Blind reverend, guide dog struck in hit-and-run

September 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A blind East Palo Alto minister and his seeing-eye dog were struck by a car Monday night, according to police.

The Rev. Albert Macklin of the New Sweet Home Church of God in Christ was walking on Myrtle Street near Sparrow Court around 8:05 p.m. when a car hit him and his dog.

Macklin said today that he was uninjured in the incident, save for some "emotional trauma." His black lab guide dog escaped unscathed but is disoriented.

He said the pooch will soon be evaluated by officials from a guide-dog organization.

"I actually stayed home today," he said. "I got ready to go, but I couldn't get back on the street today."

Police said the driver stopped and asked the minister if he was OK and said she was going to move her car, but drove away from the scene instead.

Macklin said the driver was female based on her voice, but that he did not have other information about the car or what she looked like.

He said she did not give him a chance to tell her if he or his dog were injured in the collision before driving away.

He hopes to identify the person who jeopardized his safety.

"It's just not safe for me to walk to the church," he said. He said he is considering hiring someone to drive him to his workplace in the future.

Macklin said he walks every day from his East Palo Alto home to his church, located at 2170 Capitol Ave., and has never had a problem at the intersection.

However, he said he thinks speed bumps should be installed because Myrtle Street is prone to speeding.

Police say simply asking if someone is OK isn't enough. East Palo Alto Sgt. Jeff Liu told us, "You're still obligated as a driver to stop and provide all your information and your financial responsibility."

Macklin said besides the frightening run-in with the car, he was frustrated by a police officer who would not take a report, because the reverend, who is totally blind, could not offer a description. An officer did return on Tuesday morning to take Macklin's report.

Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is asked to call East Palo Alto police at (650) 321-1112 or send an anonymous email to epa@tipnow.org. Anonymous texts and voicemails can be sent to (650) 409-6792.

ABC7 News contributed to this report.

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