Drunken truck driver collides with drunken bicyclist near Redwood City

A drunken truck driver and a drunken bicyclist collided on Saturday night on El Camino Real near Redwood City, leaving the cyclist seriously injured, a California Highway Patrol officer said.

The driver, 40-year-old Jose Luna of Redwood City, was driving his Ford F-150 pickup truck north on El Camino Real through North Fair Oaks around 11 p.m. As he approached Berkshire Avenue to make a right turn, a bicyclist was riding against traffic in a northbound lane against the curb, CHP Officer Amelia Jack said.

The bicyclist Alejandro Chavez, 31, of Redwood City, was wearing dark clothing without a helmet or required lights, Jack said.

The truck and the bike collided, sending Chavez flying, according to Jack.

Chavez suffered major injuries and was taken to a hospital with a broken back and leg, and cuts to his head, Jack said. Luna was not injured.

A field sobriety test showed that Luna was driving under the influence, and blood work from the hospital showed Chavez was drunk as well, according to Jack.

“It’s odd for me to hear of a [drunken] bicyclist and vehicle. I haven’t heard of that situation in the five and half years I’ve been on the job,” Jack said.

Chavez, who was in stable condition as of Saturday evening, was cited for driving under the influence of alcohol while on a bicycle, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Luna was arrested on suspicion of DUI and driving without a California driver’s license. He also had a prior drunken driving incident on his record, Wagstaffe said.

Luna was not charged with DUI causing injury because the bicyclist himself was drunk and riding against traffic, Wagstaffe said.

“But it doesn’t change that the driver of the car was drunk,” Wagstaffe said.

Luna was booked into San Mateo County Jail, where he remains in lieu of $5,000 bail after appearing in court Monday afternoon, he said.

A pretrial conference is scheduled for June 24 and could continue to a jury trial on July 11, Wagstaffe said.

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsLocalRedwood City

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