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Albany Girl, 10, Hit in Crosswalk, Leg Fractured

A vehicle turning onto Masonic from Solano next to the overhead BART tracks hit a 10-year-old Albany girl Tuesday afternoon, sending the child to the hospital with a fractured leg, police said. The driver was not cited.

Northwest-facing view from under the BART tracks of Masonic (left) and Solano avenues in Albany where a girl, 10, suffered a fractured leg on Jan. 21, 2014 when she was hit by a westbound vehicle turning south onto Masonic. Photo: Charles Burress
Northwest-facing view from under the BART tracks of Masonic (left) and Solano avenues in Albany where a girl, 10, suffered a fractured leg on Jan. 21, 2014 when she was hit by a westbound vehicle turning south onto Masonic. Photo: Charles Burress
A 10-year-old Albany girl suffered a fractured leg Tuesday afternoon when she was hit by a vehicle turning onto Masonic Avenue from Solano Avenue, according to Albany police.

The victim was crossing Masonic with two other children about 3:19 p.m. when a vehicle traveling west on Solano turned southbound onto Masonic, police said. All three children fell to the ground in the collision, but the other two were not struck.

The injured child suffered no other injuries and was conscious and able to speak when police arrived. Her parents too came to the scene, and she was taken to a local hospital with fractures in the two bones of the lower leg, the tibia and fibula, police said.

The woman driving the car was watching for oncoming traffic and did not see the children, according to a source in the police department who asked not to be identified by name.

"It was a slight impact," the source said.

No citation was issued, and the case is closed, the police source said.

