On June 8th, 2014, Mayor Jean Quan was involved in a car accident at 5:39 p.m. at the corner of 27th and Market Streets in West Oakland. There are conflicting reports as to whether or not Mayor Quan might have been talking on her cell phone at the time of the accident. Some witnesses say she was looking down and seemed distracted when she drove through a red light. Another witness says it was the other driver who ran the red light and she was not using a cell phone.

The mayor's office released a statement that Quan "was absolutely not on the phone," and that her cell phone records have been requested from her carrier to be provided to police investigators.

Shawn Vasquez, a 26-year-old security guard, said that contrary statements from other witnesses, it was the other driver who ran a red light and that Quan was not using a cell phone at the time of accident.

"(The mayor) was going through a yellow light, and the other girl was going through a red light," he told reporters outside City Hall shortly after Quan's news conference had ended. 2

This comes just days after Quan was featured on KRON-TV's "People Behaving Badly" for supposedly talking on the cell phone while driving and multiple pictures appeared between June 1-3. Quan has stated that she was looking up an address on her phone, which is legal as of Feb. 28, 2014 3, as long as she was not distracted. "Quan told reporters she was looking for an address, which she believed to be allowed under the state law. A California Highway Patrol spokesman said it is not." 1

Links & References

  1. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan uninjured after car collision Sunday night Oakland Tribune June 8, 2014

  2. Witness backs Quan's claim in Oakland traffic crash Oakland Tribune June 9, 2014 (an earlier version of this article was titled "Oakland Mayor Jean Quan Convicted of Running Red Light")
  3. Using cellphone map while driving OK'd by California court, Oakland Tribune, February 28, 2014