Speeding Driver Arrested for Killing Pedestrian, Walking Away on Van Ness

Image: ##http://www.sfgate.com/ndnvideos/?freewheel=45981&sitesection=sfgate_nws_loc_sty_vmpp&VID=25614710##KTVU##

SFPD has arrested 27-year-old Mageb Hussain of Emeryville for hitting and killing an unidentified pedestrian on Van Ness at Pacific Avenue at about 1 a.m. last night. Hussain was reportedly driving a rental car and attempted to walk away from the scene of the crash.

Mageb Hussain. Photo: SFPD

Police said Hussain faces felony vehicular manslaughter and felony hit and run charges. According to KTVU and the SF Chronicle, Hussain was traveling at freeway speeds when the unidentified victim attempted to cross mid-block. The impact of the crash was so severe, the car’s hood and windshield were smashed in.

The Chronicle reported that Hussain has a “checkered driving record”:

In March and April of 2011, he was cited twice for speeding and once for driving on a sidewalk in three separate incidents. He later failed to make court appearances, records show, and his license was suspended in November of 2011 – an action that ended in October of last year. Hussain’s license is currently valid, the DMV said.

Hussain is the fourth driver to be arrested by SFPD for killing a pedestrian since New Year’s Eve. The drivers in the previous three cases stayed on the scene. Prior to those incidents, it was unusual for police to arrest drivers who were sober and didn’t attempt to flee. But this year SFPD has adhered to its recent change in policy, which allows officers to arrest drivers in fatal crashes when there appears to be probable cause.

In the most recent crash on Sunset Boulevard last Tuesday, 71-year-old driver Jenny Ching was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. In Hussain’s case, it appears the manslaughter charge may have been elevated to a felony since he attempted to flee.

The victim, whom police haven’t identified, is at least the third pedestrian killed by a driver this year. Today’s KTVU report said a fourth pedestrian, who was previously reported to have suffered critical injuries, has died after being hit by a driver in a crosswalk at Van Ness and Grove Street last Wednesday. That driver fled and evaded police.

  • Erica_JS

    How the hell do you not lose your license permanently for driving on a @#^+%! sidewalk?

  • Upright Biker

    It’s sad that we have to use the dead bodies of people who only hours ago were someone’s loved ones as cudgels to get our elected and appointed officials to realize that it is automobiles and their drivers who are responsible for this ongoing and largely ignored carnage.

    But that seems to be the only thing they understand. Still how many more people need to die?

    Why should it be this difficult? Is the rapid movement of automobiles such a political, economic, and moral imperative that all else simply stand aside?

  • gneiss

    When when our city officials recognize that vehicles speeding in a dense, urban environment kill people? The data is very clear. At 20 mph, the odds of of someone who was walking dying in a crash with a car is 5%. At 30 mph, 40%, and at 40 mph 85%.

    There is absolutely no reason for travelling faster than 20 mph in the city given the level of motorize traffic and the number of traffic control devices between your starting and ending points. Even racing between stoplights, the average speed for people trying to reach their destinations within the city is only 15 mph to 20 mph.

    If the city were serious about preventing these needless deaths, they would be putting speed cameras all over the city to send citations to people who are speeding, have traffic police ticket aggressive drivers who race off of stoplights, and work towards putting in place engineering controls to reduce vehicle speeds. Instead we have a “Be nice, look twice” campaign and street standards that are geared towards implementing highway standards (12 ft. wide vehicle lanes) that encourage speeding in urban environments.

  • gary

    The victim paid with their life. So should their killer at least, suffer lifelong consequences in monetary and no driving ever again.

  • JackSF

    This seems like a failure by the DMV and State to not revoke this person’s license after repeated offenses that have high potential to injure pedestrians. Driving on the sidewalk, more than once? If his license were not valid, the rental agency would not have issued the vehicle.

    Crossing mid-block anywhere on Van Ness is very dangerous! You only live once people, don’t waste it. I see people all the time hop onto Van Ness in front of cars to catch the bus, it blows my mind each time.

  • mikesonn

    11 dead so far in #VisionZero 2014.

  • Chris J.

    Also, “Be nice, look twice” doesn’t do anything for the drivers that don’t live in San Francisco to hear Ed Lee give a speech.

  • SuperQ

    Here’s an idea. A new class of driver’s license. “Neighborhood” Class. When people are first getting their driver’s license, they are limited to driving something like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neighborhood_Electric_Vehicle

    This has a whole bunch of advantages for new drivers

    * It limits to a much safer 25mph.
    * It limits the range they are allowed to travel.
    * It teaches defensive driving as these are a much more vulnerable vehicle.
    * It teaches more awareness of surroundings as the visual and audio separation in these cars are less isolated.

    There are also some secondary effects. Many 2 car households could easily get away with having one regular car and one NEV.

    * Envionmental. Using a lighter weight more efficient vehicle for short trips.
    * Reduced cost, NEVs are relatively cheap, and cheap to operate.
    * Reduced road wear, lighter vehicles
    * Better defensive driving from other cars. 6% of the cars on the road are drivers under 20. There would be a ton of these on local streets, making other cars slow down.

    If your license is suspended, after the suspension you are down-graded to NEV for a year or two. You would have to re-prove that you are capable of driving a full size car.

  • Jay Heaton

    Consider converting Van Ness to a one-way street. Traffic signals along a one-way street can be timed for whatever speed you want (something that isn’t possible along a two-way street since you are coordinating both directions of travel). As an example, downtown Portland, Oregon has a network of one-ways timed for 12 mph (in addition, the cycle lengths run very short, keeping the vehicles bunched together effectively reducing the size of the green band which also helps regulate the speed of traffic).

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