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Pedestrian Safety

Woman Dies After Being Struck by Crane Truck Driver in SoMa Crosswalk

Photo: Greg Janess

A 72-year-old woman walking in a crosswalk was struck by a driver steering a crane truck on 2nd Street and Townsend this morning, and later died at a hospital in San Francisco's third pedestrian fatality of 2011.

The Appeal had first word of the 8:48 a.m. crash. San Francisco Fire Department spokesperson Lt. Mindy Talmadge said it happened right outside the department's headquarters, which meant a very quick response with multiple emergency medical technicians. "Everybody ran out," she said.

"The vehicle was traveling eastbound on Townsend making a left-hand turn onto northbound 2nd Street. The victim was in the crosswalk when she was struck by the truck," said SFPD Officer Albie Esparza.

The truck belongs to Sheedy Drayage Company but neither the police or fire department had any information about the driver and phone calls to the company were not immediately returned. Talmadge described the driver as "extremely distraught."

"No one has been placed in custody. No one is under arrest. At this point, it's a tragic accident but the matter still continues as far as the investigation goes," said Esparza, adding that it doesn't appear alcohol was involved but that the driver would be tested for drugs. Ultimately, she said, it will be up the District Attorney's Office to decide if any charges will be filed.

Esparza said the woman was pronounced dead at 1:50 p.m. Her identity was not immediately released pending notification of relatives.

Today's pedestrian fatality is the second in one week, and the third this year, according to the San Francisco Medical Examiner's Office.

Eighty-seven-year-old Aurora Venida died Wednesday, two days after being hit by the driver of a vehicle while crossing Geary Boulevard at Arguello. On January 27, 75-year-old Norman Daly was struck by a motorcyclist on Lincoln Way and 26th Avenue, and died on February 23.

"This is terrible news. Three seniors have died on San Francisco's streets in less than three months. This should be a powerful impetus for the City to fast-track pedestrian safety improvements. We need a real commitment to calming traffic on the wide fast streets where we're seeing the worst collisions," said Elizabeth Stampe, the executive director of Walk San Francisco.

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