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Friends and family gather at intersection where Graham middle schooler died after a collision with a truck

An impromptu memorial sprang up at the scene of the crash, the corner of El Camino Real, Grant Road and 237 in Mountain View

Friends and family gather at an impromptu memorial for George Oseida at the corner of El Camino Real and Grant Road in Mountain View on Friday, March 18, 2022. Photo by Zoe Morgan

Family members and friends left flowers, candles, balloons and mementos at an impromptu memorial at the corner of El Camino Real and Grant Road in Mountain View, the site of a fatal collision that killed a 13-year-old bicyclist on Thursday, March 17.

Better known in the community as Andre Retana, the child was identified by his official given name, George Oseida, by the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office. The Mountain View Whisman School District confirmed he was a student at Graham Middle School. He died at the hospital on Thursday after a collision with a transport truck.

"There are no words that I can say to help take away the pain that we are collectively feeling," Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph wrote in a message to staff and families that he shared on social media. "The Board of Trustees, Graham Middle School Principal Heidi Galassi and I want to express our condolences and prayers to his family and everyone else who was impacted by this student's smile, laugh and heart."

As cars passed through the busy intersection, a small crowd gathered at the corner on Friday afternoon, March 18, to pay their respects.

Valeria Resendiz, a fellow Graham student who visited the memorial on Friday, remembered her friend, who she said went by the nickname Andre, as someone who would cheer up others and make them laugh.

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"Everyone made good memories with him because he talked to everyone," Valeria said. "He was really outgoing. He tried to include everyone."

He was looking forward to playing sports in high school next year and was a fan of the San Francisco 49ers, Valeria said.

Friends left a poster with messages to 13-year-old George Oseida, who died after a collision while riding his bicycle on Thursday, March 17. Photo by Zoe Morgan

Her mom, Leticia Resendiz, recalled driving George and Valeria to Great America and said that she remembers George for his smile.

"No matter what he was going through, he always had a smile on his face," Resendiz said.

A family friend started an online fundraiser for his family on Friday which quickly surpassed its goal of $30,000.

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Emergency personnel who came to the scene of the collision at around 8:15 a.m. attempted life-saving measures on the teenager, who was subsequently taken to an area hospital where he died, a press release from the Mountain View Police Department said.

According to police, the truck driver remained on scene and was "very cooperative." Police are not naming the driver, who was not arrested, spokesperson Katie Nelson said in an email.

"Speed, drugs or alcohol are not factors in the collision," the press release said.

The investigation is ongoing and will include viewing any video that may exist of the crash, conducting interviews and reconstructing the scene, police said.

"We are devastated by this incident, and we know many in our community are also mourning and may ask what comes next as part of the investigation," the press release said. "First and foremost, please know, these investigations take time."

Grief counselors were set to be available at Graham to speak with any students, teachers or other staff members who needed support on Friday, March 18, and the following Monday, Rudolph said.

"A loss like this affects all of us deeply," Rudolph wrote. "Please take care of yourself, one another, and hug your loved ones a little tighter tonight."

Data from 2018 showed that the El Camino Real, Grant Road and Highway 237 intersection was one of the most dangerous in Mountain View. With 18 crashes in the first half of that year, it topped the list of intersections citywide for the number of collisions.

In light of Thursday's fatal crash, the city of Mountain View will work with Caltrans, the state agency responsible for El Camino Real, to determine whether any changes should be made to the bike lanes and pedestrian improvements that are currently being planned on the road, police said.

According to Nelson, the last fatal crash in Mountain View involving a bicyclist was in 2015.

Due to the accident, some lanes were closed on eastbound El Camino Real on Thursday morning and all of northbound Grant Road between Phyllis Avenue and El Camino Real was blocked, according to the Mountain View Police Department's Twitter page. Police also shut the entire intersection for a time to "conduct a scan of the collision scene," police said.

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Zoe Morgan covers education, youth and families for the Mountain View Voice and Palo Alto Weekly / PaloAltoOnline.com, with a focus on using data to tell compelling stories. A Mountain View native, she has previous experience as an education reporter in both California and Oregon. Read more >>

Follow Mountain View Voice Online on Twitter @mvvoice, Facebook and on Instagram @mvvoice for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

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Friends and family gather at intersection where Graham middle schooler died after a collision with a truck

An impromptu memorial sprang up at the scene of the crash, the corner of El Camino Real, Grant Road and 237 in Mountain View

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 5:12 pm
Updated: Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 12:07 pm

Family members and friends left flowers, candles, balloons and mementos at an impromptu memorial at the corner of El Camino Real and Grant Road in Mountain View, the site of a fatal collision that killed a 13-year-old bicyclist on Thursday, March 17.

