News ReleaseThe City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Major Injury Collision on University Avenue During Lunch Hour
Contact :Marianna Villaescusa, Agent, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- A man attempting a parallel parking maneuver on University Avenue may have accidentally accelerated, striking another parked vehicle before driving onto the sidewalk and colliding with five pedestrians.  One pedestrian sustained major injuries, while the other four and the driver sustained minor injuries.

On Thursday, July 31, 2014, at about 12:36 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received multiple 9-1-1 calls of a vehicle that had driven into a building in the 200 block of University Avenue.  Officers and personnel from the Palo Alto Fire Department responded immediately.

The initial investigation revealed that a driver, a man in his nineties, had been attempting to parallel park his 2010 Nissan four-door sedan in front of the University CafĂ© at 271 University Avenue.  Preliminary investigation indicates that he may have accidentally accelerated, striking a parked vehicle (a 2014 Acura four-door sedan) and then driving up onto the sidewalk and colliding with five pedestrians.

One of the pedestrians sustained major injuries, and the other four and the driver sustained minor injuries.  All five of the pedestrians were transported to local hospitals for treatment.  No update on their condition is available at this time.

The exact cause of the collision is under investigation by our Specialized Traffic Accident Reconstruction (STAR) Team.  There is no indication at this point that either drugs or alcohol played a part in this incident.  The driver has not been arrested or cited at this early juncture.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413.  Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.  Tips can also be submitted anonymously through our free mobile app, downloadable at or