Part 1: The Accident | The Observer | Roz Rogoff | |

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By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Part 1: The Accident

Uploaded: Jan 31, 2013
Some of you may have seen or read about an accident in the intersection of Bollinger Canyon Road and Alcosta Blvd on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at about 1:15 PM. An SUV ran a light or tried to run the light on Bollinger and smashed into a Ford Focus crossing the intersection legally with the Green Light. The Focus was crushed and sent flying across the intersection to the Southwest corner of the Bollinger Canyon Road intersection. I was driving the Focus.

I don't know if I passed out, but I remember being hit. I don't remember getting to the other side of the intersection. There was a fire engine an ambulance, and at least half-a-dozen Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) around my battered vehicle helping me get out. My driver side door was jammed shut, and I was not in such good shape either.

The EMTs got my car door opened and asked if I was feeling well enough to go home or needed to go to the hospital. I said I needed to go to the hospital. It felt like I had a couple broken ribs and would need an x-ray. My hospital is San Ramon Valley Regional Medical Center, so it was close by.

They pulled me onto a gurney and into the ambulance. Along the way The EMTs took my blood pressure and heart rate several times. They were gentle and efficient and reinforced my feeling that these guys are worth what we pay them because our lives are in their hands. We need capable, effective, people in these jobs.

I didn't expect to experience this service first hand so soon after writing my blog on Fire Chief Price's retirement, but when the grouches who complain about police and firefighter pensions are in a situation when they need these people to help them or their family, they should be glad we have such a well-trained and capable Fire Department here.

I was returning from my weekly Dentist's appointment to adjust the retainer to straighten my lower teeth. My Dentist, Dr. John Eberle, is on Crow Canyon Road near Staples. I could have driven home on San Ramon Valley Blvd., but I decided to drive up Crow Canyon to Alcosta and drive south on Alcosta.

Of course now all of the "if only" scenarios come up in my head – if only I had stopped at Staples, or picked up some cat food at Bishop Ranch Vet on the way home. I needed to deposit a check and could have gone down Bishop Drive to Bank of the West, but no I wanted to drive straight home on Alcosta Blvd.

One good decision I made was taking the Focus. I'm sure that car saved my life and minimized my injuries. I actually considered driving my Maverick because it had not been out of the garage for several weeks and it's not good to leave it undriven that long. There's almost no way I could have survived that crash in the Maverick.

I always liked that Focus, but it's not only designed to be a fun and economical car to drive, it has all kinds of safety features built in. I just paid it off at the end of last year and received the pink slip in the mail about a week before the accident. So my 100% owned car is now 100% totaled.

I was driving South on Alcosta and the person in the SUV was barreling down the Bollinger Hill at 40+ MPH. He T-Boned my car in the middle of the intersection. The driver's door crumpled in, so the space in the driver's compartment was mostly protected. The windows were all smashed, but there was no flying glass. It was all held onto the windshield and driver's side window like a mosaic. My sister said there's a film they put over the windows to keep the glass from flying around in an accident.

The side airbag against the drive's door deployed. I was surprised the one from the steering wheel had not, but I guess it works on sensors to trigger only the areas needed.

One of the EMT's asked if I hit my head. I didn't remember hitting my head and did not have any headache or pain there. So I'm sure that side airbag protected my head and my left shoulder and rib cage. The ribs along the back took most of the injuries.

A Police Officer came over after I was taken to the hospital to tell me the person who hit me had illegal substances in his vehicle and had been arrested a booked and sent to the County Jail. I was not at any fault.

I plan to write up my experiences with this accident in three or four parts. The Accident is Part 1. It's probably the weakest of the three parts, because I was the weakest when it happened. If anyone witnessed the accident, I'd like to know more about what happened. Next Week I shall be writing about my stay at San Ramon Valley Medical Center in Part 2.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Ms. Bunny, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jan 31, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Many of us Roz, have been simply? "In the wrong place at the wrong time" in this life...You have Another, to thank for your life, because it's VERY clear you "dodged a HUGE bullet" here.

