SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A delivery van careened out of control at a San Francisco Richmond District intersection early Wednesday, slamming nearly all the way through the garage of an apartment building, severely injuring the driver, authorities said.
Around 3:35 a.m., officers responded to a report of a vehicle crash in the 400 block of Arguello Boulevard where they learned that a driver had crashed into a building.
David Handog lives in the neighborhood near the intersection of Arguello and Clement and felt the force of the high-speed crash.
“I heard a big crash and felt my building shake,” he said. “My roommate woke up and we both looked out the window, but we couldn’t see anything. We went outside and saw a couple people pointing to the crash.”
The scene in the garage of a nearby apartment building was one of chaos. Debris surrounded the van and the driver was crying out for help.
“The guy was saying he was injured and bleeding,” Handog said.
The large amount of debris prevented Handog and others from aiding the driver before emergency crews arrived.
Denise Newsom of the San Francisco Fire Department said the extensive damage to the building slowed firefighters in their efforts to rescue the trapped male driver and also forced the evacuation of the building’s residents. The structure contains six apartments.
“We had to shore up the building and shut off the utilities,” she told KPIX 5. “He drove through the gas, power and water (hookups).”
Newsom said the driver was taken to San Francisco General with major injuries. His immediate condition was no known.
San Francisco police were investigating the crash, but there were no skid marks leading up to the building so it appears the driver did not attempt to stop. Fortunately, there were no vehicles parked inside the garage at the time of the crash.
Building inspectors were also expected to be on the scene Wednesday morning to determine the stability of the heavily damaged building.