EAST PALO ALTO (KCBS) – A 7-year-old girl was killed in East Palo Alto Wednesday when she was struck by a car driven by a teacher on her way to work—just a block away from an earlier fatal collision, in which a motorcyclist was hit by an SUV that was fleeing police.

The girl was crossing Bay Road at Gloria Wayin a crosswalk a few feet ahead of her mother and two younger sisters shortly after 8 a.m. when she was struck by an eastbound car, East Palo Alto police spokeswoman Veronica Barries said.

“She was on her way to school,” Barries said.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

The girl, a student at Green Oaks Academy whose name has not been released, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver, Alisha Whiteparker, 49, of East Palo Alto, was on her way to teach at Costano Elementary School, Barries said.

She stopped at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

It is not yet clear what caused the accident.

“It’s still all under investigation,”Barries said. “We’re taking a lot of things into account at this point.”

The tragedy came less than three hours after a motorcyclist was killed a block away, at Bay Road and University Avenue, when he was struck by a driver fleeing from police.

The chase began after police responded to a 5:25 a.m. call from a resident of the 400 block of Bell Street who believed someone was trying to break into her home.

“She heard voices in her backyard,”Barries said.

Officers went to the neighborhood and spotted a dark-colored Land Rover and tried to pull it over, but the driver sped away, she said.

A brief chase followed, ending when the Land Rover struck the motorcyclist while traveling the wrong way on University Avenue, Barries said.

The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. His name has not been released but Barries said he was an adult male.

Police detained several people in the Land Rover for questioning, and arrested the driver, identified by Barries as 46-year-old Eric Banford, of East Palo Alto.

Barries said Banford has an extensive criminal history.

She said the Police Department will investigate the circumstances of the chase and crash.

“Our basic protocol is to conduct an investigation not only on the actual crime itself but on the pursuit,”Barries sasid.

She said it appears the chase lasted less than 30 seconds, and that investigators will review footage from cameras inside the police cars involved.

There was speculation that Wednesday morning’s second accident could have been related to the street closures prompted by the first crash, but Barries said that appears not to be the case.

The deaths have shaken the community.

“It’s a tragic event, both the motorcycle accident and the 7-year-old,” East Palo Alto Mayor Carlos Romero said.

Ravenswood City School District board member Saree Mading said district officials sent out an email updating faculty and staff on the situation.

“It’s a small community. I know the teacher personally,” Mading said.

Grief counselors are being made available to students, faculty and staff Wednesday, Mading said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (18)
  1. Hang it up says:

    Just because one MAGGOT decided to run from the cops, 2 people are dead…..this moron should be charged with DOUBLE MURDER….he chose to run making it voluntary MURDER…..hang his worthless butt

    1. Grace says:

      These are actually two SEPARATE collisions that happened at DIFFERENT times.

    2. Hang it up says:

      Yes, Grace, I know, but if the maggot would have just stopped, there would have been NO NEED to re-route cars therefore the little girl would NOT have been killed NOR the dude on the bike……the ONE dude fleeing from the cops is TOTALLY at fault for MURDER……..

  2. Big Time says:

    The police need to use other means of stopping suspicious vehicles than inciting high speed chases through urban areas.

  3. Monster says:

    Higher than normal traffic volume is no excuse for killing a child in the crosswalk!

    Little girl is dead because of hoodlums running from police. Charge them with murder!

  4. Andrea Tynes says:

    It just really breaks my Heart to hear about a child being hit and killed. Because some people will not slow down. Please slow down!!! My five year old granddaughter walks sometimes with her mother. I try to give respect to parents and children walking in the school areas. I hope my family is given the same respect. My heart and prayers go out to the family.

  5. down and out in e.p.a says:

    I agree with “hang it up” both fatalities were caused by these two men when you look at it. the traffic here in e.p.a is bad in the morning with everyone commuting from the dumbarton through university into palo alto, but nothing like it was this morning. we were all awake at 5:30 with helicopters hovering over our heads, then the rest of the morning was full of unmentionable traffic, schools/teachers/students all running behind schedule and ambulance after ambulance. all the residents are suffering from what is normally a quite peaceful morning here. double murder charges sounds about right to me. this girl would have never been hit and this teacher would not have been late for school and/or possibly rushing if it wasn’t for all the road closures.

  6. Lexie Vas says:

    This is too sad. RIP little girl and motorcycle man. Charge the men from the SUV with double murder. Innocent lives were lost because of that trash.

  7. kc says:

    The teacher was heading East bound — into the sun, if there were cars parked near the corner it would be harder to see an 8 yr old stepping out into the street. the girl may not have looked to see if it was safe. These are just possibilities or the teacher could have been on the phone.

  8. Juan says:

    The teacher was texting at the time she it the girl. Cellphone records are being reviewed by the police and will show the teacher used poor judgement and will probablt get only a slap on the wrist. Them people can’t stop talking and texting when they drive.

    1. Facts first says:

      Shame on you….. The teacher was not texting nor did she have any incoming or out going phone calls the teacher was doing what she was suppose to be doing
      -driving…get the facts before you point fingers my prayers go out to the young girls family along with the teacher…

  9. babalouey says:

    The story says “Barries said Banford has an extensive criminal history.” Then why the heck didn’t the Three Strikes law keep him in prison?

  10. Marta says:

    Parents should teach their children that they need to look on traffic before step to the road. Even on crosswalk.

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