of cars and their attitudes

i ride my bike on the sidewalk now 100% and plan my day accordingly for a slower ride

cities are so poorly designed for anything but cars

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Posted by Curious Observer
a resident of Jackson Park
on Mar 28, 2013 at 6:37 am

Curious Observer is a registered user.

How many of the people complaining here actually drive the speed limit? I would say not many because whenever I'm out and about I see people speeding all the time. I rarely see anyone driving the speed limit. My guess is that most cars are averaging 10 mph over whatever the posted limit is. Take a good look at your own habits and if you're not following the rules of the road make a commitment to change your ways. We'll all be better off.

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Posted by TT
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Speeding to keep up with the traffic flow is an accepted practice. We all do it. No need to overreact. Why do you think there is no enforcement from MVPD? Because it's ok to go 10mph over the posted limit - you are still observing the spirit of the law.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 28, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Not all vehicle/pedestrian accidents are the same, and it's foolish to expect one blanket solution to be appropriate. By all accounts, Mr. Ware's death was caused by an individual operating completely without restraint, and no change in laws or enforcement would have influenced the outcome. Still no additional info about the Phyllis fatality, so ANY comments to the cause (and therefore solution) are premature. Our unfortunate crossing guard was hit because someone ran a red light. We already have adequate laws to address that, but cracking down on the 'California stop' seems to be a bigger priority for the MVPD. Three students hit while walking to Graham? What exactly are the cops doing that they can't run enforcement while kids are walking to/from? Instead of protecting real people, they evidently find it more profitable to set up a dummy pedestrian sting operation.

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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Mar 28, 2013 at 6:02 pm

After reading this article, I am really irritated with some of the comments on this site. This very well may have been an accident! It is sad that a crossing guard was struck and of course awful when anyone is hit by a car. BUT, at the same time, accidents happen. The sun could have been in the way, the driver could have sneezed or turned her head for one second to talk to the passenger...THINGS HAPPEN. WE ARE HUMAN. I feel sorry for the driver in some way (as well as for the crossing guard obviously). The driver did nothing on purpose and didn't intentionally harm anyone.

All of you that are blaming drivers and how horrible cars are, take a look at your own lives. First of all, I bet many of you are not great drivers. And even if you are, some of us will still get into accidents because that is life. Don't assume right off the bat that someone was driving recklessly.

I'm just saying..there have been times that I was focused on the road, maybe tired or distracted by my thoughts and accidentally almost gotten into an accident. Yes, it would be good for all of us to improve on many things, including driving. But it isn't necessary to all of a sudden make these huge judgements about how Mountain View has the worst drivers, what has happened to drivers these days, etc.

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Posted by not an accident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 28, 2013 at 7:38 pm

I am sorry, but running a RED LIGHT is never an accident. If you are distracted for a second by your passenger or a sneeze, you still cannot reasonably miss a RED LIGHT. The light turns yellow for a minimum of 3 seconds before it turns red, so you cannot possibly not see a RED LIGHT if your distraction is only 1 second. If your distraction is more than 3 seconds, then you are a reckless driver have no business behind a steering wheel.

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Posted by Anonymouse
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Anonymous, I'm responding to your comment. With absolute certainty there are two different classes of drivers, safe and unsafe. Safe drivers are able to avoid accidents by definition. So your "things happen we are human" argument is utter trash. There is no excuse for your improper planning to be unsafe.

It's the unsafe drivers that come up behind us, tailgate, are impatient, flip us off, pass full throttle between red lights, and drive aggressively to do anything to get in front of you. Typically they lack education and come from families that don't have compassion for other people. They threaten you because they can't get around you and have to wait, because you are in the way of their personal rush hour. The worst examples are people that honk at you when the light is green and there are pedestrians in the crosswalk while you wait.

The case of the recent Berkeley grad killing Ware tarnishes the school, I would strip him of his degree for such a felonious act. So, as a safe driver, I don't need to take a look at my own life. I'm too busy doing the right thing and having to observe all the unsafe drivers and compensate for it.

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Posted by longtime Voice reader
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 28, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Regarding the use of the word "accident" to describe a traffic incident:

At least 10 years ago I attended a public meeting in MV at which the editors of the local newspapers spoke. Afterwards, I asked the then-editor of the Voice about their persistent mis-use of the word "accident" because incidents involving cars/bikes/pedestrians are never accidental, they happen for a reason, whether it was someone's behavior or something mechanical, etc.

His reply? Basically he disagreed and said that the word "accident" is how most people think of car crashes, etc so that's what they were going to stick with.

Duh...take a look at anything written by public health and safety organizations and you will ALWAYS see phrases like "unintentional injuries" or "traffic incidents" or whatever, never "accidents."

Get with it, MV Voice! Your outdated attitude is an insult to the intelligence of your readers.

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Posted by So Sad
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 28, 2013 at 10:50 pm

And, in addition to putting her life at risk from being hit by a vehicle, this wonderful woman stood there every day breathing all their cruddy fumes and dealing with all their noise.

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Posted by oi
a resident of Gemello
on Mar 29, 2013 at 1:38 pm

There is no such thing as an accident, its a fictitious concept in city driving. Every time I see a driver do something unsafe, its almost guaranteed that they have food in their hands, or are on the phone, or are smoking a cigarette, etc. Sure there are times when its not the drivers fault, but that isn't an accident either.

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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Mar 29, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Ok, so I guess I will I have to credit everyone here for knowing everything..........?

Let me say that at times I do eat in my car or adjust the radio, etc. But the ONLY time I EVER ran a red light was when I was just driving with two hands on the wheel. I was following the car in front of me (a large car) and my mind must have just gone somewhere else for a second. But it was 100% an accident.

I think it is ridiculous for anyone to judge what was or was not an accident. But of course, the "all-knowing" residents of Mountain View, who attack other drivers (but I guarantee you are not good drivers themselves), make these statements because they think they know better. Ok, think that. Go ahead. I am speaking from experience. There ARE such things as accidents. Get over yourselves.

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Posted by BikeCommuter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 29, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Drivers need an alternative to driving their cars, if the streets are to get safer and less congested. Better bicycle infrastructure is a practical way to accomplish this.

I approached this intersection on a bike one month ago and was shouted down by the crossing guard who was hurt in this incident. She was very aggressive, verbally. I almost wrote a letter to the school district to say that bikes are a part of the solution, not the problem. Was mortified that her attitude was being modeled for the next generation.

Very sorry she was hurt; now let's work as a community on solutions. Neither vilifying car drivers, most of whom have to use their cars, nor idealizing the victim.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Blossom Valley

on May 27, 2017 at 11:08 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

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

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