Cyclist fatality, Campbell, California

I was out of town Sunday when this California Highway Patrol dispatch of a “bicyclist vs white Ford Mustang” on San Tomas Expressway north of Winchester Boulevard was reported at 4:12 PM.

The driver of the 1997 Mustang was allegedly drunk and driving way too fast when he swerved into the shoulder, hitting the as-yet unidentified cyclist on a Cannondale bicycle. Nearby residents who live behind the sound wall on northbound San Tomas were apparently among the first on the scene; they covered his remains until paramedics arrived.

The driver had crashed his car into the center divide, where police arrested 19-year-old Damian Joseph Sandoval-Pacheco of Campbell.

My sincere condolences to the family and friends of the unnamed 32-year-old rider on the Cannondale. I urge the Santa Clara County Prosecutor to check the the Close Call Database for previous reports of a white, late 90s Mustang. I frequently ride San Tomas and I seem to recall reports of a similar car in the area.

Kudos to local news, none of which report this reckless driving fatality as an “accident”:

H/T to Ilya for the news links. As far as I’m aware, this is the first cyclist fatality and the second bicycle collision reported to authorities on San Tomas Expressway.


  1. This is not far from where Melanie Souza drove into the bike lane on San Tomas while texting and dragged Stan Wicka over 20 feet to his death in March, 2013, just shy of his 60th birthday. Ms. Souza did not stop and was followed to a local coffee shop, where she was confronted by the people in the car behind her. This was the same fellow that you read about on the sign in the coffee shop, and I contacted someone who followed the hearings and trials who told me that Melanie did not seem the least bit remorseful or responsible for her own actions. To this day she is still driving, and I think of Stan nearly every day when I walk my dogs past his house. We had just met, and he stopped by my house and dragged me out for an epic ride up Mt. Umunhum. I was looking forward to sharing many more miles with this wonderful man when our other neighbor informed me of this tragic and preventable loss.

  2. I remember that case well.

    My wife and I were talking about this more recent fatality. When I told my wife that the driver likely won’t get more than about three months for this, she was shocked.

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