Last Friday, two drivers ran over and killed 44-year-old Melissa Kitson of San Lorenzo at 7th and Howard Streets, the second pedestrian fatality in San Francisco this year.
According to press accounts, the crash occurred at about 5:45 p.m. Police say the investigation is ongoing, and there are few details available on how it occurred. Both drivers reportedly stayed on the scene, and we’re waiting to hear back from the SFPD about whether either of them will be cited or charged.
As the Chronicle reported, Kitson worked for RedBricks Media, located on Folsom Street just east of 7th, and may have been on her way home when she was hit and killed instantly. Elliot Easterling, the ad firm’s CEO, told the Chronicle, “She was a very sweet and superb person. She was a good worker.”
“Two people have already been killed while walking this year in San Francisco,” said Elizabeth Stampe, executive director of Walk SF. “When she was hit by two cars and killed, Melissa Kitson was likely walking home from work. That shouldn’t be a life-threatening activity, especially in San Francisco.”
The wide, one-way streets in the South of Market district continue to function as speedways for drivers, and the rate of pedestrian injuries and deaths in the area will remain disproportionately high until Mayor Ed Lee and SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin make traffic calming measures there a priority. “We need leadership and commitment from the city to fix dangerous streets and prevent more bewildering tragedies,” said Stampe.