Bicyclist Suffers Serious Head Injury In San Francisco Crash

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A female bicyclist in her 20s suffered life-threatening injuries Wednesday morning in a collision with a Berkeley Farms truck at Mission and Fremont streets in San Francisco, police said.

The woman was headed east on Mission Street and was hit by the westbound truck as she turned left onto Fremont Street just after 8 a.m., police Lt. Troy Dangerfield said.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Both the truck driver and the bicyclist had a green light, but the bicyclist was making an illegal left turn, Dangerfield said.

Signs posted at that intersection only permit left turns for taxis and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency buses.

The woman, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered a serious head injury along with injuries to her body and was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, he said.

Police have obtained footage of the accident from a video camera at a nearby business, Dangerfield said.

The driver of the truck, owned by the Newark-based company Sunrise Food Distributors Inc., cooperated with investigators, and drugs and alcohol are not believed to be factors in the collision.

Dangerfield said he estimates that the intersection would be closed until at least 11 a.m.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • oldfart

    When are the stupidvisor, elected official and law enforcement going to take action against the thousands of cyclists who run red lights, ride through the intersections, and have complete disregard for the rules of the road.

    If these politicians put 1/10 the effort to reign in these riders as they do to car owners, then the money taken in from these citations would more than cover the cost of enforcement.

    Who is responsible for this cyclists injuries if she does not have insurance, we are, and probably be paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses.

    this city must require all cyclists to be registered, have medical and liablilty insurance, their bikes meet the requirements of the vehicle code and even require a riding course to make sure these radicals understand the law.

    How many more must be permanently injured, maimed or even killed before the bike collation and its allies in city hall take action.

    Read more:

    • Laurence O

      Always always always wear a helmet.. I no longer bike in the city, at one point I was stopped by a bike messenger and asked if I wanted a job, I always have worn a helmet. The dumb trendiods filling up the barrio need to add a helmet to the look. it simply is suicidal not too. The critical mass crowd are not the sharpest of individuals but I would think that life as a cripple would even deter them from biking without a helmet. Than again there is no end to the depth of stupid. look at Obama and his new NEO CON act….just bad and stupid

    • Dude

      I am an avid cyclist and ride about 1000 miles per month. Like those who drive like idiots, I see many cyclists who also ride like idiots. About a month ago, I told a lady who was riding in a parking lot without a helmet that she should wear one. Her husband said “oh come on, what’s the big deal” and then I said my brother did the same thing, stopped his bike and fell over, hit his head and died. The lady put her helmet on.

      Regardless whether or not the lady made a illegal left turn is not the issue. The issue is she should have been wearing an helmet. I agree that the law should be the same as a the vehicle code for seat belts as for helmets as with liability.

    • Noah

      I’ve done a lot of research on this subject because I’ve come way too close to hitting many bicyclists who choose to ignore the law, run stop signs, run red lights. I’ve even gone as far as to mention it to the bicyclists they happened to run a red light, and I barely missed hitting them. Their response? “I’m gonna f**king kill you.” These are nasty, nasty individuals who have no regard for their own life or yours for that matter. Anyway, the research that I’ve done concluded that police don’t think this kind of enforcement is “not the sort of thing police were meant to do”. And what they mean by that is “if it doesn’t involve domestic violence, high-speed car chaces, armed robbery, and something requiring the potential of threatening someone with a service weapon… I don’t want to be involved in it”.

      • Laure

        @Noah – I have had very similar experiences. (Barely missing a cyclist who crossing a red light, and then getting the finger instead of a “thank you for being more careful than me and saving my life”)

        One big problem is that the SF Bike Coalition has a section on their website showing cyclists how to get out of tickets. Because of this, 99% of tickets issued to cyclists have been thrown out. Therefore, the police feel it is a waste of their time since giving a ticket will probably just result in no penalty.

      • Joe

        Yes, as a bike rider, I agree that there are many many arrogant and angry riders who give other bike riders a bad name. Just to see a few, try to cross the Golden Gate Bridge on the bike side. You would think they’ve been abused and now they want to take it out on society. Shame.

