Woman Sunbathing In San Francisco Park Run Over, Killed By City Truck

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / AP/ BCN) — A woman lying with her baby daughter and her dog in a San Francisco park was run over by a maintenance vehicle and died later at a hospital, authorities said Thursday. The driver apparently fled the scene, but was later detained and questioned.

The woman was struck shortly after 2:20 p.m. at Holly Park near Highland Avenue in the city’s Bernal Heights neighborhood, fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.

She was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where she was pronounced dead, Talmadge said.

The woman’s daughter was uninjured, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said. “The child is fine,” he said.

The name of the woman wasn’t released. The girl was unharmed and is now in the custody of her father, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The girl’s age was not released. The dog is with Animal Care and Control.

Police mark off an area around a San Francisco Recreation and Park vehicle believed involved in a fatal hit-and-run collision, September 5, 2013. (CBS)

Police mark off an area around a San Francisco Recreation and Park vehicle believed involved in a fatal hit-and-run collision, September 5, 2013. (CBS)

The woman was hit by a city Recreation and Park Department pickup truck driven by an employee who has worked for the department since January 2006, Rec and Park spokeswoman Sarah Ballard said.

The driver drove off after the collision, but he and the truck were found nearby a few minutes after officers arrived, San Francisco police Officer Tracy Turner said. He has been detained.

The woman was on the grass on the south end of the park, south of the tennis courts, when she was struck, according to Turner.

The Police Department’s hit-and-run unit is investigating the fatal incident, according to Turner.

Patricia Leach, a resident of the neighborhood off and on since the 1960s, said she has seen more and more Recreation and Park vehicles recently in Holly Park’s grassy areas, some driving quickly.

“They drive too fast, and there’s no need,” Leach said.

Investigators used police tape to block off much of Holly Park Circle, the street that encircles the park, as well as portions of the park itself.

“On behalf of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victim,” Rec and Park general manager Phil Ginsburg said in a statement.

The department “is cooperating fully with the San Francisco Police Department as they investigate this accident,” he said.

Supervisor David Campos, whose district includes Holly Park, said the Board of Supervisors would look at the rules governing park vehicles.

“The idea that you can go into a park with your baby and be run over is impossible to imagine,” he told the Chronicle. “Something went wrong here. We can’t have anything like this happen again.”

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco, The Associated Press and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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