Video shows driver hitting grandma, toddler in SJ; neighbors worry about speeding cars on Halloween

Amanda del Castillo Image
Friday, October 28, 2022
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San Jose police are searching for the driver of a gray 2012 Mazda 3, who is responsible for a hit-and-run that injured a 3-year-old and his grandma.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose police (SJPD) are asking for help to track down the driver responsible for a hit-and-run crash involving a grandmother and her toddler grandson.

This happened Tuesday at about 5:40 p.m. at Sierra Road and Mauna Kea Lane.

The pair's daily walk took a dangerous turn. Surveillance footage captured the moment a driver hit the 68-year-old woman and launched her from the marked crosswalk, into the intersection.

The toddler, who was strapped into his stroller, landed face down.

The driver of the dark gray four-door hatchback did not stop.

"Every time it breaks my heart to see that video," the boy's mom told ABC7 News. "It's traumatizing to see it."

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The boy's mom asked to speak anonymously, fearing any retaliation. She said after the crash, her mother-in-law, the boy's grandma, walked back home. After learning what happened, the family then called police.

"She was ignoring all this horrible pain she was having and she kept asking whether the baby was okay, whether the baby's good," the mother reflected.

The family initially declined medical transport, later taking the grandmother and baby to the hospital.

"The doctor checked on the baby first," his mother described. "They said the baby appears to be okay. And that's when my mother-in-law totally collapsed."

According to the boy's mother, grandma had a CT scan. The family learned she also suffered broken ribs and shoulders, and she was later admitted into the hospital.

Neighbor Yongqin Zhu arrived home moments after Tuesday's incident. She found the two victims still in the street.

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"Yeah, in the middle of the road. And she was still fallen down," Zhu described. "And the stroller, it looked like (it was) upside down, and the baby inside the stroller."

The boy is okay. He suffered a bump and a scratch. Although his mother shared, "For my son, because he cannot express exactly how he's feeling, we don't know emotionally how much of an impact is for him."

She compared, "If I'm sitting in a stroller and flip 180-degrees, that's a shock."

Residents said they understand it could've been much worse. Tuesday's hit-and-run comes at a time when traffic deaths across the city are on a record pace.

With that shocking surveillance footage, neighbors are thinking about the surrounding schools, the speeding cars, and those who will be out and about, trick-or-treating and celebrating Halloween.

"As it gets darker in the evenings, be really, really aware. Sometimes we tell people to also just think about trying to make themselves more visible," Jesse Mintz-Roth, Vision Zero Program manager for the City of San Jose's Department of Transportation said.

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"I think that everyone should make make eye contact with drivers. It's a great tip when you're crossing the street - before you cross the street," Mintz-Roth continued. "Drivers, try and make eye contact with with pedestrians also, and cyclists."

Vision Zero is an effort meant to reduce and eventually eliminate traffic deaths and severe injuries across San Jose.

At this intersection, Mintz-Roth reports two previous traffic incidents, including a 2016 head-on crash involving speeding and a 2017 rear-end collision.

"I think people should take particular care to pay attention of everything around them," he said. "Just because in general, this year is higher in traffic fatalities than recent years. And, you know, I'll say, San Jose is not alone in seeing this trend. A lot of other cities are too," he told ABC7 News.

The family impacted Tuesday wants improvements made and wants the driver identified.

"After seeing the video, I still cannot believe it happened. In broad daylight, a senior and a baby crossing the street," the boy's mother recalled. "It's not like the car never had a chance to stop."

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She continued, "The general public needs to have a peace of mind of people taking responsibility for this. And for every driver, please be responsible. Please think about the lives that you could potentially endanger by driving irresponsibly."

According to SJPD, a newer dark gray four door hatchback, similar to a 2012 Mazda 3 was traveling westbound on Sierra Road at a "high rate of speed."

The suspect vehicle will possibly have damage to the front driver's side of the vehicle from the collision.

Anyone with information on this investigation is urged to contact Detective Aldinger #4183 of the San José Police Department's Traffic Investigations Unit at 4183@sanjoseca.gov or call 408-277-4654.

Submit crime tips and remain anonymous by using the P3TIPS mobile app, calling the tip line at (408) 947-STOP, or on www.svcrimestoppers.org. If the information you submit leads to an arrest, you are eligible for a cash reward from the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers Program.

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