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Conflicting witness accounts in Oakland mayor crash

While the driver in a crash with Jean Quan says the Oakland mayor ran a red light, another witness account contradicts that statement.
There are conflicting witness accounts on a car crash involving Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. Some say she was talking on her cellphone and ran a red light, causing Sunday's collision at Market and 26th streets.

Mayor Quan held a news conference Monday, insisting she was not on her cellphone. She says she's turned her phone records over to police.

"It wasn't in my hand for sure," said the mayor at a news conference Monday.

One day after a collision at an intersection in West Oakland, Mayor Jean Quan insists she was not using her cellphone, though she's not sure if she ran a red light.

"I do not believe so," she said. "But we're going to let the police investigation confirm that or not confirm that."

The accident happened just after 5:30 p.m. Sunday when the rear of Quan's city-owned Lexus SUV was struck by a Nissan at 26th and Market. Police initially said Quan had the green light.

"The light was red," said Renee Lovely, the driver of the Nissan.

Lovely told ABC7 News that Quan ran a red light. And though her story waivered, she also told reporters the mayor was on her cellphone at the time of the accident.

"I don't think she was texting, I wouldn't say that, maybe talking on the phone, yeah talking on the phone but not texting," she said.

"I was sitting in my car at the store, right at the corner," said Shawn Vasquez.

Vasquez told ABC7 News that the traffic light was yellow when the mayor entered the intersection and she was not using her phone.

Vasquez is a safety patrol for the city of Oakland, who says he was off duty and near the intersection when the accident happened. He has not told his story to police.

"Cause she just drove right past me," he said. "And it just happened like that, bam from her side. And she was going through a yellow light."

If she ran the light, this would be the second time in just over a year for Mayor Quan. In April 2013, Quan was cited in Fremont, she says on her way to a mayor's event.

"I think that was a rolling stop sign violation in Fremont," said the mayor.

Earlier this month, Quan admitted using her phone while driving after a passerby snapped some cellphone pictures.

Now Sean Maher, Quan's spokesperson, told reporters that an effort is being made to get the busy mayor a driver.

"We are going to try to find a way to move some staff around and move some volunteers around to make sure she gets a driver as often as possible," he said.

Neither driver was cited in Sunday's accident, while police complete their investigation.
Related Topics:
traffic jean quan crash car accident car crash cellphone cellphone distractions distracted driving Oakland
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