SAN JOSE (KPIX) – San Jose’s mayor Sam Liccardo spent the night in the hospital after collided with an SUV while riding his bike.

The mayor had wrapped up a news conference earlier Tuesday, when he decided to go for a New Year’s Day bike ride.

The report of the bicycle crash involving a “pedestrian versus vehicle – a silver Toyota” came over the scanners just after 12:30 p.m.

It happened around the 600 block of Salt Lake Drive near Mabury Road in San Jose.

Carl Guardino of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group is the mayor’s friend and frequent bicycling companion. He spoke with the mayor’s wife this evening.

“A car cut him off and caused a collision,” said Giardino. “From what I understand, the mayor sustained a few fractures including a fracture to his sternum. He’s pretty banged up and bruised up, but he’s in great spirits.”

According to neighbors, the mayor was riding his bike along the bike path on Mabury Road when suddenly, an SUV darted across his path on Salt Lake Drive. The mayor smashed right into the car.

Linda Dutra of San Jose was one of several neighbors and witnesses who are credited with quickly coming to the mayor’s aid.

I walk over and say, ‘hey, are you okay?’” said Dutra. “Tom and the wife dragged him onto the concrete because they were just afraid of another car coming and just taking whoever else was there.”

Once they got him out of the road, firefighters and paramedics rushed him to the hospital. Linda says nobody realized the victim was the mayor at first because he was wearing sunglasses.

“He was taken care of by the residents in his city. And it’s just so heartening on New Year’s Day that when bad things happen to good people that we can have people rally around and be of help,” said Guardino.

A neighbor said the mayor actually went through the SUV’s window with his head. Despite the head injury, he did not lose consciousness.

Liccardo was taken to Regional Medical Center where he will be kept overnight for observation by doctors, Low said.

Doctors say his injuries are not life-threatening and he is expected to be released Wednesday or Thursday.

In a statement late Tuesday evening, the mayor expressed gratitude to the folks who helped him.

“I’d like to thank compassionate neighbors like Linda and Tom who rushed to help immediately after the accident; the fast and professional response from Fire Station 19 and the San Jose Police Department; the wonderful paramedic care from Alex and her team; and the outstanding medical attention from Dr. Jimenez and the entire staff at Regional Medical Center,” said Mayor Liccardo.

The mayor is active, and bicycles often. He describes himself as a “cycling geek” on his Twitter profile, and he has participated in Bike to Work day.

He also likes to work out and run.

At the news conference just before his accident he talked about the minimum wage increase and told reporters he’d just returned from the gym.

In 2016, KPIX5 reporter Maria Medina tweeted a picture of Liccardo with a broken foot. He said he’d injured himself while running.

The Good Samaritan neighbors and witnesses told KPIX they didn’t hesitate to help. They said they were just doing what they should do.

It wasn’t until the Fire Department and more emergency crews arrived that they realized they helped save the mayor of their city.

They said he was extraordinarily grateful and thanked them.

Mayor Liccardo also thanked the Fire Department for their quick response in a Tweet. They responded, wishing him “a speedy recovery.”

Comments (4)
  1. Jerry Thornhill says:

    The article says “According to reports the vehicle that hit the mayor was a Toyota sedan,” with no further information about the driver, so that seems to imply a hit and run. Is that correct?

  2. Robert Cronin says:

    The article says that Liccardo was riding on a “bike path”. If so, it reveals the hazards of separated bike facilities at intersections. Drivers are not aware of bikes that are not on the street, which basically means that cyclists on paths need to treat every intersection as having a stop sign for bikes. Also, does the vehicle code have anything to say about who had the right of way in this case? If not, then it is pretty hard to determine who was at fault. In the Netherlands and France, among others, the driver of the motor vehicle would have been automatically at fault.

    1. Mario Grenier says:

      The road user that goes straight ahead has the right of way. It is the one that is turning that has to make sure that the path is clear before he makes his manoeuvre. That’s pretty much a universal rule.
      You are right when you say that segregated bike path -or riding on the extreme right of the street- poses greater risk. That’s way cyclist shouldn’t be afraid to “take the lane” in order to be seen, specially at intersections.

  3. Serge Issakov says:

    Looking at Google Maps for that area – that’s a bike lane not a bike path.

    https://goo.gl/maps/e7HxxVfQSRJ2

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