        I also have always wondered. I rarely see a motorcyclist obey all traffic laws. They’re usually speeding or weaving in and out of traffic or both. How come I never see a single one pulled over to get a ticket?

      • josh

        Not just in SF but their attitude is the worst in Marin County, their “bike” is a gun-trigger for all their psychotic pent up anger against society, “road war” is a real sport for them. I used to think it was the tight spandex squeezing their nuts, or those foam packs shaped to drill deep into their rear-ends, or the horror-movie inspired killer-clown colors their ridiculous outfits come in, or the fact their wear those ballet slippers with military spikes strapped to their feet and then bolt themselves to their bike, but whatever – whatcha get is Psycho-BikeMan (or woman), and they have NO ONE but themselves to blame when their skulls get egg-splatted.

      • Keith Kemp

        Grouping people in the same group is the basis for the many forms of racism . it would be more prudent and fair to judge each case by the merits of right and wrong behaviors .

        if it proven she made an illegal left turn than she and not the bicycle community made the left turn.

        it is also said people who drive cars can be aggressive and are given tickets or jail time but to the one driver and not everyone who drives cars.

        Please Share the road with all the people so heaven is not filled with premature deaths

    • Onelove

      My thoughts and prayers to the bike rider, the motorist and the families and friends of all of these people, your lives have changed forever. I’ve read through the some of the comments s0 far and can not stress enough how disappointed I am. I’m not going to name call, point fingers or point out the many ignorant comments here, these are very apparent. What I will say is these comments here lead me to believe our society, our sophisticated culturally diverse community, here in the bay area has taken two steps back. I could conjecture this is a result of poor leadership, standardized testing, social conditioning, and the like but that would require more time than a simple comment. However, I am not afraid to present some information which may change the opinion of many of the automobile centric folks, particularly with respect to the commentary on this website. First, automobiles are the number one cause of accidental death in this country of nearly 4000 lives (humans) die each month. Second, the government is spending nearly 1 trillion dollars annually under the auspices of national security to fight wars overseas in an effort to secure the foreign supply of oil. Third, oil companies are now spilling oil into every form of natural water resource including rivers, lakes, seas and oceans with new spills seemingly monthly. Fourth, carbon content in the atmosphere is measurable, as a direct result of burning of fossil fuels, has greatly contributed to climate change. Climate change is costing billions to tax payers and countless lives. As cyclist, I commute by bicycle nearly every day 15 miles. I chose this not because I cannot afford a car but because I believe individually it is our own responsibility to do the right thing. As an ethically minded person I want to respect my neighbors and the planet. I want to leave for your grand children a place with clean water, clean air and the opportunity to live a wonderful life too. Exploiting every last ounce of fossil fuel from the planet so that we can race our way to work and race our way home for no substantial humanitarian gain is hypocrisy. We can talk about government regulation, but that’s an avenue filled with things for other people to do. You need to look in the mirror and ask yourself what you can do?

      • Shunyam

        Good points about our government’s priorities and the lethality of automobiles. But I don’t quite see the relevance to this bike rider’s poor judgment–making an illegal left turn into oncoming traffic, while not wearing a helmet.

  • TMI

    A bicyclist ignoring traffic laws, nah….

    • Al

      You said it!!!!

  • Non-hipster

    I too am in my 20s and also a bike rider, and I can’t stress how important it is to wear a helmet. It seems to me that a great majority of riders these days are trying to look cool rather than stay safe. I hope for the best for this young lady.

    • mike

      so, as a bike rider, all you take away from this story is “the need to wear a helmet”? as a bike rider, you ignore the part about “following the rules of the road”! so, as a bike rider, you are a safe selfish a**hole

      • Caiaphas

        So as an a$$h0le commenter all you take away from Non-hipsters post is another chance to foam and spit your bile. All he said was that he wished the woman well. You should switch to decaf…

  • Come on

    Protest! We shouldn’t allow trucks!

    • Susan

      This is so sad and at the same is becoming more common. Bike riding on the streets of San Francisco, maybe especially downtown is dangerous. I drive
      throughout the city daily for work and I’ve almost caused an accident with
      nother cars avoiding a bicyclist who is riding oblivious to, or just ignoring
      their responsibilities for being on the streets. Since they’ve been so adamant
      about their ‘rights’ to have the same privileges as car drivers then they need to compile with the same rules as drivers do.

