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Car Hits Dad Walking with Son on Sidewalk at Madera School

A car driven by a parent who'd just picked up her daughter Monday at Madera School in El Cerrito jumped the curb and hit a father walking with his son on the sidewalk, police said. He was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

A father walking with his son on the sidewalk at Madera Elementary School in El Cerrito Monday afternoon was struck by a car that jumped the curb and pushed him into a tree, police said.

The man – a 40-year-old El Cerrito resident – was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, said police Traffic Sergeant Sean Maples. His son was not struck.

The car was driven by a woman who had just picked up her daughter at the school, Maples said. She had parked next to the sidewalk on the south side of Madera Circle just west of Arlington Boulevard, he said.

"The driver had the wheels of her Toyota Corolla turned slightly to the right when she accelerated and released the parking brake," Maples said in an email. "The vehicle drove onto the sidewalk striking a parent that had just picked up his son."

"The pedestrian was thrown onto the hood of the vehicle as the vehicle crossed the sidewalk and entered the side yard of the residence located on the corner," he said. "The vehicle came to rest against a large tree, pinning the pedestrian between the branches of the tree and the windshield of the vehicle.  The pedestrian freed himself and was treated at the scene by the Fire Department and Paramedics from AMR." 

The driver, a 54-year-old El Cerrito resident, was cited for being an unlicensed driver and her car was impounded, Maples said. Neither she or her child were injured in the accident, he said.

Police responded to the report of the accident at about 2:50 p.m., he said.

"It is extremely important for parents, School Staff and members of the community to work together to assure that our children can safely arrive and depart our school facilities," said Maples, who met with Principal Alison Makela and school staff after the collision to explain what happened. "The City has been working closely with the school and the neighborhood to address concerns in the area for several years. Several changes have recently been implemented and additional changes are scheduled for the coming months."

"As a simple reminder," he added, "please drive safe and with the safety of our children in mind at all times when travelling the streets of our community, follow the rules of the road and all parking regulations."

Anyone with additional information about the accident is asked to contact Maples at 510 215 4435. 

Paul D December 04, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Unlicensed Driver + Injury Accident = Mandatory Jail Time. In a perfect world that is. I'm sure this driver will get off with a stern finger-wagging.
Doug Millison December 04, 2012 at 04:05 PM
So many STUPID, DANGEROUS drivers in El Cerrito and Kensington.
Crystal December 04, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Unlicensed Driver carrying a child in the vehicle isn't that child endangerment?
Rick December 04, 2012 at 05:05 PM
You would have to hit the gas incredibly hard to jump a curb, especially if parked. The Corolla is not exactly a muscle car so again, that's a heavy foot.
Kathy White December 04, 2012 at 06:23 PM
We live adjacent to Madera School and have had parents curse with intense profanities and scream at us (in front of children) simply for walking down the street and being in their way....not very positive role modeling. I wish they'd just slow down and show some neighborly kindness.
Lisa Tsering December 04, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Did the cops give Patch the name of the unlicensed driver? If not what was the reason that the driver's name is not in this article? I think it's relevant information.
Ron Heckert December 04, 2012 at 08:26 PM
I agree, 100%. Flouting public safety laws is inexcusable. There are reasons we all have to take a driver's test to get licensed. This is one of them. The offender needs jail time, a punitive fine that helps fill city coffers, and a hefty settlement (assuming this vehicle is insured) for the victim.
John Stashik December 05, 2012 at 12:51 AM
In neighboring Richmond that mayor opposes enforcing the requirement to carry a valid driver's license. Checking for license and registration is offensive or something. So you have spotty enforcement of a state law with certain nut case politicians telling police not to enforce laws. Possibly the unlicensed driver in this case was confused about licensing requirements given the mixed signals between cops and politicians. At any rate, licensing has nothing to do with competence.
Susan December 05, 2012 at 07:24 AM
Crystal, no, an unlicensed driver with a child in a vehicle does not constitute child endangerment.
Giorgio C. December 05, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Yes, it can be child endangerment. Read the following. http://www.carinsurance.com/kb/content34107.aspx
evilincarKnit December 05, 2012 at 05:12 PM
But, John, it seems the driver was an El Cerrito resident, not a Richmond resident, so I don't see the connection. It's nice of you to want to give her the benefit of the doubt though. I certainly agree that more action needs to be taken to punish the offender. I volunteer five days a week doing traffic safety at an elementary school, and you wouldn't believe how selfish some drivers can be, even around young children.
Susan December 05, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Giorgio: see California Penal Code 273a. Note that the website you referenced not only sells car insurance (not exactly unbiased..) but also does not mention California law. What other states consider child endangerment is not relevant here. Penal Code 273a. (a) Any person who, under circumstances or conditions likely to produce great bodily harm or death, willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or inflicts thereon unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or having the care or custody of any child, willfully causes or permits the person or health of that child to be injured, or willfully causes or permits that child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or health is endangered, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison for two, four, or six years.
Susan December 05, 2012 at 06:32 PM
You might very well be able to argue that driving without a license puts a child in an endangered situation. However, the Penal Code primarily deals with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. California case law does not support that driving without a license is an automatic child endangerment infraction.
Lisa Tsering December 05, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Licensing has nothing to do with competence? How can you say that?
Susan December 05, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Right, because our school district goes from Kensington all the way to Hercules. What does that have to do with it?
evilincarKnit December 05, 2012 at 10:34 PM
According to the article, everyone involved is an El Cerrito resident. Why are people so intent on dragging Richmond into this? They certainly don't have a monopoly on bad drivers.
AnotherECParent December 06, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Which of us has never driven a little too fast? This is not to excuse what happened, but I think there are plenty of licensed drivers who drive badly (we see them every morning at school). Let's all take this incident as a reminder to be careful - to compare the minimal outcome of tardiness vs. increased risk of hitting a pedestrian.
Charles Burress (Editor) December 06, 2012 at 02:07 AM
No, the information provided by Sgt. Maples didn't provide the name of the driver.
Giorgio C. December 06, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Susan, I carefully selected my words to raise the possibility of such, that it "can" happen, that it is possible, depending on the circumstances. I cited the weblink because it did illustrate the points to be considered for such a determination. If one does not possess a license because they are unable to demonstrate competency behind the wheel, then this could be seen as child endangerment as they knew they were exceeding their limitations at the time they placed a child in their vehicle. If the law says you are not ready to be behind the wheel of a car, and you ignore that law, aren't you taking a risk? Aren't you knowingly risking the health and safety of others, including all passengers and everyone else on the road, or sidewalk? And yes, maybe it was nothing more than a normally competent individual having a bad day, while at the same time, not possessing a license. But if they are unlicensed, then they have not demonstrated such competency.
Paul D December 06, 2012 at 01:38 PM
John, I think the Richmond mayor opposes using a CDL as a form of id which must be carried at all times even when not behind the wheel -- "show me your papers" kind of thing. Do you really think she is advocating licensed drivers in her state not carry or produce a valid CDL while operating a vehicle if a cop demands to see one? Opposing mandatory ID is an American thing, not a nut case thing.

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