Forty-seven year-old Sena Putra was killed by the driver of a gasoline tanker last Thursday at 13th and Folsom Streets under the Central Freeway. He is the seventh pedestrian killed in the city this year.
According to the SF Chronicle, police said Putra was in a crosswalk on 13th Street at 12:55 p.m., crossing with the green light, when the northbound truck driver turned right and hit him. The driver stopped and “cooperated with investigators.” No arrests or citations have been reported. It’s unclear how fast the driver was going and why he or she failed to yield to Putra.
Putra was returning from lunch to his job as an accountant for UCSF’s Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital, according to the Chronicle. He had just become a U.S. citizen after emigrating from Indonesia almost 10 years ago. Colleagues told the Chronicle he was looking forward to voting in the U.S. for the first time.
Under the shadow of the Central Freeway, 13th Street is dominated by high-speed motor traffic that divides SoMa and the Mission. Many neighbors have lamented the reconstruction of the traffic-inducing freeway less than ten years ago at the insistence of Caltrans, despite the city’s proposal to replace it with a street-level boulevard.
“The biggest tragedy is that this could have been prevented if this city prioritized safe streets for walking,” said Walk SF Executive Director Elizabeth Stampe. ”This intersection and the whole area are built around freeways, not around people. But people still need to cross, just like Sena Putra did.”
“It’s time to put people’s safety first.”