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

33rd Avenue at Cabrillo Street in the Outer Richmond. Photo: Google Street View
33rd Avenue at Cabrillo Street in the Outer Richmond. Photo: Google Street View

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 33rd Avenue when she was hit by a GMC truck driver at 1:21 p.m, SFPD told the SF Chronicle and Bay City NewsKelly died from chest and head injuries at SF General Hospital.

Kelly was killed at an intersection with four-way stop signs, where pedestrians always have the right-of-way in a crosswalk. [Update] SFPD officials confirmed that the charges were filed against the driver, Bing Zuo Wu, a 62-year-old SF resident.

Walk SF Executive Director Nicole Ferrara said the organization “sends our regards to the family and friends who are mourning the loss of Rose Kelly, who was killed by a large vehicle driver who failed to yield.”

“It’s a stark reminder that large vehicles result in more severe crashes than smaller vehicles,” Ferrara noted, pointing out that the SFMTA is in “the final stages of developing a large vehicle training curriculum” announced in February. “It’s in the best interest of companies that use large vehicles to require that all employees take this training.”

In January 2014, the SFPD’s top brass committed to Vision Zero and pledged to cite and arrest drivers when an investigation determines fault in a fatal crash. DA Gascón also proposed the creation of a vehicular manslaughter unit to ensure his office can respond “swiftly and appropriately” to such cases when they’re submitted by the SFPD. Only enough funding was approved in the DA’s budget, however, to hire a prosecutor who specializes in vehicular manslaughter but also works on other cases.

Historically, very few drivers who kill people have faced legal penalties unless they were drunk or fled the scene. Since the policy changes announced by the SFPD and the DA, only a handful of drivers have been charged in such cases, and many drivers still face little-to-no penalty for killing — even when they were drunk.

  • Why is this driver only charged with a Misdemeanor? A Felony charge seems appropriate. Otherwise it’s just all ‘talk’ when it comes to getting serious about taking a tough stand against all motor vehicle drivers.

  • theqin

    That requires gross negligence like a DUI, racing, etc. Remember that for the DA it’s not just about what they were charged with, but whether or not they can achieve a conviction from a jury. Jurors are less likely to convict with a harsher sentence.

  • jd_x

    I get that the DA needs to be careful not to lose the support of a jury, but hitting somebody in a crosswalk at an intersection with a 4-way stop while driving a large truck is gross negligence. It’s unacceptable that it is anything less. Most truck drivers, like car drivers, do not drive with the full appreciation for how much power is at the tips of their hands and feet, and it’s high time they start learning that operating such an enormous and powerful vehicle near pedestrians and bicyclists requires the utmost in caution and vigilance. I get that this realization won’t occur overnight so it’s probably a lost cause of this case, but until drivers face charges of gross negligence for killing somebody who had the right of way, we’ll never get to Vision Zero.

    And while I’m happy SFPD is filing charges, this statement bugs me: “It’s in the best interest of companies that use large vehicles to require that all employees take this training.” It’s in their “interest”?! Wow, that’s putting it mildly. How about we make it the damn law that, if you want to operate an enormous vehicle in a dense city like SF, extra training is *mandatory*? Trucks seems to be killing a disproportionate number of people and the City needs to take it way more seriously than offering voluntary training.

  • SFnative74

    Misdemeanor? For killing someone through obviously negligent behavior? What excuse does the driver who killed the person have? “I didn’t see the person (in broad daylight?)” “I didn’t know the stop sign meant stop”? “I didn’t know I shouldn’t run over people.”? Seriously, what the f***???

  • SFnative74

    But hey, thanks for cracking down on cyclists.

  • SFnative74

    Our enforcement agencies are lazy. I was on a motorcycle and hit by a drunk driver in SF who ran a red light and admitted to speeding. I was injured and lucky to be alive and had a witness to everything who shared with the SFPD what he saw. The result? A misdemeanor. Thanks DA and SFPD. You are really “serving and protecting.”

  • SFnative74

    All you SFPD and SFFD workers who moved out to Novato or Pacifica or some suburb, try to imagine what your actions mean to the people who actually try to make it happen in SF. I grew up in the Sunset and know some of you. I drive, walk, ride a bike, and take Muni. My mom is old and doesn’t drive anymore. She still lives in the City and walks to church and the park and the store. You a-holes complain about breaking your axles on bulb outs or blame pedestrians for getting hit by drivers. Who are you protecting? What’s your priority? I’m sick of your bs and your pensions and your holier-than-thou-bs from behind the windshield you drive on your commute. You think you are heroes? Ha…

  • p_chazz

    Isn’t it already the law? Don’t truck drivers need to get a Class B or C license in order to operate a large vehicle?

  • jd_x

    The training is clearly insufficient, just like all classes of driver’s license. For example, my wife had a class B license for 15 years because one summer she drove a school bus. It was actually more difficult for her to change it back to a “regular” license than leave it as it was.

    What I’m talking about is special training that emphasizes pedestrian and bicyclist safety when driving in dense urban environments.

  • p_chazz

    I don’t know that you could enforce a city ordinance on non-local truck drivers, since they come under the jurisdiction of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration at the federal level and the DMV at the state level.

  • I don’t know how well we enforce any vehicle licensing restrictions.

  • jd_x

    Yep, change is needed. We can do whatever we want and change whatever laws we as citizens want. Right now, the whole licensing structure for all types of licenses is a joke and needs serious rework.This could be addressed at the national level or the local level.

    And by the way, it’s mostly the local truck drivers that are the problem since they are much more common than interstate trucks.

  • SFnative74

    I’m waiting for the day when the SFPD enforces traffic laws in a way that is proven to improve safety (Focus on the Five) and writes accurate crash reports, and when the SFFD stops complaining about changes to the streets to make them safer for pedestrians. And yes, the DA’s office needs to pursue charges so there are consequences to people’s behavior. To only get a misdemeanor for driving negligently and killing someone (imagine if that was your mom or dad who died) is insane.

  • Eunomia

    because we wouldn’t want said driver to lose their livelihood , oh and then there’s this little inconvenient thing also going on

    we don’t know if this guy was involved in that or not, of course, just sayin, it’s another effed-up government mess, I mean if deaths resulted, that is a lot of lawsuit money from the state of CA http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3194140/Feds-say-California-DMV-employees-traded-cash-licenses.html

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