No Crime in Fatal Pedestrian Crash So How About a Law That Makes It One?


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An 81-year-old woman, who has been identified as Yee-Sung Poon, was walking in the crosswalk at the poorly designed intersection of Santiago Street and Sunset Boulevard last night when she was killed by a driver. There are no stop signs or traffic lights and according to the SFPD it's just "a tragic accident."

"It doesn't look like he was speeding or under the influence or anything like that," Sgt. Renee Pagano told the Chronicle. "There's no crime here at all."

The driver did actually stop at the intersection along Sunset Boulevard, a street that most drivers treat like a highway in the city's Sunset District.

Manish Champsee, the president of Walk San Francisco, said Poon is the second pedestrian killed by a driver in SF in the last two months.

"Someone's loved one has been killed.  This person was in a crosswalk and did nothing wrong and yet no one is held accountable."

The real problem, according to Champsee, is the absence of a law that makes it a crime. Oregon is the only state with a Vulnerable Users law. It basically says if a driver hits and seriously injures or kills a pedestrian, cyclist or any "vulnerable user of a public way" he or she will face a year in prison and a $6,250 fine. Some are now pushing for a Vehicular Homicide law that would require stronger penalties for unlicensed drivers.