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Video: Driver, Passengers Flee After Wild Car Flip in San Francisco’s Castro

Written by George KellyPublished Jul. 23, 2023 • 2:25pm
A white vehicle tumbles downhill Saturday from the top of the Sanchez Stairs at 19th and Sanchez streets in San Francisco. | Courtesy Julia Brown @JuliaBrownSF via YouTube

Video of a car crashing through a barrier and flipping over in a tony San Francisco neighborhood Saturday evening went viral on social media as investigators said they were still working to sort out what happened.

Police said they responded to reports of a solo crash at 7:19 p.m. at 19th and Sanchez streets in the Castro District. When officers arrived, they found an overturned white, four-door sedan in the roadway at the foot of the Sanchez Stairs, surrounded by broken glass and debris.

The video shows the car barreling down the tree-covered hillside before coming to a stop upside down. Several people then help each other out of the car while passersby call out for someone to call 911. At one point, someone says, "Guys, I'm sorry [...] We gotta go."

When authorities arrived on the scene a few minutes, neighbors told them the driver and several passengers had fled on foot. Police said Sunday that none of them had been found.

According to a tweet from a San Francisco Fire Department public information officer, firefighters aboard the department's Truck No. 7 responded to the scene and found no injuries. Witnesses said the car careened off the dead end at Cumberland Street. A tow truck was called to remove the car.

Julia Brown, a neighbor who posted the video on YouTube Saturday, told The Standard she wasn't home when the crash happened but was able to assemble video from neighborhood cameras.

Another neighbor, who identified himself as "Russ," said he remembered seeing homeless encampments at the base of those stairs during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We all, a lot of us, work together to keep the neighborhood safe and clean and healthy, and we've been really successful," he said. "I think it's just kind of, frankly, a freak accident."

This is a developing story.

George Kelly can be reached at

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