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Brian Parsley January 28, 2014 at 11:37 AM
Paul I'm trying to figure out what your talking about. First a citation does not assign blame or guilt, it is promise to appear in court for said violation, that is it. And your kidding about ignoring vehicle violations right? Just this month Albany Police had two press releases: The Albany Police Department will have extra officers out and about on Friday, January 17, as part of our on-going effort to improve traffic safety and the quality of life. Funding comes from the California Office of Traffic Safety. The Albany Police Department will have extra officers out and about on January 24, 2014 looking for alcohol and drug-impaired drivers in our ongoing traffic safety campaign. You can help by calling 9-1-1 if you see an impaired driver. Clues that someone may be impaired are included in the press release below.
Senior A. Titude January 28, 2014 at 11:45 AM
This is probably a dumb question, but does anyone know the law regarding citizen arrests and traffic violations? If someone blows through a crosswalk with a pedestrian in it, can the ped take a cell photo of said vehicle and call it in? File a sworn affadavit? Perhaps it will take a community effort to curb (no pun intended) bad drivers.
JW January 28, 2014 at 12:06 PM
"The Albany Police Department will have extra officers out and about on Friday, January 17, as part of our on-going effort to improve traffic safety and the quality of life." But no citation for someone who sent a child to the hospital. You don't see the irony here?
Paul January 28, 2014 at 12:57 PM
It's not just an Albany issue - it's our societal norm regarding vehicles. The following quote is an excerpt from this article: http://cironline.org/reports/bay-area-drivers-who-kill-pedestrians-rarely-face-punishment-analysis-finds-4420 Regarding automobile vs pedestrian/bicycle accidents in the Bay Area: "Sixty percent of the 238 motorists found to be at fault or suspected of a crime faced no criminal charges during the five-year period, CIR found in its analysis of thousands of pages of police and court records from Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco counties."
Ellen Hershey January 28, 2014 at 01:04 PM
Patch commenters are a small sample, but it looks like this incident has hit a nerve among community members concerned about traffic safety and specifically enforcement of traffic laws in Albany. Albany has a Traffic and Safety Commission appointed by our City Council. Maybe it's time for concerned citizens to request a review of traffic enforcement priorities and policies through our City government, so that police and community can work together based on a common understanding.
SteveWu January 28, 2014 at 01:37 PM
once in a while Albany police have a special enforcement of drunk driving. that is commendable. drunk driving is extremely dangerous. every night, late at night, drunk drivers are caught in Albany. During the day is a totally different story. We need help to protect our children, who are safe in bed at bar closing time. We need some tickets for people who are not drunk at midnight, but are just driving lousy during the day.
thorn January 28, 2014 at 02:44 PM
>>can the ped take a cell photo of said vehicle and call it in? File a sworn affadavit? << SCREWY is YES you can totally do that, but whether the police follow up or not is another story (they probably wont).
Brian Parsley January 28, 2014 at 02:49 PM
Actually SteveWu that is not true. While the police do special enforcement for impaired drivers such as Avoid the 21 and as part of the traffic safety grant there are also special traffic and crash prevention enforcement days. I know this because I was speaking with an Albany Police Officer who was looking for drivers talking on cell phones or texting while driving.
SteveWu January 28, 2014 at 03:49 PM
People drive crazy every day. tickets should not be only on special enforcement days. People get into really bad habits. Maybe Brian you are the only one who thinks APD gives enough tickets. If I was talking to you looking for people on the cellphone driving in Albany, I would not have time to say one sentence.
thorn January 28, 2014 at 04:36 PM
Albany gets doubly screwed in this sense by being so small, you have a police force for 18000, but the traffic of 150 000 /// a through-way for people like me (sorry) from Berkeley.. El Cerrito, etc...Berkeley often does daytime special enforcements as well, stop signs and crosswalks are what i have seen/ it's never enough. you have to be vigilant. Anyone who is paying attention knows way too many other people out there are NOT.
Amy Smolens January 28, 2014 at 06:11 PM
About 20 years ago I received a moving violation for proceeding straight from a right turn lane. I was driving to Candlestick Park and the road was packed and I didn't see the right arrow, but I still was cited for breaking the law. No one was harmed, no one was endangered, but I got a ticket and went to traffic school. I learned my lesson. If the facts as shown above are true - the girl's mother says that the light was green for pedestrians and the 3 kids were half-way across the crosswalk - this driver should receive a citation. Not gallows, just a citation that demonstrates to her and others that this is not acceptable. Looking forward to hearing from a named APD source. Thanks.
Brian Parsley January 28, 2014 at 06:31 PM
AGAIN, If the officer writing the collision investigation has not attended the POST-certified, 40-hour Basic Collision Investigation course, the officer cannot issue a citation at a collision scene (unless the officer witnessed the collision firsthand). Once the report has been reviewed by a police department traffic collision specialist, the analyst can issue a citation (please see CVC 40600[a]).
JW January 28, 2014 at 07:49 PM
