From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat

DRIVER IN BIKE WRECK TESTED AT 0.3 ALCOHOL

Published on April 14, 2004
© 2004- The Press Democrat

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

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A Cupertino woman remained hospitalized with major head injuries two days after a suspected drunken driver struck her and her boyfriend as they rode bicycles on Highway 12 near Oakmont.

Jill Mason, 26, was in stable condition in intensive care at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, CHP Officer Shannon King said Tuesday.

Alan Liu, 31, of Mountain View died at the scene Sunday.

Harvey Hereford, 69, of Santa Rosa is due in court later this month after his arrest on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence.

Hereford's initial lab test indicated he had a 0.30 blood-alcohol level, law enforcement sources said Tuesday. That is nearly four times the 0.08 level at which a driver is considered intoxicated.

King wouldn't confirm the results of the initial test, but said one was conducted at a hospital, as is standard procedure. She said a subsequent blood sample was taken and results typically take a week or two.

Investigators said witnesses described Hereford accelerating onto Highway 12 from Pythian Road, weaving as he drove. The posted speed limit is 55 mph and witnesses said he appeared to be exceeding it somewhat, King said.

The bicyclists, who were training for a triathlon, were riding about 100 feet apart. Hereford swerved onto the shoulder and struck Liu and then hit Mason, witnesses said.

``Her injuries are pretty significant,'' King said. ``She was at first on life support. I'm not sure she still is.''

Hereford pulled over afterward and was arrested when officers arrived. He was released from custody after posting bail.

``We're not sure where he was going,'' King said. ``He's made a couple of different statements as to where he was going at the time.''

Liu was a graduate of MIT and worked as an engineer at Applied Materials in the Silicon Valley. He also was a swimming coach.

The couple was in Santa Rosa for Easter, visiting Liu's mother.

Rita Wells, Liu's mother, said the couple had been dating for about six months.

Wells said she'd seen Mason in intensive care Tuesday night and that the woman remained in critical condition.

Mason had recently gotten her master's degree from San Jose State University. She worked at a Silicon Valley engineering firm, Wells said.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or rrossman@pressdemocrat.com.




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