Donald “D.J.” Pinkerton, 23, was killed on his bike in a crash with an SFPD driver on Friday night at a dangerous intersection at the edge of McLaren Park which is set to get traffic calming improvements.
The SFPD has told reporters that officers are still investigating the crash, which occurred at about 9 p.m. at Sunnydale and Persia avenues in the Excelsior District. Based on reports so far, Pinkerton was riding down a service road from the weekly bike polo event he organized when an SFPD officer driving a cruiser struck him.
SFPD spokesperson Albie Esparza told KPIX, “They were just driving regular, no lights or sirens, not going to a call, just regular, routine driving approaching this intersection.”
D11 Supervisor John Avalos said SFPD Ingleside Station Captain John McFadden already told him that the crash was Pinkerton’s fault, and that he “may have been intoxicated.”
“I feel like what I heard was, it wasn’t our fault, it was his fault that it happened,” Avalos told Streetsblog.
“This is a tragedy,” Esparza said in a statement soon after the crash. “Our thoughts go out to the bicyclist’s family, as well as our two officers involved as this is a tragic incident.”
Esparza added that SFPD is conducting “a thorough investigation” of the crash, and that “an administrative process will also be conducted for the member driver involved, which is standard procedure to include toxicology sample.”
SF Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Noah Budnick said the organization’s staff “were shocked when we learned of Donald ‘D.J.’ Pinkerton’s death.”