Eyes on the Street: Frightening Car Crash at Sloat and 19th Ave

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These are photos of a serious crash at the intersection of Sloat and 19th Avenue that happened just after 1 pm today. Thanks to Streetsblog reader Nick for the tip and the photos. Here’s his account:

There was a pretty bad car wreck on 19th Avenue today just after 1PM. At least one person needed to be rescued; it looked like they might have had multiple people or a family in the gray Honda. Pretty scary stuff.

From the photos, it’s not exactly clear if either vehicle ran a light, but the black Prius must have been going at a good clip to wedge the silver Honda up against the pole. 19th Avenue is notorious for both speed and high volume of vehicles, while Sloat is incredibly wide and acts as an on-street freeway at times when I’ve been on it.

Although it’s unclear if the crash was due to red light running or a left-turning vehicle, Nick has a pointed opinion about the danger of the intersection, which he put this way:

In terms of advocacy, this accident was preventable if there was a dedicated green arrow for left turns onto Sloat. The State installed a left arrow with "yield on green" signage after a pedestrian was killed at the same intersection in 2008. It might not seem like a big deal, but Caltrans basically said they won’t install a dedicated arrow because it will cause unacceptable levels of traffic delays for 19th Avenue motorists. Apparently accidents like these are acceptable.

SFPD spokesperson Lt. Lyn Tomioka said one person was transported to a local hospital with unknown injuries. One lane of southbound 19th Avenue was closed, causing traffic delays. More photos after the jump:

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  • Joel

    I guess that’s why it took the 23 a HALF AN HOUR to arrive.

  • James

    Doesn’t the 23 always take half an hour to arrive?

  • Diane

    From the first photo, it looks as if the Prius – absent the Honda – would have hit the pole itself. It is heading directly towards a little median area and is not in a travel lane.

  • This intersection and the one just East of it (Junipero Serra / Sloat/ West Portal/ Portola) should be declared a public health hazard. They are uncrossable at the worst of times and scary at the best. No one follows the speed limit, no one signals for sudden lane changes, people charge the lights…. there is a school, a church and a Masonic lodge there, not to mention Stern Grove, four bus stops. When will the City get over moving cars and start to address the public health hazard these streets are?

  • Big accident at 4th and King this morning. One fatality. From what I heard, a person driving a delivery type truck came off the highway and blew through a red light. Whole intersection was closed off and looked like the N was being routed around to one side of the platform only. I don’t believe the T was able to go through the intersection.

    Time I arrived was 6:45.

  • EL

    “It might not seem like a big deal, but Caltrans basically said they won’t install a dedicated arrow because it will cause unacceptable levels of traffic delays for 19th Avenue motorists. Apparently accidents like these are acceptable.”

    I have absolutely no idea what ‘Nick’ is talking about, or why the author would post the above comment given the following fact: There are dedicated left turn arrows for eastbound Sloat to northbound 19th Ave, and also for southbound 19th Ave to eastbound Sloat. All other left-turns are prohibited.

  • Noelle

    I saw this accident happen yesterday. I was driving from my eyebrow appointment and had just made a right turn on Sloat to head home. Then, I see a Prius racing westbound down Sloat boulevard. I am thinking to myself “another Prius driver wanting to go fast, give me a break”…mind you, I drive a really fast car and get annoyed with Pruis drivers regularly because they accelerate like they’re driving a race car. I move to the right and the Prius changes the lane at the same time and gets really close to my bumper. At that point, I see the front bumper of the Prius completely smashed up. Then, he suddenly veers to the left and hits the center median – then starts riding the divider down the road. At this point, I see a panicked driver in the Prius and then it occurs to me “OMG, this person can’t stop the car!”. The next few seconds go by so quickly. I don’t know which direction the Honda was travelling on 19th Avenue, but the Prius ended up crashing right into the Honda. The impact was loud and all of the airbags deployed immediately. I have never seen anything like this in my life and still feel shaken up today. I do not know what happened here, but it definitely did not look like a drunk/careless driver, but someone who could not stop their car. If anyone has any more info on this story, please share.

  • I was at this accident, and almost got nailed by this runaway Prius. As I told the police, this was the craziest thing i have ever seen. The Prius was going at least 90 mph and was completely out of control. The driver could not handle this vehicle and this accident was not faked. Don’t let Toyota look at this car until the NTSB has checked it out first.
    I was headed out of St Francis woods and crossed the light heading west on Sloat. The Prius was wildly out of control heading east towards The intersection of Junipero sierra and sloat. At the light he caught the left median strip and did a radicle U turn and headed on Sloat Westbound. He left skid marks and parts of his car there if you want to check it out. As he was totally out of control and speeding like mad I pulled over onto the sidewalk to get out of his way. He was swerving to avoid vehicles in front of him, including me(he came within inches of me) and headed towards the 19th ave intersection.
    He slammed into the minivan and finally stopped. The minivan was heading south on 19th ave and got pinned to the light pole.

    I just hoped that nobody died. When the SF Police interviewed me they said noone was seriously hurt.

    I think this was caused by a stuck accelerator as I could hear the engine going at top rpm.

    I also would like Toyota to put a commercial on the tv showing people what to do if this happens to them. It might frighten people away from buying these cars, but I think it will save alot of lives.

  • Noelle

    Wow, thanks for sharing this Phil. Now that I think about it, if he didn’t swerve to the left, he would have ended up hitting me. Luckily, I was paying attention, as I am always scanning traffic to all sides of me. I am also glad nobody was hurt. It’s a miracle that nothing happened to the people in the Honda considering the impact…they should consider themselves VERY lucky. Did you overhear the driver or anyone else stating what happened with the car?

  • Edith

    Did the familys serviced in that car crash??

  • Miriam

    Were there kids involved ihn thee crash???

  • Facing an accident is really very horrible.  So I wish that no one face an accident specially kids. I know very well because I am also face this accident.

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