Bicyclist Injured in Haight Street Crash This Morning

Haight_bike1.jpgPhoto: Michael Kohn

A woman bicycling on Haight Street between Clayton and Belvedere was injured in a crash involving multiple delivery trucks between 9 and 10 a.m. today. Details are still unclear, but according to an eyewitness account, she was taken away in an ambulance, conscious but with apparent injuries to her legs.

The eyewitness, Jose Luis, said the woman appeared to dodge out of the way when a delivery truck abruptly opened its door, causing her to ultimately collide with another truck, the Pepsi truck shown in the pictures here. The Pepsi truck was either parked or moving slowly when the bicyclist collided with it.

"There was a loud noise when she was hit," said Jose Luis. "I thought for sure she had been killed."  He explained that the driver of the Pepsi truck called for an ambulance and stayed on the scene.

Two other bystanders immediately pulled the victim out from under the truck. She was screaming, said Jose Luis, but alive. By the time an ambulance arrived and took her away, she was alert and talking on a cell phone someone had lent her, but her legs had been covered up by the medics.

The SFPD Public Affairs office had no knowledge of the crash when Streetsblog called. The SFPD and Fire Department were looking into it, but could not provide details at 12:30 p.m. Stay tuned for more information as we receive it.

Thanks to reader Michael Kohn for the tip. He sent Streetsblog these photos of the aftermath.

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  • mcas

    Since SFPD seems to have difficulty finding the correct code to ticket drivers lately… CVC 22517: “No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.”

  • patrick

    That looks and sounds pretty bad, but at least she wasn’t killed. I hope she makes a fast and complete recovery.

  • Michael Baehr

    I hope she still has use of her legs.

  • Dave

    This is a reminder to all cyclists to stay out of the “door zone” since you never know when a door will open. I’m not excusing the truck driver — obviously (s)he is at fault for opening the door without checking traffic first. But it hardly matters who is at fault, the injuries to the cyclist don’t change either way. Granted, it’s not always easy to avoid the “door zone” especially if the truck was double-parked, as delivery trucks often are. But you’re taking your life in your hands when you ride close enough to be put into this situation.

    I also hope she will recover fully. The photo paints a horrific picture and I hope the actual injuries aren’t as severe as are implied.

  • Can we talk about how appropriate infrastructure would avoid tragedies such as this? We blame the cyclist for not being “expert” enough and not anticipating being doored. If anything, I would ask why Page Street wasn’t an attractive enough option that she didn’t take it instead of Haight, why are trucks making deliveries any time except between 5am and 7 am, and why in God’s name does anyone drink Pepsi anyway as it is a completely useless consumption of the earth’s resources that makes people obese and diabetic?

    A well-engineered street may not be accident-proof, but it is accident resistant. Let’s look at the systems that failed here–too many trucks, no safe place for deliveries, no safe lanes for cyclists outside of traffic. Every single one of us in danger of swerving due to being doored almost every moment we ride. It doesn’t have to be this way. It’s not this way in other cities in the world.

  • Michael Baehr

    Jesus, taomom. The facts aren’t in and you’re already shaking your fist going “THERE OUGHTA BE A LAW”.

    Accidents happen sometimes. We don’t always need to change something in response to every bad event, ever.

  • dr2chase

    But, M. Baehr, dooring is depressingly common, well known, and sometimes fatal, and in fact other cities in other countries do a much better job with infrastructure and regulations, everything from better lane placement, to actually enforcing laws, to requiring trucks to have “safety skirts” that make it much more likely that a cyclist or pedestrian will not go under the wheels. And oddly enough, instead of ending, civilization seems to be enhanced by these things. Remember, we’re a really wealthy country, and all these other places that do these nice, safe, sensible things, are poorer than we are, yet somehow their economies can afford it.

    This was not “an accident”. This was bad infrastructure, a broken and unenforced law, and lax regulation of large, dangerous equipment (trucks). Yes, “stuff” happens, but we can affect the rate and severity of “stuff”.

  • Erik

    Accidents are unavoidable acts of god (these practically never happen). This was an event that could have been easily avoided if the cyclist had been riding a bit further to the left while passing a parked vehicle or if the truck driver had looked before opening his door.

  • Nick

    I really hope she is not seriosuly injured. Did the driver of the car that doored her flee?

    A few years back MTA had a very limited educational campaign on how Sharrow stencils are to be used by cyclists and drivers. I think they put the billboards on MUNI busses (MTA’s site still lists the promotional graphic in a pdf document on sharrows).

