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Oakland Mayor Quan Defends Herself Against Cellphone Use Claims After Weekend Crash

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HollyQuan20100908_KCBS_0017r Holly Quan
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OAKLAND (KCBS)— Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is looking into getting a staff or volunteer driver after her involvement in a West Oakland car crash Sunday where witnesses say she ran a red light and was talking on her cell phone. Quan says that, despite rumors to the contrary, she was not holding her phone at the time of the crash.

Quan reiterated her stance that she was not on her phone during the crash at a news conference on Monday morning, but couldn’t say definitively that she did not run a red light before the crash at 27th and Market St. Sunday.

“I do not believe so, but we are going to let the police investigate and confirm or not confirm that,” said Quan.

That counters at least one eyewitness account of the wreck.

“I know.  I was standing right there when it happened, and I really clearly seen her run the red light,” witness Margaret Randall said.

Quan was 100 percent certain she wasn’t on her phone, which she says was either on her seat or in her purse during the incident. Quan said she was rear-ended, which caused the city-issued SUV to spin around at the intersection of 27th and Market streets around 7 p.m. Quan said she had stopped 10 minutes before to enter an address and then claimed to have put the phone down.

Just a week earlier Quan had confirmed a photo that shows her checking her cell phone while behind the wheel.

She was in between driving to two community events at the time of the crash.

“I’m very grateful that nobody was hurt. It could have been a very bad accident yesterday,” Quan said.

Quan said she was a little sore on Monday, adding that it wasn’t clear or not if she ran a red light, but she’d let the police investigate. The results of that investigation are expected to take about a week.

She opened the conference by calling out members of the media and asked if they’d be giving her as much press on the budget as they are for this accident referring to the latest coverage as “media hype”.

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