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‘This was intentional’: Driver plows into Muni bus, injuring multiple pedestrians

Courtesy of Eric Kingsbury

A driver slammed into a Muni bus in the Marina late Saturday morning, causing multiple injuries to pedestrians, according to a witness and the police.

Just after 11 a.m., a driver in a white SUV traveling westward on Lombard Street hit a 22-Fillmore bus at a speed sufficient to turn the bus all the way around, according to witness Eric Kingsbury, who posted several tweets about it. The collision left multiple bus riders bleeding, including a young child with lacerations on her face.

Kingsbury estimated that the driver may have been going as fast as 80 miles per hour. Referring to one passenger, he told The Standard that “there was so much blood pouring out of her face it looked like she had red-colored hair.”

“I’ve never seen something quite that aggressive when it comes to a collision,” he added. “Everyone is really shaken up.”

Police arrived on the scene to find multiple pedestrians injured and multiple vehicles ensnared in the crash, according to San Francisco Police Department spokesperson Officer Robert Rueca. As of early Saturday afternoon, six people had been transported to hospitals to receive care for their injuries. 

The suspected driver has been detained and an investigation is underway, Officer Rueca added. People are advised to avoid the area, which has been closed to traffic in order to conduct the investigation.

Kingsbury said he spoke to three pedestrians who were in the crosswalk. One woman told him that the driver continued to barrel west down Lombard Street, blaring his horn despite seeing them in the street.

“She was very frightened and upset, just shaking,” Kingsbury said, adding that the woman told him, “There must be something wrong with [the driver]. This was intentional. He was going so fast and he was blaring his horn. It had to be intentional.”

Kingsbury, a pedestrian advocate and president of the District 2 Democratic Club, said the crash highlighted the abysmal failure of Vision Zero, San Francisco’s goal to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2024. Perhaps the most significant element is declining enforcement: In April, SFPD issued 338 traffic violation tickets, compared to 11,612 in April 2014, the San Francisco Chronicle has reported

Kingsbury happened to be on the scene in November when Andrew Zieman, a 30-year-old San Francisco paraeducator, was killed by a driver outside Sherman Elementary School, where Zieman worked and which he attended as a child.

“It just doesn’t seem like we’re taking Vision Zero seriously,” Kingsbury said. “I’m kind of at a loss here. It’s happening way too frequently. I don’t know what’s going to shake us to make sure we enforce our traffic laws and keep the people of our city safe when they’re walking, scooting, biking or even driving.”  

Anyone with information may contact SFPD at 415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 starting with the message “SFPD.”