Pedestrian Accident Carnage In San Francisco Continues Into 2014

I previously reported on the incredible frequency of fatal and serious injury pedestrian accidents in San Francisco in December 2013. It was my hope that this represented an anomaly rather than a trend in pedestrian accidents in San Francisco, but this unfortunately appears not to be the case, as indicated in part by the events of the past several weeks.

On 2/4/14, during daylight hours, a pedestrian, Isaak Berenzen, age 78, was killed while crossing Sunset at Yorba. The impact was such that he was impaled in the windshield of the car that hit him which was driven by 71-year-old Jenny Ching who lives in the area. That intersection is governed by a blinking yellow light but no red light, a condition which the SFMTA has intended to remedy with installation of a regular traffic light manually triggered by pedestrians – reportedly to be installed by the end of 2015. The SFPD cited Ms. Ching on suspicion of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and failure to yield, in accordance with the SFPD’s newly adopted policy regarding pedestrian and bicycle accidents. Numerous pedestrians and bicyclists have been struck by vehicles on this road (reportedly 44 pedestrians struck on Sunset between 2005 and 2011, with a quarter of them taking place between Vicente and Sloat), calling into question potential liability of the City of San Francisco for maintaining a dangerous condition with notice of the numerous accidents. Update: On 5/8/14, yet another pedestrian was struck and injured by a car at Sunset and Yorba.

On 2/5/14, a male pedestrian in his 50’s was critically injured by an unidentified hit-and-run driver of an SUV at Van Ness and Grove in San Francisco, next to City Hall. The pedestrian was walking in a crosswalk at the time of the collision, and was taken to San Francisco General Hospital. As I have previously written about, injured pedestrians may be covered by their own uninsured motorist insurance where the identity of the at-fault driver is unknown.

Also on 2/5/14, a 7-year-old boy walking to school was hit by an SUV while crossing O’Farrell near Leavenworth, but the injuries to his leg are reported to be relatively non-serious.

On 2/7/14, a female pedestrian, age 64, was critically injured near 26th and Clement in the Richmond District of San Francisco, when the driver of a car lost control and slammed into a parked car, pushing the parked car into the pedestrian.

On 2/12/14, Paul Lambert, age 35, was struck and killed by a speeding motorist at Van Ness and Pacific Avenues in San Francisco. The driver, 27-year-old Mageb Hussain of Emeryville, is reported to have attempted to flee the scene. Mr. Hussain was arrested by S.F.P.D. for felony vehicular manslaughter and felony hit and run.

On 2/14/14, a UCSF van struck a pedestrian who was crossing 6th Avenue at Irving. The S.F.P.D reports that the pedestrian was in a crosswalk and had a green when the UCSF van turned left onto 6th Ave from Irving. The pedestrian was taken to a local hospital with injuries which are said to not be life-threatening.

On 2/20/14, 90-year-old Mildred Lusardi was killed while crossing the street due to being hit by a cement truck on Fillmore Stret at California Street.

On 1/7/14, 38-year-old Antonio Cancino was killed crossing Van Ness Ave near Grove Ave.

Update: On 3/10/14, a 5-year-old boy sustained a head injury and his babysitter an injury to her leg, both requiring hospitalization, when they were reportedly struck in a crosswalk by a car at Fulton and 37th Ave in the Outer Richmond District. The SFPD cited the driver of the vehicle.

Update: On 3/12/14, a teenage male was injured as the result of being struck by a car while he was walking within a crosswalk at Ocean Ave and Junipero Serra Blvd in SF. In accordance with its newly adopted policies, the SFPD cited the driver for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Update: On 3/16/14, a San Francisco tour bus struck and seriously injured a pedestrian in the mid-Market neighborhood.

Update: On 3/17/14, at approximately 9:45 p.m., a car without headlights on, driven by an unlicensed driver, hit and seriously injured a 60-year-old pedestrian in a crosswalk on Ulloa Street close to 39th Ave. The SFPD cited the driver.

Update: On 3/20/14, a woman in her 60’s was hit and killed while walking in a crosswalk at Bayshore Blvd and Visitacion Ave. This was a hit-and-run by an identified driver in a Dodge pickup truck or SUV.

Update: On 3/30/14, at approximately 2:45 a.m. a hit-and-run driver of a Volkswagon Passat severely injured a pedestrian at or near 10th and Division Streets in San Francisco.

Update: On 4/4/14, a middle aged man was severely injured while in a crosswalk at Sacramento and Stockton Streets when struck by a vehicle which had run a red light.

Update: On 4/6/14, a man was killed crossing Van Ness Ave at or near Golden Gate Ave after being struck by a motorist.

Update:  September 2014:  Another pedestrian, 78-year-old Pui Fong Yim Lee, was killed in a crosswalk at the intersection of Stockton and Sacramento Streets, a site of previous fatal and severe injury pedestrian incidents.  The driver, who was making a left turn onto Stockton from Sacramento, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter.

Update:  October 2014:  On 10/20/14, 87-year-old Louis Van Velzen died following being struck by a car as he crossed the street at 43rd and Sloat in San Francisco, a crossing he makes a few times a week.

According to the SFMTA, 60% of pedestrian-involved vehicle accidents occur on 6% of San Francisco’s streets. Those streets are the obvious target of safety improvements which will hopefully be made in the not to distant future.

Update:  On 10/23/14, a 67-year-old female pedestrian was killed while walking within the crosswalk in front of City Hall.

Update:  All in all, 18 pedestrians were killed in San Francisco in 2014, only a slight reduction from the 21 killed in 2013.