Better known in the community as Andre Retana, the child was identified by his official given name, George Oseida, by the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office. The Mountain View Whisman School District confirmed he was a student at Graham Middle School. He died at the hospital on Thursday after a collision with a transport truck.

"There are no words that I can say to help take away the pain that we are collectively feeling," Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph wrote in a message to staff and families that he shared on social media. "The Board of Trustees, Graham Middle School Principal Heidi Galassi and I want to express our condolences and prayers to his family and everyone else who was impacted by this student's smile, laugh and heart."

As cars passed through the busy intersection, a small crowd gathered at the corner on Friday afternoon, March 18, to pay their respects.

Valeria Resendiz, a fellow Graham student who visited the memorial on Friday, remembered her friend, who she said went by the nickname Andre, as someone who would cheer up others and make them laugh.

"Everyone made good memories with him because he talked to everyone," Valeria said. "He was really outgoing. He tried to include everyone."

He was looking forward to playing sports in high school next year and was a fan of the San Francisco 49ers, Valeria said.

Her mom, Leticia Resendiz, recalled driving George and Valeria to Great America and said that she remembers George for his smile.

"No matter what he was going through, he always had a smile on his face," Resendiz said.

A family friend started an online fundraiser for his family on Friday which quickly surpassed its goal of $30,000.

Emergency personnel who came to the scene of the collision at around 8:15 a.m. attempted life-saving measures on the teenager, who was subsequently taken to an area hospital where he died, a press release from the Mountain View Police Department said.

According to police, the truck driver remained on scene and was "very cooperative." Police are not naming the driver, who was not arrested, spokesperson Katie Nelson said in an email.

"Speed, drugs or alcohol are not factors in the collision," the press release said.

The investigation is ongoing and will include viewing any video that may exist of the crash, conducting interviews and reconstructing the scene, police said.

"We are devastated by this incident, and we know many in our community are also mourning and may ask what comes next as part of the investigation," the press release said. "First and foremost, please know, these investigations take time."

Grief counselors were set to be available at Graham to speak with any students, teachers or other staff members who needed support on Friday, March 18, and the following Monday, Rudolph said.

"A loss like this affects all of us deeply," Rudolph wrote. "Please take care of yourself, one another, and hug your loved ones a little tighter tonight."

Data from 2018 showed that the El Camino Real, Grant Road and Highway 237 intersection was one of the most dangerous in Mountain View. With 18 crashes in the first half of that year, it topped the list of intersections citywide for the number of collisions.

In light of Thursday's fatal crash, the city of Mountain View will work with Caltrans, the state agency responsible for El Camino Real, to determine whether any changes should be made to the bike lanes and pedestrian improvements that are currently being planned on the road, police said.

According to Nelson, the last fatal crash in Mountain View involving a bicyclist was in 2015.

Due to the accident, some lanes were closed on eastbound El Camino Real on Thursday morning and all of northbound Grant Road between Phyllis Avenue and El Camino Real was blocked, according to the Mountain View Police Department's Twitter page. Police also shut the entire intersection for a time to "conduct a scan of the collision scene," police said.

Comments

Rob Stafford
Registered user
Shoreline West
on Mar 17, 2022 at 5:56 pm
Rob Stafford, Shoreline West
Registered user
on Mar 17, 2022 at 5:56 pm

This is heartbreaking. I can't imagine the pain that his family and friends are experiencing.

If anyone knows the details of the collision (location within the intersection, the paths of the truck and the cyclist, etc.), I would like to learn them. I find coverage of crashes frustrating - it almost always lacks the information necessary to understand the circumstances that led to the crash.


