First Muni/Bike Crash of the Year on Market Street this Morning

IMG_1421.jpgThe scene of the crash at Market and Front. Photo: Michael Rhodes

The driver of a 9-San Bruno Muni bus struck a male bicyclist from behind on Market at Front Street at 10:40 this morning. The bicyclist was removed from the intersection in an ambulance with "moderate injuries," according to an officer at the scene. The Fire Department confirmed that the injuries were not life-threatening. Fortunately, both the bus and the bicycle were reportedly moving at low speeds at the time of the crash.

"It appears at this point that the bus may have contacted
the back of the bike from behind," said Sgt. Wilfred Williams, an SFPD
spokesperson. "This is still under investigation as to the actual cause
of the accident."

Susan Dhillon witnessed the aftermath of the crash as she drove by on Market shortly after it occurred and said she was shocked to see the bicyclist on his feet given the condition of his bike. The mangled bike "was under the front of the bus," said Dhillon. "So, I have no idea how he was on his feet. He was definitely frazzled, but he was standing." Two police officers were flanking the cyclist when Dhillon passed by, apparently wiping off blood or debris, she said. "One was patting down his head and one was patting down his elbow."

"That guy got so lucky. I don’t know how he got out from under the bus," she added.

Officers from the San Francisco Police Department and investigators from the MTA and City Attorney’s office remained on the scene more than an hour after the crash, as did the bus. MTA spokesperson Judson True said the Muni operator involved in the crash would automatically be put on non-driving status while the investigation continues, and will be tested for drugs and alcohol. True also confirmed that video of the crash would eventually be available through the on-board DriveCam system on the front of the bus. Streetsblog has requested a copy of it.

The crash is the first of the year between a Muni vehicle and a bicycle. Muni drivers hit seven bicyclists last year, compared to four in 2008. In contrast, Muni drivers struck far fewer pedestrians in 2009 versus 2008, a 37 percent drop from 61 to 38.

IMG_1425.jpg

  • It is impossible to assume that it was the MUNI driver’s fault based on the info here, BUT the important thing is that it very may well have been and the driver has been suspended from driving.

    If the vehicle hitting the cyclist here had been a private motorist, 9/10 times they would simply be allowed to drive away from the scene with little chance of any real follow-up about their culpability in the crash.

    The kind of time and attention given to such crashes when MUNI is involved are a model for how the police should proceed when private motorists are involved. The big difference is that the cops work for the city and the city is liable to lawsuits when city buses hit people.

    Very glad this guy was able to get up. Fix Market now!

  • zsolt

    Bike – Muni conflicts on Market are very predictable.

  • the MUNI bus driver hit him intentionally. the driver needs to go to jail. the video will prove it. it seems like folks want to assume it can’t happen. it does. and sometimes it’s blatant. i’m sure we’ll see all sorts of excuse-making from even cyclists when the video comes out.

  • Peter Smith, how are you so sure? I’m not saying it isn’t a possibility, but you say that like you were in the bus when the driver yelled out a war cry.

  • pat

    “It appears at this point that the bus may have contacted the back of the bike from behind”

    That is one of the horror accidents that is hard to get out of your head. You can get just as injured any other way but getting hit from the back is far more scary. Hope this dude heals up quickly and fully

  • EL

    The last photo clearly shows the bus in the leftmost lane of Market Street. So, the only reason the bike would have also been in that lane in the first place (since it was hit from behind) is if it was trying to make an illegal left-turn onto Front Street.

  • zsolt

    All right, case closed. It’s the biker’s fault.

  • terisa

    Michael Rhodes, if you check this site, can I have permission to use your photo of this accident in a report tonight on kron 4 news.

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