SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Two pedestrians have been killed in the past two days on what San Francisco pedestrian advocates described as some of the city’s most dangerous streets.
The collisions, one near San Francisco State University and the other on the Octavia Street on-ramp to U.S. Highway 101, bring the number of people killed while walking this year to five, according to pedestrian advocacy group Walk SF.
In the first collision, which occurred around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, 77-year-old Meda Hacopian was killed while crossing Lake Merced Boulevard at Font Boulevard.
Police said Monday it appeared the driver of the pickup truck that struck her had swerved around another southbound vehicle just before the collision.
Hacopian died at the scene. The driver stopped at the scene and was cooperating with police.
In the second collision, 56-year-old Thor Thomas was struck on the Octavia Boulevard on-ramp around 3:30 a.m. Monday.
The circumstances of the collision remain under investigation but it appears Thomas may have been on the ramp itself, south of Market Street, rather than at street level, California Highway Patrol spokesman Vu Williams said.
The driver initially left the scene but later contacted the CHP to report hitting something, and has since been interviewed by investigators, Williams said.
Cathy DeLuca, interim director for Walk SF, called the deaths “both predictable and preventable.”
Both crashes occurred in identified high-injury corridors, the 12 percent of city streets where 70 percent of crashes occur.
And while seniors like Hacopian make up only 14 percent of the city’s population, they are at greater risk and make up 60 percent of victims in fatal traffic crashes, DeLuca said.
Walk SF is lobbying for legislation that would allow the city to use automated speed cameras to address speeding in high-injury corridors, a major risk factor in pedestrian deaths.
However that legislation, introduced by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, failed to pass in committee last week, reportedly due to opposition from law enforcement groups, and has been converted to a two-year bill.
“Each day the bill is delayed, the more people are at risk on our streets,” DeLuca said, saying her group would continue to push for the passage of the legislation.
The city also saw a bicyclist killed on Friday.
Gashaw Clark, 25, collided with a vehicle at Third Street and Mission Bay Boulevard around 11:30 a.m. and died later at the hospital, according to police.
The death appears to be the first involving a bicyclist in the city since two women bicyclists were killed within hours of each other in separate hit-and-run collisions on June 22 last year.
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