San Francisco police have confirmed to Streetsblog that a 16-year-old Santa Rosa girl has been arrested in the hit-and-run crash that left a bicyclist and his young son injured on Valencia Street early last month. SFPD Lt. Douglas Groshong said he could not release any more details but believes there is strong evidence to prosecute the case. The girl was booked into juvenile hall this morning on a felony hit-and-run charge.
Andrew Bennett and his 4-year-old son Robby were thrown from their bike July 1st when a vehicle allegedly driven by the girl was traveling westbound on 18th Street and Valencia and ran a red light. Bennett said he heard from some witnesses that the girl was talking on a cell phone.
The 42-year-old suffered a broken back, deep bone bruises on his leg, and his son, whose helmet was cracked in half, received some "pretty nasty abrasions" but wasn't seriously hurt.
Streetsblog San Francisco's initial post on the crash quickly became our most-read story and readers from around the world left comments expressing outrage and wishing Bennett a speedy recovery. Other media and bloggers followed with stories, and with some political pressure from City Hall and the SFBC, the SFPD made the case a priority and issued a rare press release asking for help, the first time the SFPD has issued a press release on a crash involving a bicyclist in recent memory.
Bryan Goebel is a reporter at KQED Public Radio in San Francisco. A veteran journalist and writer, he helped launch Streetsblog SF in 2009 and served as editor for three years. He lives car-free in the Castro District.