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January 5, 2004

Assistant police chief in critical condition after accident

By Jim Burns

UCSC's assistant chief of police, Robert Jones, remained in critical condition at a San Jose hospital on Monday after he was struck by a car while riding his bicycle on Highway 1 north of Santa Cruz last week.


The Red Cross is holding a blood drive on Friday, January 9, for people wanting to donate blood in the name of Robert Jones. Donors may give blood between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Santa Cruz Hillel, next to the 7-Eleven store near the base of campus. Donors should make appointments in advance by calling 1-800-448-3543. All blood types are needed.

Robert Jones, UCSC assistant police chief, is in critical condition.

Jones, who was hired as a campus police officer 13 years ago and promoted to the department's No. 2 post this past July, was struck by an SUV as he rode southbound two miles south of Davenport. Jones was transported from the scene by helicopter to Valley Medical Center. He sustained head injuries in the accident.

An avid cyclist, Jones joined 2,000 other riders in 1997 for the San Francisco-to-Los Angeles AIDS bike ride. The money raised by each rider benefited the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

On campus, he served on the Transportation Advisory Committee/Transit Oversight Committee, and he chaired a session on "Your Personal Safety" at UCSC's 2003 Women at Work Retreat.

This past fall, he participated in a process that publicized the opening of UCSC's bike paths to riders of mopeds, motorized bicycles, and motorized scooters. In an article published in Currents, Jones said he realized that many bicyclists value a quiet ride on the bike paths. But he emphasized that the policy clarification was a matter of safety. Jones, who rewrote the campus bike path access rules in 2000, said riders of motorized bicycles or mopeds are at risk sharing narrow roads with automobiles, buses, and trucks. “These folks need to have a safe place to ride,” he said.

Jones's wife, Toni, has requested that people not call the hospital to inquire about her husband's condition; the hospital has been inundated with such calls, she said.

Instead, she asked that people donate blood at the nearest American Red Cross center in Jones's name (see http://www.givelife.org).

Cards from friends and coworkers may be sent to the UCSC Police Department or e-mailed.

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