This just happened today as a friend and I were walking in Albany. We stopped on the corner of Marin and Masonic, near the library. Facing south, we saw a young woman with the green light cycling toward us. All of a sudden a motorist heading west on Marin - with the red light - swung toward the intersection, presumably trying to get between the cyclist and the curb to make a right-hand turn. She didn't stop first and assess the situation. The young cyclist yelled "I have the green light!" We all stood there in amazement as the car stopped just short of the crosswalk. So if APD wants to make the streets safer while making a some money for the city, they should sit outside the library and issue citations to some of these drivers who are in a big hurry, ignoring traffic laws and safety.
thorn January 28, 2014 at 11:05 PM
that makes good sense Brian, we really wouldnt want an amateur guessing at who is at fault/ regular officer can observe the scene take notes etc but i would rather let an expert decide what the results are... people are getting very upset over the lack of immediate citations, but really all kinds of crimes up to murders are often not charged immediately= the driver is not "in the wind" here...
George Johnson January 29, 2014 at 12:08 AM
Brian and thorn - the article states, "No citation was issued, and the case is closed, the police source said." I take that, and the silence from APD coupled with the history of driver citations to mean that it is very possible that the driver won't be cited.
Giorgio C. January 29, 2014 at 12:30 AM
Was the driver a City Council member or some other "untouchable"? This doesn't make sense. A child get's clobbered and nothing? I'm totally stunned.
Michael Cabanatuan January 29, 2014 at 02:59 AM
I know Albany police do a lot of special and regular traffic enforcement. but do they ever do pedestrian stings? When I lived in Oakland, I witnessed several, and they seemed pretty effective.
thorn January 29, 2014 at 05:53 AM
Right George, i forgot they said "closed". the point was why the driver was not cited on the spot, understanding why the "at fault" came later. A closed case can always be re opened, and with this much public outrage, maybe it will be..(which would probably be that much more frustrating for the delay).. >> A child get's clobbered and nothing? << until it is proven the driver broke the law, this is an Accident- a Civil matter- "at fault" means a lot more than people think. That driver is toast in court. QUESTION- What Would you folks like to see this driver charged with? "gross negligence"? Do you want her to do jail time? An at fault accident = point on license and insurance increase, plus the impending lawsuit that could run quite high considering.. I'm going to guess the police either know more than we do, and they know the statutes- or it is possible the case was re opened but i agree if they said closed, it probably is. Unless this public outrage changes something, which it may. The upset should call the City Attorney and complain i guess.... ANYWAY, the lawsuit that driver is now susceptible to will be far from the "nothing" people are seeing at the moment, the driver's insurance is not going to be cheap to renew either. Accidents are just that- they are not criminal acts- the punishments are civil, and steep.. I understand that some may feel the driver violated pedestrian right of way and should get a ticket- that may be in order.
thorn January 29, 2014 at 06:06 AM
anyway i hope the little girl is dealing with the cast well enough, and that the parents find good lawyers.
George Johnson January 29, 2014 at 12:03 PM
thorn - The civil case and the driver being punished via that course is all well and good. My issues with this being a private rather than a public matter (personally I want money and am not thinking of jail time): FAIRNESS - As others have mentioned, I have been ticketed for far less, being pulled over for a parking violation (outside of Albany). APD COST - This costs the APD time and resources, those could be recaptured through a fine. SAFETY - I was struck how everytime I went to a bar in Albany, there was talk of how APD really enforced DUI. I don’t hear that talk about traffic enforcement in general. I’d like that to happen. SOCIAL COST - I want children to be safe when they make mistakes and drivers to be more aware than legally required because they are known to dart out from between parked cars, etc. When a child is in a crosswalk, it isn’t raining, it isn’t dark, there is no reason for them to be hit. I expect them to be safe, not merely reimbursed for medical costs, pain and suffering. GREED - APD should make the city money from unsafe drivers.
Joe Matera January 29, 2014 at 02:34 PM
With an update, I am the child's dad. I had a very productive meeting with the Albany police chief yesterday. As a result I expect APD to look again at the incident and I am hopeful APD will cite the driver. As a result of our meeting I believe APD will look closely at how many of their officers have taken the Collision Investigation course and take steps to get all APD officers to take the course and thus be able to cite drivers in this kind of incident. Also as a result of our meeting, I believe APD will look at implementing a policy of citing drivers who APD determines have violated the Vehicle Code and caused an injury, which seems to me a minimum threshold. FYI, my daughter is getting around on crutches with a full-leg cast, attending 5th grade at Cornell Elementary. Her classroom is on the 2nd floor and we had a small battle with the school to get her unrestricted access to the elevator (an issue of equal access for the disabled), but in the end we did get full access and she is able to have a somewhat "normal" school life as a result. Through our attorney we are pressuring the school district to address "equal access" issues for all AUSD students, and not just make an exception for our daughter. Our family and especially our daughter appreciate the support and sympathy we have received from those who have commented here. We are hoping and working to ensure that some greater good can come from this sad incident.
George Johnson January 29, 2014 at 02:48 PM
