Bicyclist Critically Injured in Crash with Truck Driver in SoMa

Photos: Bryan Goebel

A 25-year-old woman riding a bicycle was critically injured in a collision with a food delivery truck at the intersection of Mission and Fremont streets this morning. San Francisco police blamed the bicyclist because investigators determined she was making an illegal left turn onto Fremont, which is prohibited except for taxis and buses.

“All indications show that they both had the green light but this intersection is a no left turn, clearly marked, and she turned left in front of the truck, so that is the primary reason for the accident,” Lt. Troy Dangerfield told reporters. He said the bicyclist was traveling eastbound on Mission Street, and the truck driver was headed westbound around 8:04 a.m.

At the scene, the truck was parked in the crosswalk, and had a shattered windshield and large dent in the front. A white plastic bag kept in place by orange traffic cones covered a pool of blood and one of the victim’s brown shoes. The other shoe was strewn a few dozen feet across the intersection. The twisted white bicycle, which appeared to be a single speed, was taken away for evidence.

Dangerfield said he didn’t know anything about the truck driver, or how fast he was going at the time. He said commercial drivers involved in crashes are routinely tested for drugs and alcohol, but that didn’t appear to be a factor in the crash. The truck is owned by Sunrise Foods based in the East Bay city of Newark.

Police could not immediately identify the bicyclist, describing her only as an Asian woman in her 20s. The SFPD press office had initially said that she died, but retracted the statement to report that “the victim’s status is currently life threatening at the hospital.”

A camera at a nearby business apparently caught the crash on video and Dangerfield said it would be used in the investigation.

Officers hold the victim's bicycle up for an SPFD official taking evidence photos.
The truck's windshield was shattered and it had a large dent on the hood.

 

  • john grabowski

    : I don’t understand how the “illegal turn” is relevant to this, since it’s only 
    : illegal for some classes of vehicle.

    As a police officer in the bay area, I can categorically state that is not true. i wish you cyclists would learn that fact. I’ve heard it about twenty times as I’m citing people.

  • RLD

    The “oncoming truck” didn’t know a thing–the DRIVER of the oncoming truck would be the one to know or not know about left turns for bikes.

  • If you bothered to click through and read all of the streetsblog written articles you would find the number of severely injured to be actually 100 in 2010 from motor vehicles of all stripes, including busses, trains, trucks, and bicycles.  That graphic does not break down the cause of the collision.

  • Alex

    Fine. No conspiracy, you’re just extremely biased.  You don’t have the resources so you only cover things that make the bicycle wielding public look sympathetic.  You can, and should, do better.

    Have you even bothered to follow up on any of the bike vs ped wrecks?

  • her friend

    Some of you guys speak so heartlessly as if we deserve to die for any mistake we make. Well… my friend made a mistake and she passed away tonight at the hospital. Grow a heart.

  • Peapod mom

    Really sorry to hear this. Mostly we have intelligent comments on Streetsblog but there are certain persistent, annoying trolls who think that by coming back occasionally or trying to point out some purported bias here they add to the discussion in some way. They really don’t get the bigger picture at all, which is umm…gee whiz…that safe, convenient bike infrastructure for SOMA commutes might just help prevent these horrible tragedies?

  • rip

    Everyone is entitled to comment as and how they wish. A young woman has lost her life; and even if you never knew her, a little sensitivity in your words would be greatly appreciated by those who did.

    RIP

  • Guest

    OH is that Alex again… well, last time i checked… this was a BLOG, and as with ANY news source, you cant report on EVERYTHING. Keep up the good work Bryan.  And the reality.. this is a very transit friendly place to be  =]

  • her friend

     I appreciate your empathy Peapod. My heart is aching for her family and the truck driver/ driver’s family.

  • Alex

    No amount of “convenient bike infrastructure for SOMA” will help overcome simple things like yielding to oncoming traffic.  Using this woman as a martyr for your cause is about as stupid as using Kenneth Harding as an example of police brutality.

    Would it have been better if this woman had made a mistake, and instead sent a pedestrian to the hospital with life threatening injuries?

    Part of the bigger picture that you, Peapod mom, and most of the other apologists seem to be missing out on here is that there is a onus to operate your vehicle be it pedal powered or not in safe and responsible manner regardless of what specific accommodations are being made.  If you’re driving on a dangerous road, you drive more cautiously.  If you’re using a bicycle on a dangerous road you ACT MORE CAUTIOUSLY.  Period.

    By abdicating any personal responsibility you’re doing a disservice to everyone involved.  Helmets don’t look cool, but given the head trauma perhaps they could have prevented a death?  Likewise, taking the few extra seconds to walk the bicycle through the crosswalks could have /easily/ saved a life here.

    In glancing through the comments I haven’t seen anyone suggest that this young woman deserved to die.  That she died IS tragic, and all the more reason we should take it as an opportunity to learn what went wrong here and how to prevent it from happening again.  And, yes, that absolutely includes personal responsibility (things like wearing highly visible clothing, helmets, using crosswalks as necessary and stopping for red lights), traffic enforcement, infrastructure changes (pedestrian scramble perhaps, encouraging bicycle use off of a major transit corridor like Mission, etc).

  • SFnative

    Yes, the illegal turn IS not relevant because even if left turns had been legal she’d still be at fault for turning in front of on coming traffic. 

  • SFnative

    I’m actually replying to ‘Alex’s’ reply…  Amazingly well said!   I wish all SF bicyclists would read your post… Unfortunately they seem to be so intoxicated on self righteousness and entitlement they won’t listen.  Too bad

  • mikesonn

    @cdbccbbe16fdade271efaa6ed04393f5:disqus You could easily write that about any road user group in response to any accident.

