Teenager Injured Crossing Street At Deadly SF Intersection

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A 15-year-old boy was hit by a car Wednesday in a crosswalk at the same Sunset Boulevard intersection where an elderly man was killed crossing the street just two weeks ago.

The boy suffered head trauma and lower body injuries when he was hit crossing the street at Sunset Boulevard and Yorba Street around 6:17 p.m., authorities said. He is expected to survive. The driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with police.

Four pedestrians have died in San Francisco traffic accidents so far in 2014, including 78-year-old Isaak Berenzon, who died crossing the six lanes of Sunset at Yorba earlier this month.

Sunset Boulevard is three lanes in both directions, and not every intersection with a crosswalk has a signal light.

After Berenzon’s death, Sheryl Brinkman, vice chair of San Francisco’s Municipal Tranportation Agency, called for changes that would reduce the temptation to drive Sunset Boulevard at freeway speeds, “so that even in the unlikely event that a collision should occur, the pedestrian doesn’t die.”

Jenny Ching, the driver in the Feb. 3 crash, was injured along with the two passengers in her Toyota Corolla. The 71-year-old is facing charges of vehicular manslaughter and failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

The city had been installing additional signal lights on Sunset Boulevard in the months prior to the crash that killed Berenzon. His death has accelerated MTA plans to install a signal light at Yorba Street, but the light there is not on schedule to be activated until the end of next year.

The charges against Ching are part of a campaign to reduce pedestrian deaths in San Francisco, where 21 people were killed by cars in 2013, nearly a third of them in December.

That effort includes handing out more citations to people who cross streets illegally and to bicyclists who flout traffic signals, said San Francisco Deputy Police Chief John Loftus.

“Automobiles are still getting 96 percent of our citations, but we will cite jay walkers. We will cite bicyclists who blow red lights, too, because they’re putting themselves and society in danger,” Loftus said.

Loftus said last week that traffic citations for January of this year had gone up up 42 percent compared to the same month in 2013.

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