Wheelchair Pedestrian Critically Injured at JFK and 8th Ave. in GG Park

Photo: Aaron Bialick

We should never have to report about a traffic injury in Golden Gate Park, but as long as cars are allowed, there will be stories like this one.

A man in a wheelchair was critically injured by a car driver Tuesday evening on John F. Kennedy Drive near 8th Avenue in Golden Gate Park. The crash was reported at 8:31 p.m., according to Bay City News as published by SF Appeal. The driver, a 27-year-old man, reportedly stayed at the scene, and there’s no word yet on whether he will be cited. The man’s injuries are considered life-threatening, the SFPD told BCN.

In a comment on Streetsblog, Andy Thornley said he came upon the scene of the crash about ten minutes after it occurred, where he saw “lots of emergency vehicles and EMTs treating someone on the ground” and “a wheelchair in the road, on its back, wheels in the air.” An SFPD officer told Thornley that “the person in the wheelchair had been behaving in an ‘aberrant’ manner, weaving in and out of the roadway with cars dodging him, people had already called the police a couple of times to report him before he was finally hit by a car.”

We have a request into the SFPD for more info on the crash. We’ll update this post as we learn more.

  • Anonymous

    Cars trying to dodge the wheelchair? why didn’t they just stop, especially when they see a wheelchair!? Where do the police stand on this one?

  • Guest

    Not to defend cars, but depending on the direction of travel from the wheel car and cross walk used, it would have been impossible to spot the person before hitting them. I an speaking of the cross west crosswalk if one were facing north.

    I’ll be rolling by later tonight so I suppose it’ll see where the road flares are put up.

  • Anonymous

    An aberrant wheelchair user and you want to ban cars from GG Park? Makes no sense.

  • Guest

    Aren’t there stop signs in every direction at this intersection? That’s either some really bad driving, or really bad wheeling.

  • Guest

     Yes, but I have yet to see anyone driving in the park make a full stop unless they are confused on the direction of travel.

  • Anonymous

    No, it’s independent of this one incident (though this helps the case). The point is, there should be at least one place in the city where we can escape the danger, pollution, and noise of cars. And if a park isn’t that place, I don’t know what is.

  • Anonymous

    If the SFPD would enforce speed limits, perhaps Drivers wouldn’t be driving so fast as to not be able to stop before hitting someone in a wheelchair. Pathetic that the story right now is … Oh, he was weaving through traffic and acting weird. Well, the weird thing is that the police are indifferent to 2-3 pedestrian injuries or deaths in San Francisco every day and the people of San Francisco accept it.

  • Andy Chow

    Why are you presuming the driver was speeding? In San Francisco there’s a segment of the population that have mental/drug issues that are more likely put themselves in danger.

  • Anonymous

     I did not say the driver was speeding.  Read my post again. 

    The one fact I know for sure is that the driver, unless he wanted to hit the person in the wheelchair, was driving too fast to stop his vehicle before hitting someone.  There’s no excuse to not stop.  Life is not a video game where other people are just obstacles to knock out of the way, and without police enforcing laws and writing tickets to remind dopes about this little fact of living in reality, I think the 2-3 pedestrian injuries or deaths per day is the result.

  • Anonymous

    I guess I’m confused why we still run roads through our park at all. We have Lincoln and Fulton that run all the way along the park already; aren’t parks supposed to be a place where you escape the urban stress? At the very least, we could follow NYC’s lead, close the park to cars all weekend, and have limited mid-week hours.

  • Guy

    Technically, the aberrant wheelchair user wasn’t in the park. He was reportedly deliberately weaving through traffic in the street.

  • Anonymous

    The wheelchair user was apparently deliberately weaving through traffic. I’ve seen mentally challenged people do this often on foot. 

  • Anonymous

    Why do you think parks shouldn’t have roads? We are talking about an urban area, not a natural woods. 

    BTW, we do close the main streets through GGPark on Sundays.  

  • Anonymous

    Why do you think urban areas even have parks?

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