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Cody Hall To Serve 9 Years, Takes Plea Deal in…

Driver in Fatal Collision Used Social Media to Talk About Speeding

-By Autumn Johnson

Months before he fatally struck a 58-year-old woman riding her bicycle on Foothill Road Sunday afternoon, Cody Hall boasted on Twitter of driving 140 mph and invited his 191 followers to join him on a “death ride.” He retweeted “Drive fast live young” hours before the Twitter account was closed following the collision that killed Diane Hersevoort of Dublin.

Parents of students who attend Foothill High School, where Hall is a senior, confirmed that the 18-year-old used social media to advertise his penchant for driving fast, including posting pictures of a car speedometer clocking high speeds and referring to his car as a “death trap.”

A parent who saw his social media posts about speeding told Patch that Hall is known as a hardworking young man with a fondness for animals. Some of the commenters on the original Patch story about the collision have come to Hall's defense.

A commenter, who goes by the user name "CR" said, "I am saying he isn't a devil or a deliberate murderer, he made a horrific, terrible mistake and he will pay, I, personally will not hang him out to dry or vilify him, he will suffer enough by the natural consequences of his actions." Cr later wrote, "This is a tragedy for ALL involved."

Another commenter with the user name "ken mo" of wrote, "As reckless and inexcusable as this young man's actions were, please keep in mind he did not go out on the road that day planning to kill someone, it was a complete accident. His actions have horrific consequences and he will have to pay. But to all of you who continue to denounce him I don't think you realize this could have easily been your own kid. It was a stupid teenage mistake that SO many high schoolers make, many just luck out and never hurt anyone."

Hall, who has not been charged with a crime, has not yet been reached for comment. He stopped at the scene of the accident and cooperated with police. Attempts to find a phone number for Hall or his family have been unsuccessful.

According to Sergeant Robert Leong, Hersevoort and her husband, who was also struck and injured, were riding north on Foothill Road, near Golden Eagle Way, during their weekly bike ride at about 1 p.m.

In a previous report, Leong said it appears that Hersevoort and her husband were riding single-file in the bike lane on the side of the roadway when they were hit. Conflicting reports from eyewitnesses said Hall's vehicle had just sped around a slower moving vehicle before striking the bicyclists. Police have not confirmed these statements.

Leong said the investigation is still developing.

Patch editors Alex Gronke and Kari Hulac contributed to this report. 

