The SF District Attorney’s office has put charges on hold against the driver who killed pedestrian Francisco Huarcha-Salanic, 31, on Bayshore Boulevard on the dangerous junction with Highway 101 known as the “Hairball.”
The driver, 25-year-old Caitlin Rea, was arrested for driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter after hitting and killing Huarcha-Salanic at 12:40 a.m. on September 21, according to SFPD spokesperson Michael Andraychak. The crash occurred about 60 feet south of the point where several ramps merge together onto southbound Bayshore from eastbound Cesar Chavez Street and southbound Potrero Avenue.
However, as Bay City News reported on SF Appeal today, prosecutors “discharged” the case on September 28, pending further investigation. “Once further investigation has been completed, we will charge the case accordingly,” DA spokesperson Alex Bastian told Streetsblog. (Note: SF Appeal’s headline had originally stated that the DA wouldn’t charge the driver, but it was later corrected to reflect that the charges were only put on hold.) Bastian said he couldn’t comment on the investigation.
While we don’t know why Huarcha-Salanic was crossing the road in the area, the Hairball is widely considered one of the city’s most dangerous and difficult areas for pedestrians to traverse. Crossing it from Bayshore requires pedestrians to make an extensive detour, and the crosswalks that do exist provide far from any guarantee of safety. The distance between the two nearest crosswalks on Bayshore, located at Cesar Chavez and Oakdale Avenue, is roughly half a mile, judging by Google Maps.
The Planning Department’s Cesar Chavez East Community Design Plan, released in February, is intended as a guide for a long-term re-envisioning of the Hairball and the eastern section of Cesar Chavez, but it doesn’t recommend adding any pedestrian crossings on Bayshore.