DUI Driver Arrested for Killing Man on Potrero Avenue Near Highway 101

The approximate area on Potrero, approaching the Bayshore onramp, where the man was reportedly killed. Photo: Google Maps

Details updated 5:30 p.m.

A man was killed by an allegedly drunk pickup truck driver early Friday morning at 12:39 a.m. near a vehicle ramp connecting southbound Potrero Avenue to Bayshore Boulevard over Cesar Chavez Street, according to SFPD spokesperson Michael Andraychak.

The driver, 25-year-old Caitlin Rea of San Francisco, was arrested for driving under the influence and felony vehicular manslaughter in the death of the unidentified man, who is estimated to be in his thirties, according to police. The victim was reportedly in the road and not in a crosswalk.

Drivers travel fast at the junction of Cesar Chavez and Highway 101, known as “the Hairball,” and it remains notoriously dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists. It’s not clear from the report where exactly the victim was killed, but the nearest crosswalks on that stretch of Potrero, at Cesar Chavez and 25th Street, are roughly 1,056 feet apart, judging by Google Maps. A fence was installed there by the Department of Public Works in 2009 to discourage pedestrians from crossing, despite the Municipal Transportation Agency neglecting to add a crosswalk and traffic calming measures called for by residents and pedestrian safety advocates.

“This whole area is incredibly unfriendly and unsafe for walking right now, and local workers and residents have been asking for new crosswalks and other improvements,” said Elizabeth Stampe, executive director of Walk SF.

A revamp of Cesar Chavez west of the Hairball, currently under construction, is expected to be finished next summer. The SF Municipal Transportation Agency also striped bike lanes on eastern Cesar Chavez this spring. However, broader bike and pedestrian improvements on the Hairball and eastern Cesar Chavez being developed by the SF Planning Department aren’t expected to be completed for several years.

The latest pedestrian death “shows how necessary it is to fix the streets here and not delay,” said Stampe. “Delay can cost lives.”