Get well soon...Remember, religious or not (-and I'm truly a bit of a heathen...) I CONTINUE to believe? We are ALL held in the "hands of Another"...Call him God, Allah, Buddha, I really don't care...The universe is? The GREAT equalizer...May this person have his license ripped from him for one year minimally speaking.

Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Jan 31, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

Thank you, Ms. Bunny,

I really did dodge a bullet. My injuries are painful but not life threatening. So I was very lucky too.

I believe that there are unknown powers in the Universe, but they or it do not have human traits or personalities to care about us as individuals. I think of it more like "The Force" in the Star Wars movies, a great source of cosmic energy that we can tap into.


Posted by Paul Mitchell, a resident of another community,
on Jan 31, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Get well soon, Roz. San Ramon needs you out and about.

(Currently on a FEMA deployment in New Jersey, for Hurricane Sandy.recovery)

Posted by MLOliver, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jan 31, 2013 at 9:30 pm

I'm so very sorry this happened to you, Roz. "The Force" was indeed with you on Sunday both in your choice of vehicles and in the safety features of the Focus. I hope witnesses come forward so there will be no question that the other driver broke the law and will be punished accordingly. Having broken ribs more than once, (most recently two months ago) I am seriously cringing for you. That intersection is a bad one. I come that way often and see driver run that light frequently.

I hope your insurance company finds you a suitable replacement ASAP. As much as I love driving our old Z, I often worry about being a somewhat defenseless in an accident.

Take it easy, and get well soon!


Posted by Bob P, a resident of another community,
on Feb 1, 2013 at 7:21 am

Roz, I am glad you are okay, and get back to feeling better again soon!

Yes that is a very dangerous intersection, with red light runners and speeders. You were under the protection of the 'force' for sure, with several factors contributing to helping you. If there is a 'good' place for an accident, that location is probably one of them, with the fire station just up the road and the hospital close by too.

I agree with your statement about the professionals who serve both in the Fire District and the San Ramon Police Department. When they show up to help someone, nobody is worried about whether they are on over time or how much they are making when they retire. First reponder's, equipment, training and staffing are not places to skimp.

Posted by rena, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 1, 2013 at 8:04 am

My husband came across the accident right after it happened. He thought the "person", who was you, might have been seriously injured. So glad to hear that you are ok. That intersection is deadly. People fly down Bollinger and try to make that light. I always check up hill before I enter into that intersection. I think the white barriers have helped the east bound traffic to slow down but the west bound traffic is still too fast. Very scary for you Roz!!

Posted by Jim Gibbon, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 1, 2013 at 8:34 am

I'm sorry to here of your accident and hospitalization. Get well soon and have a short recovery time.

Let me know if there is anything I can do for you. I will keep a close eye on what is happening with the Successor Agency and Mudd's Restuarant.


Posted by Scott, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 1, 2013 at 8:40 am

I am glad you are home now. I am sure your cats missed you.I am also glad you were driving the Focus. Many of us like our old cars for their simplicity and style, but they are VERY lacking in safety features. I believe you are correct that you would have suffered much more in your Maverick. I hope your recovery goes well.

Posted by Harry S., a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 1, 2013 at 9:11 am

Roz- I am sorry to hear of your accident. like many others, I am glad to hear you are recovering well. People fly along Bollinger to cross Alcosta and get to Dougherty. You are very fortunate to be able to come out without major injuries.

Your right about EMT's and firefighters and police. They are there when we need them. Hope to see you around soon.

Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Feb 1, 2013 at 11:48 am

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

Thanks to all the well-wishers. Rena is right. I should have looked before I leapt into that intersection.

Shapell wants to increase the speed limit on that hill. I'm signing up with the tree people. Leave the Sycamores, don't increase the speed limit, and protect drivers going through that intersection.


Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Feb 1, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.


I didn't know you broke your ribs recently. I saw you several times at the Oversight Board meetings and you didn't let on at all. Now that I know how much that hurts, I wish you well and hope you are fully recovered.

I don't know about the safety features of the Z, but I loved how those looked too. Everyone knows about the Pinto's bad safety record, but the Maverick's gas tank is also at the rear of the car and it is almost as dangerous in a rear-end collision as a Pinto. Now I'm getting scared to drive it.


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