      I hope this young woman has the best possible recovery possible. Unfortunately, this city will likely be seeing a lot seriously injured bike riders before something is done.

    • anotheroldfart

      I guess I’m partly to blame cause I drink milk……

  • Cort

    Almost all cyclists ignore what is going on around them. It seems like they feel they have the right-of-way 100% of the time and think that everyone else should watch out for them. Even when the cyclist does have the right of way, they should still be watching, use caution (especially at intersections), and always understand that the driver of the car has a harder time seeing them and that the cyclist has an easier time seeing the car.

    A friend of mine was just in an accident with a cyclist. The cyclist entered an intersection with his head down and didn’t see the car in front of him because he cared more about speed versus safety. My friend was making a left turn in the intersection and turned in front of the cyclist. The cyclist had no idea what happened because he never even looked up to see the car. He even told police that my friend’s car hit him, when in fact, numerous witnesses (including my friend) said that the cyclist hit the side of the car.

    Luckily no one was hurt. Yes, my friend was supposed to yield to the cyclist, however, this cyclist was an idiot and sadly this is how the majority of cyclists act. They think if they have the right of way then they aren’t responsible at all for their safety. It takes two people to get into an accident.


    • dave

      Let me get this straight:
      Your “friend” broke the law by failing to yield to a bicyclist. Your “friend” turned left right in front of a bicycle, causing them to crash.

      Yet, you are actually whining about the bicyclist being stupid? You act as if the bicyclist is at fault? Your friend was not “in” and accident. Your friend “caused” an accident.

      “Cyclists” are idiots you say? Every single one, huh? That’s about as laughable and ridiculous as one could possibly imagine.

      With the cab drivers in SF, I am surprised anybody even notices bicyclists!

      Good Lord.

      • mike

        Dave can you read or are you just really an idiot? SHE MADE AN ILLEGAL LEFT TURN!! get off your pipe and follow the laws when your on your f’n bike. I myself have almost hit 2 for going through red lights, of course its my fault BECAUSE I OWN A CAR! get a life dude, your no better then anyone else and thats your problem you think because you ride a bike you are NEWS FLASH YOUR NO BETTER THEN ANYONE!

      • truck driver ed

        And Dave remember this, the laws of physics will always prevail when it’s car/truck vs pedestrian/ bicyclist……

  • This is what happens when you dont follow the laws

    If bicyclist could follow the street signs and stop being idiots then maybe they would not get hurt. ONE DAY THEY WILL LEARN!!!

    • JBC

      No, they won’t learn until they have an accident, and maybe not even then. There are two kinds of cyclists; those that have been hit by a car and those who are going to be.

      • AKC

        Well said JBC…I hope they don’t accidentally “run into” my car.

  • DM

    Lets protest! Lets start attacking Berkeley Farms truck drivers for this vicious, unprovoked attack against a defenseless bike rider!

    It works for supporters of child rapists, seems appropriate here too!

    • Ampersand

      LOL! Good one! Breathe the sarcasm! :)

    • louie

      switch to decaffeinated….

    • Josh

      I shall make it my business to purchase Berkeley Farms products in support of their driver. That driver should SUE that twit’s family for taking years off his life. Poor guy. Thank god she won’t be reproducing and spawning more road horrors into this world. Yes SF! the times they are a changin’ back to where sanity, common sense and ADULT RESPONSIBILITY rule the day. Instead of the whims of spoiled stupid overfed GREEN brats.

      • anotheroldfart

        Survival of the fittest!

  • Kelly

    Well the cyclist was not wearing a helmet, made an illegal left turn, and suffered because of her poor judgement.

    People wonder why drivers hate cyclists so much.

  • r. matthews

    Though an avid cyclist and also a careful driver, I must agree that cyclists-as a rule-pay no attention to what they are doing, do not know how to ride in traffic or even on the the street for that matter; the guys who race, or simply want to look like they do, are a major hazard because of their failure/refusal to ride single file, give/call the proper signals, and simply accept that there are other, slower riders around them. I hope the woman recovers….