  • JamesF

    Rip, I don’t think anyone here isn’t sympathetic. We’re simply seeking to understand WHY this happened, and considering what we should be learning from this incident. There are lessons here to be learned by the cycling community who often appear to others to disregard traffic rules. and we’ve discussed how improved education, emforcement and licensing could mitigate the risk of such incidents in the future.

    In other words, we’re being positive  and constructive here.

  • Ggordonlitty

    Maybe not here, but it is often a self-entitled attitude that cyclists have that put pedestrians and auto drivers at risk, as well as the cyclist themself.

  • Ggordonlitty

    Maybe not here, but it is often a self-entitled attitude that cyclists have that put pedestrians and auto drivers at risk, as well as the cyclist themself.

  • Don’t people that drive ever ride bikes? Or have friends or family that ride bikes? Don’t bike riders also drive cars. This is a people problem, not a finger pointing game. Why are these forums always so ridic heated. There seems to be no need and none of the commenters where there or have any relation to what happened. Maybe she was going to a building there and that is the only way to cross a street…no one knows but you guys should really be ashamed of your selves.

  • Chris M

    Yes she did die.

  • mikesonn

    Sadly she did. When I wrote that yesterday, that wasn’t the case though.

  • Easy

    “Personal responsibility” as a solution to transportation safety is failing to the tune of 40,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. This is clearly a system-scale problem and not an individual problem. We need a system that is more “fault tolerant” so that the mistakes that all people inevitably make don’t result in so many deaths.

  • guest

    Yes she was headed to work. The office is on Fremont street. Everyone in the office is sadden from the tragic event. Our prayers go out to her family. 

  • Tofutart

    yet when a driver breaks the rules and kills a cyclist he’s open for a San Francisco, socially-acceptable form of vilification.  It’s a two-way street, unless you’re riding on the sidewalk.

  • I had a feeling, I am really really sorry to hear. Let me know if we can help in anyway. Such a tragedy and so close to home for a lot of us.

  • I had a feeling, I am really really sorry to hear. Let me know if we can help in anyway. Such a tragedy and so close to home for a lot of us.

  • Alex

    @mikesonn:disqus I’d love to start seeing pedestrians with helmets more frequently. heh.

  • Alex

    Of course you can’t report on anything.  But when SF BIkeBlog has done Z-E-R-O followup on any bike vs ped collisions and decides to run two front page stories on a bicycle vs truck as well as a mention in the top stories… what sort of message does that send?  Fits the definition of bias to a t.

    How about it Bryan?  Did those people who were sent to the hospital by BICYCLE RIDERS survive?  Long-term injuries?  Any sort of donations being solicited to cover recovery or funeral costs?

  • Rich

    I’ve said so often that in general bicyclist in SF pay little attention to any rules, not stop signs or lights or even pedestrian signs. They seem to think no rules apply once they get up on two wheels. Do crosswalks have to say don’t walk OR RIDE? It makes driving very difficult in the city, paying attention to traffic, signs, people, and then bicyclists who obey no rules at all, especially stop signs. Adhere to some rules of the road on bikes and stop this needless loss. I ride a bike, and a cycle, and drive a car, and yes I obey the rules of the road.

  • Erica Corns

    My heart goes out to you friend of Nancy’s . I was right next to her
    when it happened, and stayed there on the corner until the ambulance
    took her away. I prayed she would recover, and I am very saddened that
    she has passed. It was indescribably tragic. I wish I could have known
    what was about to happen… I would have grabbed onto her and stopped
    her. Don’t let all of these unkind and thoughtless words anger you.
    These people are speaking with the utmost insensitivity. Please know
    that there are people out there who do not know you nor did we know
    Nancy, but our hearts ache for you nonetheless. Stay strong and remember
    that accidents happen… most we will never understand why.

  • I, too, am saddened by the death of this young woman.  At twenty-five she was just beginning her adult life. My deep condolences to her family and friends.

  • Frank

    Erica Corn please contact a friend at 650-575-1888. You may help put some closure. ftkim@msn.com

  • It is really very bad news. A small mistake takes the life of the woman. Few minute wait is good in place of life…………

  • Yes, I can. Today. 

  • Odm2

    Ah, clever. And how many years did you have to wait?

  • Oh my! Such tragic accident. How is the woman doing now? My thoughts and prayers go out to her.

  • Robin 15

    People often suffer a injury caused by an accident at work, public places or at home. If you have suffered a personal injury, it is very important to be aware of what your Full entitlements are.  Legal Compensation understands the emotional and financial stresses after suffering a personal injury that’s why we have made our personal injury services so approachable and offers a quick response.
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  • Sflauramendoza123

    I wish there was more info re the video.  Just “table” for a second that the cyclist made an illegal turn.  We don’t yet know the conditions which the video would possibly reveal.  Was the rising sun (from the east)  which may have impaired her vision?  Since the delivery truck didn’t bother to take evasive action, doesn’t that indicate “speed?”  It just doesn’t make sense that she would purposely turn “into” the delivery truck

  • CondoChecker

    Very sad especially b/c cars drive on Folsom like it’s a freeway! ..in NYC they put bike lanes on the left which is safer for cars turning and seeing. ALSO..wow on the major construction going on..this does not look like the Folsom & 6th streets I was just on a few months ago. luxury housing distracts drivers ….

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