    I was expecting to see a new campaign these past few years but nothing ever happened. A lot of cyclists still ride in the door zone and those that use the sharrows get buzzed.

  • Haight st. is a delivery nightmare, as are many streets in SF. Having enforced loading zones and lock outs when deliveries can not be made on some streets would go a long way to mitigating some of this. Staying away from them when you are riding down the street can be very hard as the trucks are usually so wide they block at least part of bike lanes and always force cyclists fully into traffic to stay away from their much larger door zone. Also, delivery trucks like this have the added danger of hitting a rider almost completely in the face with an open door because they are so high up.

    Regardless of fault, which is silly in this case because it sounds like there were multiple factors, discussion of how to deal with delivery trucks on crowded streets needs to happen. Other cities have lockouts on midday deliveries to prevent these dangerous interactions and blocking of traffic. Businesses can adapt to it, they have in other places.

  • R

    I walked by this on the way to work.

    “Lalala.. hmm, why so many cops and Pepsi trucks? Hmm..” (sees bike underneath the truck) “Holy f-ing s-!”

    And my first thought was, what a dumb-ass bicyclist. It is obviously her fault because big trucks are very slow moving. Also, the truck ended up stopped less than 20 feet from a stop sign, so he can’t have been going more than 20mph. My second thought was, I really hope he/she is alive to learn the pay attention lesson! I’ve seen bicyclists do some really stupid stuff in the city, which doesn’t make any sense. Do stupid stuff in a car, get in an accident and possibly pay a lot of money. Do stupid stuff on a bike in traffic? Guaranteed injury, high chance of death.

    After reading this article about how she had been swerving to avoid a door.. well, the bike is on the right side of underneath the truck. So, she obviously had been trying to squeeze past the truck, in between it and the parked cars. Something I personally would never do on a bike. You don’t really want to be between ANYTHING and a TRUCK, EVER.

    So, in short, she is an idiot. But, I’m glad she’s alive.

  • TT

    I’m a close friend of the woman who was also at the scene and just wanted to let everyone know that she’s ok though she has a lot of recovery ahead of her. I’d like to thank most of you for not jumping to conclusions and for refraining from hateful name-calling. Also, thanks to all of you for keeping her in your thoughts.

  • hernan

    R,
    I;m appalled by your comments, calling the cyclist an idiot. You are really fast making conclusions about why the accident happened. Evidently, you are not a cyclist or you are just a punk. We bicyclists go through a lot of risks every day, whether we ride fast or slow, within or outside of traffic regulations. Streets are narrow, double parking is abused and drivers are not on the lookout for cyclists. So who;s the idiot, I wonder?

  • George Alonzo

    If you see two trucks in the lane, don’t drive between them. It is so unsafe. Trucks have a very difficult time seeing the bicyclist in the mirrors. This is a hard lesson, but we can all learn from it.

  • patrick

    Any update on this? how is she doing?

  • sirdebo

    hey “R” – you are an asshole. accidents happen and this happens to be one of my best friends. so get your facts dick before saying she is a moron. you are a piece of shit and god forbid if you get hit by a car crossing the street, it was because you weren’t walking fast enough.

    she is doing okay. i am not at liberty to address her condition at this time, but she is very lucky. people: please remember not everyone is a “cyclist” or have lived in Cali long enough to understand the way they drive. i thankfully moved to the east coast and don’t miss assholes in their cars/delivery trucks/buses/whatever.

    side note: i apologize for my tone but nobody wants to hear about this happening to a friend then have complete strangers who hide behind comments on blogs bash the person. it’s not right at cowardly.

  • pepsi driver

    TT, thank you very much for the information. So glad to hear she’s going to be alright. I haven’t thought about much else these past few weeks. Also thank you for not jumping to conclusions about what happened. If I could have done anything to keep her from getting hurt I absolutely would have done it. I can see from the posts that a lot of people don’t think I belong on that street. I have several deliveries in that area so I kinda have to be there. Also I can see that a lot of people think truck drivers are a-holes, that we don’t care about anything that’s going on around us. But we do care. We have families and friends and we care very much about being safe. My wife is a cyclist so I’m well aware of them. This particular time I just didn’t know she was there. Even though I wasn’t the one who opened the door, I still feel terrible about what happened. I don’t want anyone to get hurt.
    TT, I’d appreciate another update. Please tell her I’ll be praying for her full recovery. Sirdebo, sorry you feel the way you do, I know you don’t think so but I do care.

  • Pepsi Driver,

    You are brave posting here, but it shows you have a good heart. I appreciate your posting.