Free Speech
Registered user
Martens-Carmelita
on Mar 17, 2022 at 6:20 pm
Free Speech, Martens-Carmelita
Registered user
on Mar 17, 2022 at 6:20 pm

Just yesterday (Wednesday) at around 11:45 AM, I was driving from Grant Road - intending to turn right onto East ECR. After my light turned green, there were at least 4 or 5 cars that continued crossing the intersection from the opposite direction, turning left against their red light. It happens all the time at this intersection.


bkengland
Registered user
Whisman Station
on Mar 17, 2022 at 7:31 pm
bkengland, Whisman Station
Registered user
on Mar 17, 2022 at 7:31 pm

Please update the article to not call it an accident. Even without our knowing the details of this incident, the intersection is extremely hazardous for anyone passing through it in general. Serious improvements need to be made there, and calling this an accident implies nothing could have been done to prevent it. Also, in followup articles, those responsible for the infrastructure there should be asked to weigh in with details about anticipated improvements. As a starting point, speed limit and red-light running laws need to be actively enforced there.


Rock
Registered user
Martens-Carmelita
on Mar 17, 2022 at 7:42 pm
Rock, Martens-Carmelita
Registered user
on Mar 17, 2022 at 7:42 pm

Free Speech tells a very familiar story. I cross this intersection twice a day and each time there are multiple cars that continue to turn to ECR east from 237 westbound well after the light turns red. Also many cars turning right to eastbound ECR from Grant Rd fail to stop 1st on a red light. I rarely see any red light enforcement by police at this intersection. As for bicyclists which I am one, many travel against the flow of traffic making the overall situation more dangerous for all. Again, no police enforcement for riding the wrong way on a bike. The situation will continue to be dangerous unless we have better enforcement of our traffic laws.


biking parent
Registered user
Rex Manor
on Mar 17, 2022 at 9:20 pm
biking parent, Rex Manor
Registered user
on Mar 17, 2022 at 9:20 pm

the truck driver should be presumed to be at fault and arrested. They failed to control their vehicle. Their job must include the absolute requirement to not kill others.


Saul
Registered user
Martens-Carmelita
on Mar 17, 2022 at 9:24 pm
Saul, Martens-Carmelita
Registered user
on Mar 17, 2022 at 9:24 pm

The scene was in the crosswalk, 3rd lane, right at the corner in front of the USA gasoline west side, the kid was probably heading north to Ghram Middle School. It's possible the bicyclist went when they weren't supposed to and the drive started driving not knowing the biker was in front of the vehicle.


Jeremy Hoffman
Registered user
Rengstorff Park
on Mar 17, 2022 at 10:48 pm
Jeremy Hoffman, Rengstorff Park
Registered user
on Mar 17, 2022 at 10:48 pm

What a terrible tragedy. This is every parent's nightmare. And, actually, it's every driver's nightmare too.

I want to live in a world where 13 year olds can bike to school safely. All we need is some safe biking infrastructure. Let's redouble our efforts to make sure this never happens again.

"The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members."
- Gandhi


MrCoffee
Registered user
another community
on Mar 18, 2022 at 9:06 am
MrCoffee, another community
Registered user
on Mar 18, 2022 at 9:06 am

"In light of Thursday's fatal crash, the city of Mountain View will work with Caltrans, the state agency responsible for El Camino Real, to determine whether any changes should be made to the bike lanes and pedestrian improvements that are currently being planned on the road, police said."

I can make few suggestions:

1. A dedicated right turn traffic light.

2. Dedicated traffic lights for bicycles (similar to Almond and San Antonio in Los Altos).

3. El Camino Real center divider bicycle lane (similar to El Monte in Los Altos Hills). Traffic lights at the intersection will control the bicycle traffic.

4. Police motorcycles during school hours.

5. For schools, more lenient tardy policy.


Dave Smith
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Mar 18, 2022 at 9:09 am
Dave Smith, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Mar 18, 2022 at 9:09 am

So sad.... This could have been avoided if there is proper traffic control at that light.