AshB June 16, 2013 at 01:17 AM
My prayers go out to both families involved in this incident. Although the act was inexcusable, the intentions were not evil. He did not set out with the intention of killing anyone. I'm sickened by anyone calling for blood or financial ruin on CH's family and only strengthens my disgust for some people in this town. These attacks from social media are petty and dirty. I admire CR for actively standing up for Cody at this time when he probably needs a friend the most. Again, I'm not attempting to excuse his act, but express disgusts for anyone calling for blood. God bless the Hersevoort family.
Angelmarie Duncan June 16, 2013 at 01:49 AM
I was not trying to defend the kid. I was trying to remind my generation that, at this kids age, we were stupid too. Most of us just got lucky though. I stand by every word I said in my previous comment. Don't like what I have to say? Don't read my comments.
MA June 16, 2013 at 02:09 AM
My sincerest condolences for all involved on this tragedy. It is heartbreaking and I feel for the families. They all will be in my prayers, but while reading these articles I am horrified and am ashamed of how gossip is being portrayed as facts. Two families lives have just been shattered by a young mans choice but not a single person on here can claim that they have never made an error in judgment. He made a mistake and will forever live with the consequences. Friday was graduation and for him that milestone in life will never be experienced. Teens think they are indestructible whether it be partying to hard or driving recklessly. No one ever thinks this will happen to them until it's too late. Leave the negativity out of this comment and let's be a town that rallies together instead of ripping apart someone's character. If you have lived a blameless life then throw that first stone at him but I am setting my stone down because i have made mistakes in my life. I will be praying for the family who lost a mother, wife, and sister, but also for A family who just lost their son too. Just remember this could happen to you or someone you love so don't be so quick to judge. God bless All of you.
EC June 16, 2013 at 10:01 AM
"Character is what you do when nobody is watching." Please- this was not just a lack of judgement- naive comment. Lack of judgement or major character flaw? No, this could not happen to me; I slow for cyclists and pedestrians, I don't get a thrill out of driving fast and recklessly- I've made major judgement errors in my life- this was more than that. wake up.
A Reader June 16, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Lack of judgement? Get over it. This was a pattern of aggressive and dangerous behavior, a pattern that his parents certainly knew about as this it the third vehicle that he wrecked in his first two years of driving. Lack of judgement? What are you thinking??? This idiot behaved in a way that could not have resulted in any other manner than loss of life. He is a narcissistic sociopath without the conscience or ability to feel remorse for the death that he caused. Likely the first death of many that he will cause if he is not locked up for a very long time. Unfortunately, his daddy bought his way out of the previous offense and will no doubt do it again this time. The crime here is not only the murder that he committed but the fact that so many in this town are trying to gloss over the loss of a woman's life as just a "lack of judgement". She was worth much more than that. What single thing in his lifetime has he ever done to make him worthy to live while Diana needlessly died? It sickens me to read that some people here think he should be let go as his conscience will remind him of this horrific crime for the rest of his life. Really? From what I have read his life did not even miss a beat after this murder. Did anyone see him at graduation? My bet is that he attended as if nothing had happened at all. Because for him, it WAS nothing.
D. June 17, 2013 at 12:19 PM
So sad this has happened. My condolences to Diana's family. Two thoughts come to mind: 1) If you have children/teenagers dependent on you, this is a wake up call to to check all of their posts/comments in their social media forums. You might be surprised at what you find but here's a chance to intervene before it's too late. 2) I know this is just a band-aid solution, but can't we get speed humps installed on Foothill? Much like those on Happy Valley or other rural roads....
ptownmom June 18, 2013 at 02:02 AM
CH did not graduate with his class. One has to wonder about parenting. I hear that it is not traditional in his family. It is the parents who protect, lead, and guide. Please do not judge this person, who possibly was allowed to go astray. Who did not have the proper guidance, instruction, and consequences for his actions. This is not an excuse but rather another way of looking at this sad situation. The beautiful life that was cut way too short can never be replaced. Prayers to all.
EC June 18, 2013 at 10:35 AM
Seriously ptownmom- allowed to go astray? Yes, blame the parents for a lack of proper upbringing but a kid at 18 KNOWS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RIGHT AND WRONG- and he CHOSE his actions-they weren't the result of a non traditional family life- good grief-
Mari June 18, 2013 at 10:42 PM
18, 30, 40, 50 and the list goes on and on the speed limit on foothill in most places is 40. MPH growing up my faja used to tell me that 5 miles either up or down you will probably be ok so think about it if the speed is 40 five up now it's 45 and the fact that the age plays somewhat another 5 miles total speed on Foothill now 50MPH I just came from dropping off my daughters at her friends house off Foothill and if you go there you will see that the bike lane is sometimes visible and someplaces not visible. The speed speaks for itself I am always getting cars trying to make me go faster now I am older and know that no one can intimidate me to try to go faster knowing the road conditions and curves stops etc.. Button line the speed limit on foothill is way to high I am sickened to my stomach to hear that someone had to die in order to change the speed limit. And where are the Pleasanton police why I never see any on foothill anymore they should police foothill frequently and slow the cars down with tickets and speed should not exceed 30 to 35 miles pler hous 30 probably better if you take into account what my faja thought me when I was young. Again I am deeply sorry for the loss and hurt of lives I have a 19 year old who is on a short leshe on driving. And it really does not matter what the age is right is right wrong is wrong my faja bless his soul was wrong the speed played and proved wrong the fault may be all three the driver, bicycles for even going on that street I certainly want my kids off that street with bicycles unless they the City can fix the problem and the City should take some responsibility here too for not fixing the speed okay enough said I really could go into this more but rest my case. Saddened and hurt.
ptownmom June 19, 2013 at 02:44 AM
Like I said, not making excuses. He did not choose to kill that day. He was not discouraged by his parents and he chose to drive fast and wreck cars that they paid for. Where were they? 18 is just one month from 17 in high school. They are still kids under their parents roof.
