SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A taxi crashed onto a busy sidewalk, injuring two pedestrians and the cab driver in downtown San Francisco Tuesday.
A witness told KPIX 5 the driver may have been talking on his cell phone at the time of the crash.
The horrific crash happened at the intersection of Market and Sutter streets near Sansome Street at about 3:15 p.m. when the cab jumped the curb and smashed into a newspaper kiosk and a shoe-shine stand on the corner.
The two pedestrians and the driver were being treated for life-threatening injuries, according to fire department spokesman Jonathan Baxter.
KPIX 5 quoted a spokesman for Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital as saying among the three male victims – ages 40, 59 and 66 – the 40-year-old male is in critical condition and the two men were in fair condition.
Pictures from the scene showed the Yellow cab crashed through the kiosk and a shoe-shine stand before coming to a stop feet away from the BART/Muni elevator.
The two victims hit by the cab were later identified as men who worked at the shoe-shine stand.
“The old man went flying up into the air,” a woman who runs a nearby stand said.
The old man the witness described was Mohammed Salim, a longtime staple of San Francisco’s downtown. His shoe shine partner “Jazz” was also injured.
“Jazz was bleeding from his face and stuff, from his head,” another witness said.
With every airbag deployed in the Ford taxicab, the driver crawled from the wreck.
“He walked a few steps, then he went to his hands and knees, and then laid on his back, and then someone else came over and appeared to be performing CPR,” KPIX 5 Political Analyst Melissa Caen, who witnessed the aftermath, said.
The driver allegedly told witness Rita Tripp he was on the phone when the crash occurred.
“He told me he was on the phone, with his friend,” Rita said.
Sansome and Sutter streets were both closed as authorities investigated the crash. Westbound Market Street was also closed between Battery and Montgomery streets.
The entire crash was captured by surveillance cameras on a nearby Muni bus. That footage is in the hands of investigators.
Several Muni bus lines were rerouted around the crash scene via Mission St. between Spear and Third.