San Jose

Vehicle-Related Deaths, Injuries Rising at Alarming Rates in San Jose

NBC Universal, Inc.

San Jose is on an alarming pace when it comes to vehicle-related deaths and injuries.

The city has already seen 12 fatal accidents in the first six weeks of this year, the latest one on the intersection at Almaden Expressway and Foxworthy Avenue has been the site of more than its share of accidents and tragedy.

Rochelle Valentin took care of the memorial set up where her two cousins were killed.

The two men, and a third person, were struck by a vehicle outside the crosswalk on Jan. 18.

Valentin was saddened but not surprised when she heard a bicyclist was killed there Thursday right across the road from where her cousins died.

That case is still under investigation, but police say the bicyclist may have been crossing against a red light.

Valentin pointed out another pedestrian was killed in the same area just after Christmas.

“I don’t believe another person has been hit here in the same spot,” he said. “It’s heartbreaking. Change has to come and it needs to come now.”

Howard Robertson, who works off Almaden Expressway, agreed.

“You’re going pretty fast, you get over that overpass, see the light, see if you can beat it. And then I see a lot of people that are sometimes not in the right places when they’re crossing the street. So there are a lot of different factors,” he said.

San Jose police said it believes more than 90% of fatalities could be prevented if people involved followed traffic laws.

In the first six weeks of this year, there have already been 12 fatal collisions and 13 victims, including nine pedestrians.

Police said the incidents have officers even more focused on traffic enforcement.

“Keep that in mind,” said Steve Aponte of the San Jose Police Department. “That if you are speeding on the roadway, if you’re failing to yield to pedestrians or bicyclists, you may receive a ticket. And not to punish somebody, but merely to change that behavior so we can save lives.”

Valentin said she’d  be grateful to see any kind of significant changes there, even though it’s too late for their family.

“It’s not fair to us that he was taken so soon,” said Valentin. “I don’t want this on anybody else. So just be cautious of everything.”

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