Grief counselors offered to SJ city employees

Grief counselors are available today for San Jose city employees to cope with the passing of a public works employee who was struck and killed in a suspected DUI collision Thursday afternoon just outside City Hall.

Douglas Andreen, 61, of San Jose, worked with the city for nearly 10 years when he was crossing the street outside City Hall at North Fourth and East Santa Clara streets around 4:30 p.m. Thursday and was fatally struck in a three-car collision.

A few candles stood at the street corner today near City Hall where the mood was somber. Many city employees are returning to work and learning about Andreen’s death and can speak with on-site grief counselors for support, Public Works director Barry Ng said

Some city employees who witnessed the collision recalled a loud bang, Ng said.

Three vehicles, including a news van, were involved in the collision and Andreen was pronounced dead at the scene, police and fire officials said.

One of the drivers, 41-year-old Richardo Gomez of San Jose, was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter, police said.

Two other people injured in the collision were transported to a hospital for injuries not considered life-threatening, police said.

Andreen had worked for 10 years with the city and spent the past four-and-a-half years with the Public Works Department as a senior account clerk primarily supporting the Animal Care Center on Monterey Road, Ng said.

Andreen was a quiet, reserved person who actively participated in city events, Ng said.

Ng saw Andreen every day on City Hall’s fifth floor and often ran into him at lunch places around the building where they’d strike up a conversation while waiting for their meals.

Andreen’s supervisor said Andreen enjoyed traveling to the Northern California mountains to fish and spend time outdoors, according to Ng.

Ng made a phone call to Andreen’s father Oscar and brother Daniel, who both reside in Fairfield, to offer his condolences.

Many public works employees have offered to adopt Andreen’s cat, Tinkerbell, but his brother plans to care for the pet, according to Ng.

Plans are underway to adjourn a City Council meeting in December in Andreen’s memory, Ng said.

Andreen was the 40th person to die in a traffic collision on city streets this year, according to police.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call police Detective Kevin McMillin at (408) 277-4654. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at (408) 947-7867.