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Bicycle Safety

Bicyclist, Young Son Injured in Hit-and-Run Crash on Valencia Street

3:21 PM PDT on July 2, 2009

_1.jpgAndrew Bennett with his 4-year-old son Robby on the back and 2-year-old son Jack in the front. "I'm so glad Jack wasn't with us," he said.

A San Francisco bicyclist is asking for help locating witnesses who may have seen a hit-and-run crash Wednesday on Valencia Street -- one of the city's most popular bicycling corridors -- that left him with a broken back. Andrew Bennett wrote about the crash in an email he sent to the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition:

Yesterday, at approximately 11:30 am, I was riding my bicycle northbound on Valencia with my 4-year-old-son behind me on his add-on tandem. While crossing 18th on the green light, a silver Chrysler PT cruiser gunned it through the red light, striking me and my 4-year-old, sending our bikes flying. It's a miracle that either of us are alive and even more so that my son's injuries were not life threatening. I sustained injury to the spine and now have a broken back. The driver did not stop.

Bennett said there were several witnesses but no one was able to provide a more thorough description of the car or license plate number to the SFPD. He believes several witnesses left the scene on the assumption that other witnesses were providing information.

I believe, based on several things said at the scene, that there will be zero effort put into the solving of this crime by SFPD ( due in large part to incomplete info) and I need help from the community in tracking this criminal down. We're likely to be bankrupted by medical costs even with insurance: I want to do everything legally possible to bring this person to justice. I owe it to my family and to my community.

An SFPD spokesperson said the department typically does not release a lot of information about "injury accidents" for "litigation reasons." The crash on Valencia Street is the second one we've heard of in the last two weeks.

Bennett is also trying to contact some bicyclists who were on the scene. "I would like to reach them both to express my thanks and to inquire if they have any information that might get this driver off the streets before someone dies."

Anyone with information is urged to call the SFPD's hit-and-run unit at 553-1641. 

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