San Francisco News

Young boy hit by car while crossing the street in San Francisco

Wednesday, February 05, 2014
SF police investigate after a young boy was hit by a car while crossing the street Pedestrian accident in San Francisco

It's happened again -- another pedestrian has been hit in San Francisco. This time the victim was a child and the driver did stop. This follows a move by city leaders to make the streets safer for pedestrians and bike riders.

The good news is that child will be okay. But in a separate case, another pedestrian is still fighting for his life after being struck by a hit-and-run driver early Wednesday morning. One city official tells us enough is enough.

"The boy just got hit, OK? I can't say anymore," one witness said.

Witnesses were upset after seeing a boy get stuck by a car in San Francisco's Tenderloin. Police say the child, who's about 7-years-old, was crossing O'Farrell St. near Leavenworth St. when a Mercedes SUV hit the child.

The young boy was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver cooperated with police.

Diego Gutierrez, who works at a nearby grocery store, saw the accident and said the boy's face was bleeding. He said the child was walking to school with a group of kids.

"They were crying," he said. "It was a lot of kids, maybe five or six kids, all crying."

Earlier, a man his 50s was struck by a car in the crosswalk at Van Ness and Grove. Police say the driver did not stop. The victim, hospitalized with critical injuries. The hit-and-run vehicle described only as a dark colored sedan or SUV.

"San Francisco is one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians, more dangerous than New York City, certainly the most dangerous city in the state of California," San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim said.

Kim says 21 pedestrians lost their lives in the city just last year. She hopes new traffic projects like Vision Zero can reduce fatalities by targeting traffic hotspots.

"We have to invest the money," she said, "Because people are dying and getting injured on our streets and that has a tremendous cost on our city whether we like it or not."

Traffic enforcement is part of the city's plan. In fact, on Wednesday we saw a lot of drivers being ticketed for not yielding to pedestrians right in front of City Hall.

We counted about eight people, in fact, getting failure to yield tickets in the course of 45 minutes.

Police Chief Greg Suhr says his department has stepped up enforcement, handing out 43 percent more tickets this month than this time last year. It's all in an effort to get a handle on the accidents involving pedestrians.

The second fatality of 2014 was on Tuesday when a red Toyota slammed into 78-year-old Issak Berenzon as he crossed Sunset Boulevard at Yorba Street in the Sunset District. Police have determined he was in the crosswalk. The driver, 71-year-old Jenny Ching, has been cited for misdemeanor manslaughter and failure to yield.

Many drivers seem to treat Sunset Boulevard more like a freeway. It's obvious why many pedestrians don't feel safe.

When we asked pedestrian Diana Castellanos what she thought the city could do to make it safer, she replied, "Maybe put in a traffic light to slow down and we could cross without having to worry about being killed."

And for the man who was killed, a bouquet of flowers has been left behind.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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pedestrian struck, sffd, SFPD, children, san francisco news
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