Four girls between the ages of 9 and 14 were injured at South Van Ness Avenue and 24th Street in the Mission yesterday after the driver of a semi truck knocked down a traffic light pole, which fell onto the victims, according to police.
The crash occurred at about 7:15 p.m. as the truck driver was making a right turn from South Van Ness on to 24th. According to the SF Appeal, "a car came into his path, causing him to cut his turn short and hit the traffic signal pole." The girls' injuries, which include a broken leg and arm lacerations, aren't considered life-threatening, according to SFPD. The girls were taken to SF General Hospital.
A Streetsblog reader who asked to be identified as Marc sent these photos from the scene. Marc said he asked an officer whether the injuries were severe, to which the officer responded, "It was a semi -- it was severe."
"I asked what happened, and he said, 'The truck turned wrong -- just an unfortunate accident,'" Marc said. "I countered with, 'Well, if the driver was in control of the vehicle -- it wouldn't have happened. So, I'm not sure 'accident' is the appropriate word to use.' He stared at me and said, 'Yeah... I guess so.'"
About 50 people were standing nearby watching the aftermath, many of them Latino families. "Everyone looked very sad and tense seeing the poor young girls injured while simply walking on the sidewalk," Marc said.
Walk SF Executive Director Elizabeth Stampe said crashes like these highlight the need for City Hall to take swift action to implement the SF Pedestrian Strategy.
"Four kids were hit and seriously hurt by a semi in just the latest of the hundreds of crashes happening every year here in San Francisco," she said. "The mayor set a goal of cutting these injuries in half, by fixing our most dangerous streets and upping enforcement. We have yet to see any reporting on how the city is implementing the strategy to prevent scary crashes like this."
Aaron was the editor of Streetsblog San Francisco from January 2012 until October 2015. He joined Streetsblog in 2010 after studying rhetoric and political communication at SF State University and spending a semester in Denmark.