Skip to Content
Streetsblog San Francisco home
Log In

Eileen Barrett, 72, Killed in Crosswalk by Muni Driver on Lake Merced Blvd

3:23 PM PST on February 19, 2013

Another angle on the intersection.

A Muni bus driver ran over and killed Eileen Barrett, a 72-year-old woman from Daly City, in a crosswalk on Lake Merced Boulevard at John Muir Drive this Saturday.

Police say the crash is still being investigated, but according to the San Mateo County Times, "a preliminary investigation revealed the bus' middle half struck the senior as she walked in a crosswalk." The Muni driver was reportedly on an outbound run on the 18-46th Avenue line, indicating that he or she may have been turning left from John Muir on to northbound Lake Merced when he or she hit Barrett. The crash occurred just before 4:30 p.m., and although Barrett was originally expected to survive her injuries, she later died at SF General Hospital.

Barrett is the third pedestrian killed in San Francisco this year. In 2012, 19 pedestrians were killed on San Francisco streets.

"This is a tragedy," said Elizabeth Stampe, executive director of Walk SF. "So many people walk around Lake Merced, in spite of the surrounding streets feeling more like speedways than walking paths -- some even don't have sidewalks."

SF Municipal Transportation Agency spokesperson Paul Rose told the SF Examiner that the bus operator will undergo drug and alcohol testing, as part of standard protocol for Muni crashes. There's no indication as to whether the SF Police Department may seek charges against the driver or issue a citation.

"While this incident is still under investigation, we offer our condolences to the family and friends of Ms. Barrett," Rose told the Examiner. "Our top priority is the safety of those who utilize San Francisco streets, and we will work with authorities to find the cause of this accident in order to prevent it from happening again."

The intersection of John Muir and Lake Merced Boulevard, a high-speed motorway, is a perilous place for pedestrians. The crosswalk that traverses Lake Merced Boulevard spans five wide traffic lanes, and other than a small refuge island, there are few measures to protect pedestrians and slow drivers down.

The crash occurred in District 7, whose new Supervisor Norman Yee has pledged to make pedestrian safety a top priority.

"We await more news from SFMTA on how they are dealing with this tragedy and acting to prevent more," said Stampe, "both by educating drivers and improving street design to protect the many people -- especially seniors, like Eileen Barrett -- who walk in San Francisco. Walking around a lake shouldn't be a life-threatening activity."

The intersection of Lake Merced Boulevard and John Muir Drive, where Eileen Barrett was killed in a crosswalk Saturday. Reports indicate that the Muni driver was turning left on to Lake Merced when he or she hit Barrett.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog San Francisco

Valencia Merchants Stage Protest in Center-Running Bike Lane

Remember when this bike lane was pitched as being more acceptable for small business owners?

December 6, 2023

Oakland Mayor Makes New Promise About Safety

Mayor Thao Tweets "It's time to reach a critical juncture where tragedies don’t catalyze improvements." But when and how will we know if the city has really reached that point and is serious about safety for all road users?

December 5, 2023
See all posts