A 47-year-old Los Altos Hills bicyclist died Thursday when a big rig ran over her on Alpine Road near Highway 280 in Portola Valley.
According to evidence at the scene, Lauren Perdriau Ward, a nurse, and the semi-trailer truck were traveling side-by-side going westbound on Alpine. There was no indication the truck made a turning motion, according to Art Montiel, California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer.
"We have no witnesses, and there’s no damage to the front of the truck,” Montiel said. “The original damage is to the side of the truck. It seems a little bit strange. … We can’t release too much because we just don’t know.”
There’s no bike lane on that stretch of road, which includes three lanes of traffic. Montiel said the area isn’t dangerous per se, “as long as people do what they’re supposed to do.”
Officers found Ward’s body and mangled bicycle under the truck. She was wearing a helmet and riding a pink Trek road bike. Montiel said officers identified Ward from her fingerprints, but didn’t go into detail when asked the condition of the body.
“For the family’s sake, I’d rather not say,” he said.
Ward wrote a letter to the Town Crier, published January 2009, about the merits of understanding bicycle and traffic safety.
“A bicycle is very vulnerable, like a pedestrian, to any sort of accident,” she wrote. “If we could all have more respect and understanding toward others, life might get a little nicer.”
The driver of the Randazzo Enterprises truck, which is a Castroville-based demolition company, wasn’t under the influence, according to Montiel.
No charges have been filed against the driver, a male, as officers assemble witnesses’ statements.
Officers wouldn’t release the driver’s name or his statement last week.
“We don’t want to influence witness statements,” Montiel said.
Anyone with information should call 369-6261.