  • mhc

    She’s dead. I’m not surprised – my bus went past the scene 2 minutes after the accident and there was a LOT of blood. The truck driver was white as a sheet and shaking, poor soul.
    Unless and until the Bicycle Coalition puts some oomph into changing the bicycle culture from one of entitlement to one of shared responsibility, these tragedies will continue. I know there are plenty of responsible cyclists around town, I see them every day, and when I have an opportunity I thank them for being participants in traffic safety. I wish the bicycling community would put as much effort into making their participants safety-aware as they do into convincing them that they have all kinds of special rights.

    • JBC

      Nice pipe dream but I share it with you.

  • Dj

    Oy… Last year I had a bike accident. I’ll have a crooked arm forever and maybe will never be able to make a fist again… I hope she is ok.

  • J B

    My wife who works in the ER calls bicyclist who wear no helmets, “Donor Cycles”.
    I run the Embarcadero every morning and constantly have to dodge bicyclist on the sidewalk. There’s a perfectly good bike lane for them to use, but they want to own the side walks as well.

    • josh

      I used to like to ride my bike, who doesn’t, but stopped doing so because all those killer-clown-bikers spoiled it for me. When I’d ride, ever so often I’d get a motorist who just the sight of a bike brings up traumatic memories, and I cannot blame them. In fact, at a red light I stopped and said “I don’t blame you when I drive my car I feel the same way”, and I’d get one horror story after another about how that driver, who tried to be safe, almost killed a cyclist, and that seemed to matter more to the the driver than it mattered to the suicidal cyclist. When I bike, other crazy cyclists esp. in their swarms, if you are not dressed in their gang colors, try to run me off the road. Elitist snobs. At the scene of a horrible bike accident on US 1 down from Stinson beach, the head cop responding told me he biked himself and these cyclists just were out to spoil not just someone’s day but innocent lives of careful drivers. He said no one in their right minds would bike on US-1 – and what those cyclists do was nothing short of crazy, and there was nothing he could do to stop them from using the road. It’s like anything, a few bad apples if you don’t pull them out, makes for a whole barrelful of bad apples, and that’s the CA cycling world today.They all belong on the ER floor.

  • J2011

    Very sad. Over the weekend a cyclist hit a pedestrian and caused a serious head injury to her. Yes, car accident happens all the time, but most drivers realize they must respect and obey the traffic laws or the consequences can be horrific. Many cyclist do not realize this and the only thing that prevents many more tragic accidents is the easier ability of a cyclist to maneuver out of harms way at the last minute.

  • donna

    it was only a matter of time before we see more bike vs car accidents in this city., the bikes lanes are a joke, ie the bike lanes on alemany blvd. 99% of the bike riders i see do not adhere to the rules of the road. drive on scott st any day between 5-6pm and see how many bikers “use the bike lane”, they don’t they ride two and three abreast. san francisco is a large metropolitan city, we are not europe where people have been riding bikes for years. bikers should have to get a license just like car drivers and they should be required to carry insurance.

  • Ch

    good, stupid bicycle riders

  • liberal H8R

    but was she hot

  • erik

    -Man, you people are cruel. let’s remember there is a life involved here.
    -You are correct, cars and bikes don’t belong on the same streets. The city needs to dedicate bike specific streets. It’s better for everyone involved: it will encourage more people to ride which will result in less traffic, pollution and noise…

  • bart simpson

    She DESERVED it! Prolly a critical A$$ moron- thin the herd of IDIOTS!

    • stop and think

      Just so you know…she passed away. You should be ashamed of yourself for making an ignorant comment like that. It’s ignorant people like YOU that should stop and think that irregardless of her breaking a law or ruining it for other bikers she was someone’s daughter, friend, etc. That is sad. I know that she passed because I know who she was.

