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Posts from the Carnage Category

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Video Shows Driver Attempting to Ram SFSU Lecturer on Bike

Last night, Anthony Ryan was biking home from his job as a lecturer on fine arts at SF State University when he was nearly rammed by a motorist on Phelan Avenue. Ryan says the driver tried to door him and run him over multiple times. He posted footage taken by another driver showing the end of the encounter, when the assailant attempted to back up over Ryan.

The assault occurred outside City College’s main campus. According to Ryan, the aggression began as he was riding in the left-turn lane from eastbound Ocean Avenue on to Phelan. Ryan, who previously had a more violent run-in with a reckless driver in the area, relayed his account in a series of tweets:

A still from the video showing Ryan after he jumped off his bike to avoid getting struck.

A still from the video showing Ryan after he jumped off his bike to avoid getting struck.

I was controlling the lane from Ocean onto Phelan, driver drove up behind and gave a horn blast, pulled alongside me on the right and tried to open his door on me. I went to the opposite side of the street to evade him and he crossed the double yellow line to ram me. He sped off and was stopped at a red, I followed to get license plate, he reversed and tried to hit me again. Then he was behind me in the bike lane. I crashed my bike into a parked car and leapt onto the hood to take cover. He sped off.

Ryan says he attempted to record the driver’s license plate number when he was stopped at a mid-block red light on northbound Phelan. In the video, you can see the driver of a white sedan back up into the bike lane, then drive toward Ryan, then flee.

Ryan is seen at the end of the video standing up after having jumped off his bike. He said on Twitter that he was left only with “some scrapes.”

Ryan said a witness caught the license plate number. He “dealt with CCSF (City College) police […] they were great.”

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SFPD: Car Was Reported Stolen After Pedestrian Hit-and-Run Caught on Video

The car used in a pedestrian hit-and-run caught on video was reported stolen by its registered owner the morning after the crash, according to the SFPD.

Screenshot from ColdFire/Youtube

As we reported this week, video was posted online after a crash that occurred at Second and Howard Streets in the early morning hours of April 18. The driver was seen making a left turn from a right-hand lane, hitting a second vehicle and striking a man in a crosswalk. The driver has not been found.

Although SFPD spokesperson Grace Gatpandan initially said the crash wasn’t reported, information on the case was uncovered after she was given the case number provided by the YouTube user who posted the video. Details from police were consistent with the comments posted by the YouTube user, who said he was driving the car with the camera and that he’d reported the crash to Northern Station the next day. The pedestrian has not reported the crash to the police.

​The Infiniti SUV was reported stolen by the owner at 10:52 a.m., the morning after the crash, said Gatpandan. The owner told police her car could have been stolen between 6 p.m. April 17 and 10 a.m. April 18, when she discovered it was missing. The crash was reported to police, apparently by the driver who took the video, at about 7:10 p.m.

“The pedestrian victim is vital for further investigation, as that victim will have to identify the driver of the suspect vehicle,” said Gatpandan. “The registered owner, especially in this case since the car was stolen, is not always the person driving the car. The case is being investigated by the Hit-and-Run Collision Investigations unit, but again there’s only so far the investigators can go without that victim ped information.”

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Drivers Hit Two Seniors in Two Days at Castro and 19th Crosswalk

Photo: Bryan Goebel

On Tuesday and Wednesday, drivers hit seniors in the eastern crosswalk crossing 19th Street at Castro Street. Wednesday’s crash scene is pictured here. Photo: Bryan Goebel

Two seniors were injured by drivers in a crosswalk at 19th and Castro Streets in separate crashes on Tuesday and Wednesday. Bryan Goebel, Streetsblog SF’s first editor, and his neighbor Hank Cancel happened upon the aftermath of the crashes.

Both victims sustained minor injures, according to Goebel and Cancel. But they said close calls with reckless drivers are routine at the intersection.

On Tuesday, a woman and man who appeared to be in their late 60s were crossing 19th in the intersection’s eastern crosswalk when the woman was hit by a driver making a right turn from northbound Castro. Cancel said the woman scraped her knee, and the female driver exchanged information with her, but nobody called 911.

Based on talking with the driver and victim, Cancel thinks the driver may have whipped quickly around the turn, as he sees many drivers do at the corner after coming down the hill on Castro. “The back of her car hit the pedestrian, because she didn’t actually wait for the pedestrian to clear the crosswalk,” he said.