1) No right turn on Red is a start. Drivers are always forced to look left for cars coming and not look right for pedestrians or bikers as they come up
2) Control the light enough time for cars on Grant to get out... it is timed so short that there is always a backup and people are just trying to rush out since they have been stuck for 5-10 mins on Grant between Martens and El Camino... The light is currently configured to allow most of El Camino traffic to flow more... for the buses....


copernicus7
Registered user
Whisman Station
on Mar 18, 2022 at 9:55 am
copernicus7, Whisman Station
Registered user
on Mar 18, 2022 at 9:55 am

That intersection area has a history of sad occurrences and deaths. A woman died in a crash with her daughter when I was taking my kids to school near there years ago. The homeless man who died on a bench from the cold near the Walgreens. The clerk who was stabbed to death at the Hollywood Video (before it was a Sweet Tomatoes) during a robbery, and a motorcyclist who died under the nearby overpass after getting hit by a truck. Probably more accidents have occurred there as well, though those are the instances I remember.


chris aoki
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Mar 18, 2022 at 4:12 pm
chris aoki, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Mar 18, 2022 at 4:12 pm

There need to be pedestrian+bike overpasses on both sides of
El Camino and on both sides of Grant/SR237, preventing all possible
vehicle collisions with pedestrians or bikes. All ramps leading to
these overpasses need to be wheelchair-accessible. Designs for
overpasses and ramps should be open for public review prior to
approval and construction.

Also, bikes must always be walked while on ramps and overpasses,
to prevent collisions between bikes and pedestrians.


AC
Registered user
Shoreline West
on Mar 18, 2022 at 5:03 pm
AC, Shoreline West
Registered user
on Mar 18, 2022 at 5:03 pm

I think we've all seen problems at that intersection.

It's a freeway. SR 237 is a freeway. And a vital connection. People who travel it are in a hurry.
SR 82 is a vital route.
Separate the cars from the people. Off-ramps and over-passes.

Road diet, intersection cameras, speedbumps will not save lives in an arterial traffic section. No right on red and pulling people over for tickets just means that the police are already busy giving one ticket means so they won't catch the next guy running the light. Making your aorta small will only raise your blood pressure. More people will gun it through the yellow that way.

Nobody likes building or widening freeways, but we need them. To save lives. To reduce traffic.

And with regard to environmental concerns: We all know that cars stopping/starting/braking/accelerating use more gasoline AND/OR more electricity than vehicles moving a steady fast speed. They use more energy and they're more pollutive.

And none of these, nor the arguing about it, is going to bring that child back. :(


AC
Registered user
Shoreline West
on Mar 18, 2022 at 5:06 pm
AC, Shoreline West
Registered user
on Mar 18, 2022 at 5:06 pm

I'm sorry, I got a bit worked up and didn't make my most salient point:

We don't have this problem at the Milpitas terminus of SR 237. It's an overpass/cloverleaf.


Frank Richards
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Mar 18, 2022 at 6:23 pm
Frank Richards, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Mar 18, 2022 at 6:23 pm

I think I've heard it all now that I have heard someone claim that widening highways saves lives and reduces traffic.


Alicia
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2022 at 8:05 pm
Alicia, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 18, 2022 at 8:05 pm
James
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 18, 2022 at 8:46 pm
James, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 18, 2022 at 8:46 pm

In Los Angeles, every major intersection near schools has a crossing gaurd during the hours the kids are going to and from school. It seems trivial, but the crossing gaurds help save many lives daily. Maybe this unfortunate situation will remind those in authority that we can't put a price tag on our children's lives and safety. Crossing guards need to be at dangerous intersections like this to look out for the children going to and from school.


Resident
Registered user
Blossom Valley
on Mar 20, 2022 at 8:25 am
Resident, Blossom Valley
Registered user
on Mar 20, 2022 at 8:25 am

Why does it say his name was George Oseida when everywhere else it says his name was Andre Retana?


Stephen Raillard
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Mar 20, 2022 at 3:58 pm
Stephen Raillard, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Mar 20, 2022 at 3:58 pm

I support Chris Aoki's suggestion and propose overpasses to also be considered for multiple other dangerous intersections around the city.


Burford Furman
Registered user
Monta Loma
on Mar 21, 2022 at 4:57 pm
Burford Furman, Monta Loma
Registered user
on Mar 21, 2022 at 4:57 pm

This is heartbreaking! Our deepest sympathy to the family and even to the truck driver.

It is these kinds of tragedies that we are seeking to prevent in our work on truly sustainable urban transportation at SJSU. Unfortunately with everything (cars, trucks, buses, bicyclists, pedestrians, pets, etc.) competing for the same space at the street level, these kinds of collisions will happen. We are working for a better transportation system where the heavy machinery is vertically separated from people at street level: Web Link


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