      • a caring passerby

        I’m so sorry for your loss (whether she was friend or family). I was there and with another did my best to help save her/keep her alive til paramedics came. I’ve been praying all day for her recovery and trying not to imagine her family/mother getting the worst news. I am appalled at the very removed & insensitive comments of people here – regardless of fault, a life was lost. Can any of us say we’ve never made a mistake? Never been in a hurry? Never once rode without a helmet (forgot/lost one)? Never made an illegal turn or used poor judgement? None of us is perfect and out of respect for human life–and the knowledge that yes, she was someone’s daughter/friend/sister, and that any of us could find ourselves in a future situation but with our own daughter/friend/sister on the line–we should just say a prayer for her family right now. This experience changed my life, and I won’t ever be able to remove the images/experience from my mind. I will slow down, be more aware of others around me (patient & helpful rather than judgmental if they’re doing something risky), and will definitely make my son where a helmet–always. Please know that I had asked all I knew (my whole church) via email to pray for her recovery. My heart is with you, her friends and most of all her family.

  • bart simpson

    Erik- yes the life od an IDIOT that society is better WITHOUT! Prolly an import from the mid-west being a societal leech and a forever LOSER RENTER!

    • Caiaphas

      Well, she was riding to work, which is most likely more than you can say.

  • anbeth

    Shame on her for not wearing her helmet AND for making an illegal left turn. I think, in any event if she does recover from her life threatening injuries to which I highly doubt that she will, I think she will never be allowed to ride her bicycle again. I am getting sick and tired of seeing cyclists continuing to break laws which were enforced in order to help save lives. The driver of the car is not at fault and should not be gravely responsible for this accident. The fault is entirely that of the cyclist, for not obeying traffic regulations and rules and for not wearing her helmet. Had she wore her helmet, she would not be where she is right now: being comatose in a hospital. I hope people will read the article first before going for a bike ride.. What this article says about the hazards of not wearing your bike helmet, I hope it will be a huge wake up call for all cyclists.

    • YouStupid People Making Stupid Comments

      Don’t worry anymore, Anbeth, because she died. You can sleep soundly tonight now.


  • Airborne

    I say to hell with those cyclists…they dont obey the traffic laws…

  • Myles

    I commute into the City from Mill Valley daily on my bicycle. There are many of us, myself included, that observe the traffic laws. It is just plain considerate. There are many that clearly ignore the traffic laws much to my aggravation (e.g., yesterday, as I rode down Montgomery, another bicyclist was riding against traffic going the wrong way on a one way street). However, there are many automobile drivers that also ignore traffic laws, roll through stop signs, make illegal left turns, turn right from the middle lane, etc. I was struck by a Miata making a right from the middle lane on Columbus – he was apologetic and offered to pay until talking to his insurer and then changed his story.

    My point, is that this goes both ways – motorists and cyclists both ignore traffic laws when they believe it is to their benefit – however, the bicyclist will almost always get the worst of the deal.

    • truck driver ed

      Sure, it’s called”physics”!

    • J2011

      Yes, there are idiot drivers, but something as extreme as driving against traffic on a one-way street would be highly unusual for a car whereas not so uncommon for bikes. Honestly, I believe many cyclist just do not realize they must follow all the same traffic laws of a car. After all no license is required to ride a bike on the street. Further when riding on paths which are shared by pedestrians (i.e. the panhandle of GG park) they must even adhere to additional rules which are not well understood by most.

  • Mike

    My Prayers are with her and her familu, I hope she makes a full recovery. This should be a lesson also to these critical mass idiots its not ONLY cars people on bikes to pay attention to the laws also. I myself have almost hit 2 for going right through red lights, of course I was flipped off because its 1000% always the car and drivers fault. I feel so sorry for her and her family

  • Honor to the Fallen

    According to the police and I’m sure the DMV that bicylist are subject to the same motor vehicle laws as the rest of vehicle traffic is subject to.

    So they should be stoped and given citations or tickets for illegal stunts and road procedures.

    They do it so much it would be some needed revenue for the cities.
    I doubt it would teach them a lesson though!

  • Dave

    as a bicycle rider i’ m getting more and more to the point that i don’t want to ride anymore since these posers on bikes keep multiplying at an alarming rate with no clue whatsoever on how to share a road..while in the past danger only came from cars with mentally deficient drivers, nowadays it’s these morons looking like monkeys riding a grinding wheel that endanger my safety
    i can see licenses,registration and insurance on the horizon as a result of their actions and if that happens i ‘ll be hunting them for their shiny outfits and bikes to afford the money they are taking out of my pocket

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