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Bicycle Safety

[Updated] Driver Injures Cyclist in Midnight Crash at Market and Octavia

A man riding a bicycle was seriously injured by a driver at Market Street and Octavia Boulevard at about midnight last night, according to police and two witnesses.

The bicyclist was sent to the hospital after the crash at 12:05 a.m., said SFPD spokesperson Michael Andraychak. He said more details won't be available until the police report enters the department's system.

[Update:] Christopher Schroeder said he witnessed the crash, and that the man on the bike ran a red light:

I watched from my bike at my red light as the cyclist ran his red light at the freeway entrance of Octavia and Market and was hit by the car. After his body hit the car grate it rolled up onto the hood, over the roof and flew 4+ lanes approx. 20 feet before it hit the ground and rolled three times to stop just steps for me. As I pulled out my phone I had seconds to decide whether I run into the intersection to stop his body from being ran over by another car or whether that put myself at too much risk. Luckily the car behind stopped which gave me a chance to run to him, protected from traffic. He was not conscious. He did not move. 911 immediately responded. While the ambulance was in route the cyclist started to sputter and spit. An off duty nurse came to hold his neck and suddenly he started talking. Not in a normal voice but in a high pitched daze. "I'm fine. I need to get up. Please let go of me. Please. I'm fine. Please." The paramedics say his neck is not broken and he should recover. The police have my number. I gave my statement assuring them the [driver] was not at fault. It never could have seen him. He ran the light to a freeway entrance.

Streetsblog reader Scott Siegel sent in his account:

Last night, around midnight, I was driving west on Market Street in SF. I reached the intersection of Octavia and Market. I heard a big thump. Looking to my left I saw a cyclist down who looked severely injured. In fact, I thought he was dead. There were two bikes sprawled across the intersection that looked completely bent [Schroeder said the other bike was his, and was not bent]. I saw what I thought was a taxi parked right next to the fallen rider. Later another car came zooming through the intersection, maybe hit something, and then stopped at the entrance to the freeway [Schroeder said this "was a car of off duty nurses who stopped to help stabilize the rider's neck"]. In the car in the lane next to me, a young looking man stepped out from the passenger side and went to assist the fallen biker. It looked like he and someone else already on the scene were contacting 911.

No update on the man's condition yet. Market and Octavia, a Central Freeway entrance, sees more injuries to bicyclists and pedestrians than any other intersection in the city, with ten reported last year. The vast majority of bicycle crashes are caused by drivers making illegal right turns on to the freeway across the eastbound bike lane.

We'll update with more details as we get them.

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