On Tuesday, a driver (the woman left of the man) hit a woman (seen wearing a hat) while turning right at the same crosswalk. Photo: Hank Cancel

On Tuesday, a driver (the woman left of the man) hit a woman (seen wearing a hat) while turning right at the same crosswalk. Photo: Hank Cancel

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Video Emerges of Pedestrian Hit-and-Run Crash at Second and Howard

Screenshot from ColdFire/YouTube

Screenshot from ColdFire/Youtube

A disturbing video has emerged of a pedestrian hit-and-run crash at Second and Howard Streets in SoMa. Warning: It’s not for the faint-of-heart.

The crash took place on Saturday, April 18, at 2:05 a.m., according to the timestamp of the dash camera video. In the video, the driver of a grey Infiniti SUV stops at a red light in a crosswalk on northbound Second, then makes a sudden left turn from the right-hand lane, hitting another driver who was headed straight and running over a man in the crosswalk.

The victim can be seen waiting for the walk signal, looking toward the driver and apparently hesitating to cross. The driver accelerated into him until both the victim and the car were out of the camera’s view. The driver apparently fled westbound on Howard.

An SFPD spokesperson said the crash was not reported. YouTube user “ColdFire,” who posted the video and left comments claiming to have been the driving the car with the dash camera, said he/she reported the crash the next day to SFPD’s Northern Station, and could provide a case number. The user hasn’t responded to a Streetsblog request for the case number.

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SFPD Arrests Driver Who Hit Three Bike Commuters on the Wiggle

The SFPD has arrested 25-year-old Bianca Lopez of Fremont for hitting three people on bikes at Scott and Fell Streets on the Wiggle on April 6.

According to an SFPD press release, Lopez has been charged with felony hit and run causing injury, misdemeanor hit and run involving property damage, and driving without a license. Her bail was set at $100,000.

Lopez allegedly drove a Jeep Cherokee through a queue of bike commuters in the northbound bike lane on Scott at Fell after rear-ending the driver of a Mini Cooper on Fell at about 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 6. She then hit a parked car, which was wedged into a garage, as she left the scene.

Two of the victims suffered non life-threatening injuries, and a third sustained a fractured pelvis, compact fracture of an arm, and a lacerated liver, according to the SFPD.

The vehicle was found in South San Francisco later that day. The owner was located and questioned, but not believed to be the driver, who was described by witnesses as a Hispanic woman.

No booking photo or other information on the arrest or investigation was immediately released.

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Belmont Police Blame Cyclist for Getting in the Way of Driver’s Left Turn

An emergency crew treats an injured 29-year-old man who was hit on his bike by a driver who turned left into his path. Police blamed the victim for carrying bags and talking on a phone. Photo: Belmont Police Department

When a 90-year-old driver turned left into the path of a man bicycling on Ralston Avenue, the Belmont Police Department blamed the victim for talking on a cell phone and not wearing a helmet. The department also warned people on bikes against “carrying packages and bags” in its press release.

None of those behaviors are illegal, nor would they have stopped the driver from turning left into the victim’s path — which, by the way, she didn’t receive a citation for.

The crash on Saturday afternoon occurred on Ralston, where city officials refused to include bike lanes and a road diet in a plan for safety improvements last year.

“Cars come first,” Belmont City Council Member Coralin Feierbach declared in 2013. Feierbach acknowledged that “when you ride your bike on Ralston you take your life into your own hands,” but concluded that there is nothing to be done about it. She deemed it “impossible” to reduce speeding, ignoring the evidence that road diets do just that [PDF].

Victims of Belmont’s failure to implement proven safety measures won’t get any help from the local police department, which issued its statement on Monday to “remind cyclists to drive defensively.”

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Abisai May Dzul, 24, Victim of the “Alemany Maze” Highway Tangle

The Alemany Maze. Photo: Chuck B. / my back 40 (feet)

Abisai May Dzul, 24, was killed while walking on an off-ramp in the “Alemany Maze,” the forbidding tangle of freeway ramps where Highways 101 and 280 intersect in the southeast city. The crash occurred on Sunday at about 9 p.m., according to media reports.

Walking up the Highway 101 off-ramp at Alemany Boulevard, Dzul “had been struck by at least one car and possibly a second,” the CA Highway Patrol told Bay City News. Neither of the drivers stopped.

