Charges on Hold for DUI Driver Who Killed Man on Bayshore at the Hairball

The SF District Attorney’s office has put charges on hold against the driver who killed pedestrian Francisco Huarcha-Salanic, 31, on Bayshore Boulevard on the dangerous junction with Highway 101 known as the “Hairball.”

The approximate area where Francisco Huarcha-Salanic was killed by driver Caitlin Rea. Photo: Google Maps

The driver, 25-year-old Caitlin Rea, was arrested for driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter after hitting and killing Huarcha-Salanic at 12:40 a.m. on September 21, according to SFPD spokesperson Michael Andraychak. The crash occurred about 60 feet south of the point where several ramps merge together onto southbound Bayshore from eastbound Cesar Chavez Street and southbound Potrero Avenue.

However, as Bay City News reported on SF Appeal today, prosecutors “discharged” the case on September 28, pending further investigation. “Once further investigation has been completed, we will charge the case accordingly,” DA spokesperson Alex Bastian told Streetsblog. (Note: SF Appeal’s headline had originally stated that the DA wouldn’t charge the driver, but it was later corrected to reflect that the charges were only put on hold.) Bastian said he couldn’t comment on the investigation.

The existing means for pedestrians to cross the Hairball. Image from the SF Planning Department's Cesar Chavez East Community Design Plan

While we don’t know why Huarcha-Salanic was crossing the road in the area, the Hairball is widely considered one of the city’s most dangerous and difficult areas for pedestrians to traverse. Crossing it from Bayshore requires pedestrians to make an extensive detour, and the crosswalks that do exist provide far from any guarantee of safety. The distance between the two nearest crosswalks on Bayshore, located at Cesar Chavez and Oakdale Avenue, is roughly half a mile, judging by Google Maps.

The Planning Department’s Cesar Chavez East Community Design Plan, released in February, is intended as a guide for a long-term re-envisioning of the Hairball and the eastern section of Cesar Chavez, but it doesn’t recommend adding any pedestrian crossings on Bayshore.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

In SF, Victims of Traffic Violence Don’t Have Equal Protection

|
SF District Attorney George Gascón is set to bring felony vehicular manslaughter charges against Chris Bucchere later today for biking into 71-year-old Sutchi Hui in a crosswalk at Castro and Market Streets, killing him. Any traffic death on our streets deserves a thorough investigation with appropriate charges filed against the responsible party. But this high-profile case raises […]

Legal System Fails Again: No Charges for Trucker Who Killed Amelie

|
Note: Amelie Le Moullac’s mother, Jessie Jewitt, and other Bay Area musicians will perform at a benefit concert on Friday in Palo Alto at 7:30 p.m. Proceeds will go to Amélie’s Angels, “a fund dedicated to bringing the gifts of education, food, clothing, toys, and most importantly love and laughter, to the children of Haiti.” The truck […]

SFPD Charges Trucker Who Killed Rose Kelly, 61, in Richmond Crosswalk

|
Updated 6/22 with the name of the driver. The SFPD has filed misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charges against the truck driver who killed 61-year-old Rose Kelly in a crosswalk in the Outer Richmond yesterday afternoon. It’s now up to District Attorney George Gascón to follow through with the prosecution. Kelly was walking east in a crosswalk on Cabrillo Street at […]