EC June 20, 2013 at 11:14 AM
Its not about chronicology. Whether or not his parents were the worst in the world and completely out of touch as it appears, with his social media and this other side of him, he had to study for and get licensed by the DMV and STate of CA to get his license. He knew the rules- and just because mommy and daddy were not discouraging him from being a reckless driver- he knew- don't kid yourself. I agree- I have my kid's username/pw for facebook and twitter and I don't care if he protests, my house my rules whether he's 15 or 18-if living here. I monitor what's going on not just what he's saying but what others are as well and would report if I saw something like people saw on C Hall's pages- Even so, I cannot control what my kid does when he's out there on his own- I can only give him the foundation to guide him.
anon June 21, 2013 at 08:15 PM
@ptwnmom. I disagree. According to his posts calling his car the "death trap or ride" and bragging about his speed was a fatality waiting to happen. Just the speeding on Foothill road was negligent enough, but he had excessive speed (probably 45+ mph over speed limit). From what I have heard, he was on the phone as well. The conversation every parent should have with their kid as they turn 18 is to remind them that they are now adults. If they get arrested, they go to jail, not juvie. MIP when your under 18 are easy, MIP after 18 have stiffer consequences. Just because they live at home doesn't change the fact that they are adults. I fault the parents for being so enabling that they continued to buy him cars/let him drive. His insurance must have been equivilent to that GNP of a small third world country.
Craig Hicks July 09, 2013 at 04:54 AM
Just a practical idea: (1) Create a law which makes claiming a crime on social media equivalently punishable to committing the actual crime. (2) Allow a bounty of 50% of any fine for anybody who notifies the police of an act which violates (1).
anon July 14, 2013 at 04:09 PM
I agree with Craig. If you see some of the posts these kids put up. They brag and show pictures about under age drinking, drinking while driving, trespassing, etc. They post these comments on a public site. Why can't they be charged with crimes. I mean we see bank robbers on videos or in a picture of robbing a bank...why not some underage drinker that is trespassing and drinking?
Autumn Johnson (Editor) July 16, 2013 at 08:55 PM
Pleasanton Parent July 26, 2013 at 10:48 AM
Hall's reckless actions were regular. Regular reckless actions lead to fatalities. Whenever a young person makes mistakes, we feel a certain sorrow for them. Hall is 18, a young man, not 10, a boy. Those who say Hall did not mean to kill that day are not logical. If a person drives a car at extremely excessive speeds terrible things can happen. Did Hall mean to kill someone, probably not. But a driver knows that death of self or someone else is one of those possibilities. Lets not lose sight of the real tragedy, the dead woman and her family, not Hall. He knew the dangers every time he stepped behind the wheel of a car and flagrantly chose to abuse them.
Autumn Johnson (Editor) July 27, 2013 at 12:52 AM
Driver Involved in Fatal Bicycle Collision Arrested http://pleasanton.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/driver-involved-in-fatal-bicycle-collision-arrested
Pleasanton Parent August 07, 2013 at 07:18 PM
Kitty, obviously you don't understand that the reference to a ten year old is not literal, but alludes to understanding the difference between right and wrong. That is the point. As is the point that logic dictates that reckless practices lead to greater probabilities of reckless results. I never say he meant to kill. I said that "those who say Hall did not mean to kill are not logical." As in they are not following the process from action to result. (Speeding + more speeding equals greater likelihood of tragedy.) The comments you reference are not contradictions; one comment references the thoughts of interpreters of Hall's action and the other references what is likely Hall's thought. (Neither of which any of us know.) But taking part of a whole context and declaring it the whole context does not make it so. Sorry, Kitty. And shame on you for "putting tons of people in danger." Really selfish. But I will pray for all parties involved, including Cody. What a tragedy for all.
Christian Holm August 07, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Kitty Black, this 18 year old cretin committed Negligent Homicide. That you sit there and grandstand about how the victim "had hardly a "full life" left" and therefore this disgusting jerk should be forgiven and allowed to do as he pleases is certifiably despicable on your part. What kind of monster says such a thing? And BY THE WAY: A Bicycle is a VEHICLE! It has every right a CAR DOES except on the Freeway. If you had any sense, you'd have decided to find that out before you started your ignorant rant.
Becky August 18, 2013 at 11:17 AM
Kitty, You never heard of a car driving up on the sidewalk and hitting a bike? seriously, you sound like you were drunk when you wrote that.
Autumn Johnson (Editor) August 18, 2013 at 04:37 PM
Story update: http://pleasanton.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/driver-charged-with-second-degree-murder-in-fatal-bike-collision-in-court-monday
Autumn Johnson (Editor) August 19, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Story update: http://pleasanton.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/national-spotlight-on-18yearold-charged-with-murder-in-fatal-bike-collision
Autumn Johnson (Editor) August 23, 2013 at 09:56 AM
Headline News Takes on Cody Hall Case: http://pleasanton.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/headline-news-takes-on-cody-hall-case
Autumn Johnson (Editor) September 04, 2013 at 10:21 AM
Story update: http://pleasanton.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/father-of-suspect-charged-with-murder-in-bike-collision-in-court-next-month
Autumn Johnson (Editor) September 10, 2013 at 01:35 PM
Judge in Hall Case Speaks Out About Defendant's Predicament: http://pleasanton.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/judge-in-hall-case-speaks-out-about-defendants-predicament_0d928b69
Autumn Johnson (Editor) October 03, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Autumn Johnson (Editor) October 08, 2013 at 10:43 AM
Story update: http://pleasanton.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/hall
Autumn Johnson (Editor) October 14, 2013 at 10:39 AM
Family of Woman Killed in Bicycle Collision Say Damaged Memorial Adds to Pain http://pleasanton.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/family-of-woman-killed-in-bicycle-collision-say-damaged-memorial-adds-to-pain
Autumn Johnson (Editor) November 12, 2013 at 05:26 PM
Cody Hall's Dad Joins Son in Court http://pleasanton.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/cody-halls-dad-joins-son-in-court
Autumn Johnson (Editor) November 14, 2013 at 04:21 PM
Cody Hall Pleads Not Guilty, Judge Denies Bail http://pleasanton.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/cody-hall-pleads-not-guilty-judge-denies-bail


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