Joe, thanks for the update. Glad things are going in the right direction. Sorry that it is work to get that to happen. Thanks for you efforts. Hope your daughter makes a speedy and full recovery.
SteveWu January 29, 2014 at 03:32 PM
If as Brian says, lack of training is a problem in APD, then there are classes coming up in Concord in Feb and May. Tuition $278. http://www.cocoacademy.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=75:tc-invest&catid=36:in-service 02/24/14 - 02/28/14 5590-33590-13-005 05/05/14 - 05/09/14 5590-33590-13-006 Times: 8:00a.m. – 5:00p.m. (5 days a week) POST Plan IV Fee: $278.00 Payable to: The Office of the Sheriff, Contra Costa County LETC
Brian Parsley January 29, 2014 at 07:35 PM
SteveWu I would appreciate if you didn't put words in my mouth. I never said "lack of training is a problem in APD". Those are your words not mine. Not every officer in a department will attend a POST 40-hour Basic Collision Investigation course. Due to budgetary and personnel constraints it's impossible. A department may send a few officers to that course, so as previously stated in the comments, so they can review a collision report and determine if a citation is warranted. I frankly don't understand why so many are hung up that the driver didn't receive a citation at the scene. A citation is a promise to appear in court to answer to said violations, nothing more. The driver is still presumed innocent(in court, not on Patch) and has the right to a trail if they so wish.
Rodney Paul January 30, 2014 at 12:59 AM
I'm grateful for the family for discussing this with APD and urging them to cite the driver. Doing so will make our community safer for everyone. I'm very sorry they have to go through this painful ordeal but hope their daughter will recover quickly and completely.
Isabelle de Rezende January 31, 2014 at 01:38 AM
My daughter and I saw this accident happen from the corner of Key Route and Solano. It was very disturbing to see and also to *hear* it happen. I certainly hope the driver will be cited! As for that intersection, it has felt a bit unsafe to me for a while. Just the other day my daughter and I were blatantly cut off as we tried to cross Masonic at the same exact spot. That car was coming from the Berkeley side of Solano, thus from the opposite direction of the car that hit the child most recently. The car that cut us off was going a lot faster too. A huge problem at that intersection is that cars coming from two directions on Solano make turns on two sides of Masonic. So even when kids do as instructed, press the button, and look right and left, they are still in danger of being hit by turning vehicles. Since so many children walk to and from school in Albany, and given what just happened, changing the traffic rules at that intersection seems overdue. The Albany City Council should think about installing turning arrows and banning rights on red during certain hours.
Paul D January 31, 2014 at 09:16 AM
Brian… "Paul I'm trying to figure out what your talking about." It isn't *that* tough to figure out. Unless its part of the culture to willfully not understand the process and effect of giving people tickets. Oddly enough, I remember days when you Brian have stood outside the Ocean View school handing out tickets to people. Ticketing bad driver actions is the same as hitting a mule with a 2x4 to get their attention. Nothing else works. And the effect is magnified because other drivers see the miscreant getting a ticket and *they* miraculously become better drivers too. I know cops avoid giving tickets like the plague for many reasons.. fear, pressure from above, lack of concern, resistance to getting out of their mobile security zone etc but the net result of not ticketing people is to give them a green light to do whatever they want. Case in point: I ride a motorcycle daily and have for over 40 years. Big bike, lots of power, takes skill to ride in local traffic. That is not the most dangerous thing I do every day though. WALKING up and down Solano is by far the most dangerous thing I do. As in yesterday, middle of the day and my partner and I almost got hit TWICE by people not stopping for us IN THE CROSSWALKS as they approach Solano Ave. Now this little girl got hit and seriously injured in exactly the same way. We dodged, she didn't. Without enforcement things degenerate. Argue the fine points of what a citation is or isn't but at least write the damn things and get the drivers attention.
Paul D January 31, 2014 at 09:26 AM
Just an additional note Brian. These drivers who routinely try to run over us while we're walking on Solano are not drunk, they're not drugged, they're your standard-issue younger Albany resident types (my guess is 28~40), usually driving a nice new car with bright clean shiny windows. AND THEY DON'T CARE. They're not chemically impaired, they're morally and ethically challenged because nobody in authority has ever told them in a tangible money-out-of-their-pocket way they're doing something wrong. I know that grabbing drunks and drug people is MUCH more lucrative for the police departments but hey, lets get out there and give ordinary people their piece of the citation action too. Its only fair.
JW January 31, 2014 at 09:51 AM
Agree, Paul. When I confronted the woman who nearly hit a cyclist the other day, she said "I saw her." Oh, so you DELIBERATELY scared the cyclist and the rest of us watching by trying to cut her off?
Amy Smolens February 27, 2014 at 12:40 PM
Tonight is the first Albany Traffic & Safety Commission meeting since this incident. This is a good time to address your concerns with the Commission, City Staff and perhaps Albany PD (they often attend the beginning of the meeting to give reports.) The meeting is tonight at 7 pm at City Hall and Public Comment is early in the meeting. I hope some of you who have expressed your concerns in this forum will speak at tonight's meeting to let the City know how you feel.

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