“This Alemany interchange, like the notorious Hairball slightly to the north at Cesar Chavez, is a mess for anyone trying to walk from, say, the popular Farmers Market to catch the #9-San Bruno on Bayshore,” said Fran Taylor, who helped organize CC Puede for safer streets around the “Hairball” junction at Highway 101 and Cesar Chavez.

Last year, D10 Watch author Chris Waddling wrote about the “outright hostile conditions for pedestrians and cyclists” presented by the Alemany Maze and the Hairball, noting that “neither area is currently slated for improvement in the near term.” The Alemany Maze cuts off access between the Portola, Bayview, and Bernal Heights neighborhoods for people walking and biking.

The maze “is in desperate need of attention” from Caltrans and city agencies, Waddling wrote.

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Taxi Driver Kills High School Senior Seana Canavan at Pine and Larkin

Pine and Larkin Streets. Image: Google Street View

Seana Canavan, who would have turned 18 today, was killed by a taxi driver at Pine and Larkin Streets Saturday night at 10:28 p.m., the SF Chronicle reported.

Seana Canavan. Photo via SFGate

Seana Canavan. Photo via SFGate

Canavan was a senior at International High School in Hayes Valley. Sammy Walker, who knew Canavan since they were five, told the Chronicle, “Seana wasn’t just unique because of who she was, but because of what she was — a student, daughter, athlete, artist, comedian, feminist, San Franciscan, believer and my best friend.”

The SFPD told the Chronicle that Canavan “stepped in front of a taxi heading westbound on Pine” when she was hit. The taxi driver stayed at the scene.

On the stretch of Pine where Canavan was hit, drivers cruising along a route with synchronized traffic signals pick up speed on a downhill slope. Pine is a three-lane, one-way street. Like most streets that criss-cross the Tenderloin and nearby neighborhoods like Polk Gulch, where the crash occurred, it is designed primarily to whisk car traffic along.

The Department of Public Health has flagged Pine as one of SF’s “high-injury corridors,” the 6 percent of streets and intersections where 60 percent of severe and fatal pedestrian injuries occur.

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Hit-and-Run Driver Arrested After Injuring Cyclist at Cesar Chavez & Valencia

John C. Fox tweeted this photo and: “To the shithead in the Silver SUV who hit and ran a cyclist at Cesar Chavez & Valencia: you’ll be found.”

The SFPD arrested a driver who hit a man on a bike and fled at Cesar Chavez and Valencia Streets yesterday at around 6:44 p.m. The victim is reportedly in stable condition and suffered a shoulder injury.

SFPD spokesperson Carlos Manfredi said the female driver fled, reported the crash about an hour later Mission Station, and was subsequently arrested and charged with felony hit-and-run.

The crash occurred while Streetsblog’s happy hour was happening at a bar around the corner. Some attendees who arrived after the crash reported seeing the crash scene, where a mangled bike, with its fork and front wheel broken off, was in the street.

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SFPD Finds Owner of Car in Wiggle Hit-and-Run That Injured 3 Cyclists

SFPD has located the owner of the Jeep Cherokee that was driven in a hit-and-run crash that injured three bike commuters on the Wiggle late Thursday afternoon, though police don’t believe the owner was driving at the time.

At around 5:30 p.m., the driver, described by witnesses as a Hispanic woman, plowed through three people on bikes at Scott and Fell after she rear-ended the driver of a Mini Cooper on Fell. The driver reportedly turned left into the oncoming left-turn bike lane on Scott, plowing into the three cyclists. The driver then slammed into a parked car, which was wedged into a garage, as she escaped.

The car, registered in Alameda County, was abandoned in South San Francisco, where police recovered it later that day, said SFPD spokesperson Grace Gatpandan. The owner was found on Friday and taken in for questioning. Police couldn’t confirm if the car had been stolen.

According to police and witness reports, two of the victims suffered minor injuries, and another was thrown nearly 20 feet but is expected to survive. Kevin Dole, a member of the SF Bicycle Advisory Committee, said soon after the crash he arrived at the scene, where an “older man” being tended to by paramedics who was in “pretty bad shape.”

D5 Supervisor London Breed said the crash “is really sad… It’s important that we continue to aggressively move forward to make changes to our infrastructure so that we can do everything we can to hopefully prevent these kinds of things from happening in the future.”

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