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San Francisco intersection where girl, 4, was killed has dangerous past

San Francisco Police Department tapes off Fourth and King streets as officers gather evidence after a car hit a family near Oracle Park on Tuesday. | Source: Justin Katigbak/The Standard

The intersection where a 4-year-old girl in a stroller was fatally struck by an SUV Tuesday has a history of crashes, according to police data.

There were 14 car crashes that resulted in injury between Jan. 1, 2018, and March 31, 2023, at Fourth and King streets, according to data from the San Francisco Police Department. March 31 is the cutoff for the most recently available data from the city.

That ranks the intersection—blocks away from Oracle Park—177th out of San Francisco’s 4,000-plus intersections for the most crashes that resulted in injury.

The intersection with the most crashes resulting in injuries is where Octavia Street meets Highway 101 and Market Street, where there were 44 crashes resulting in injury over the same period.

READ MORE: The San Francisco Streets Where You’re Most Likely To Be Hit by a Car

San Francisco Police Department tapes off Fourth and King streets as officers gather evidence after a car hit a family near Oracle Park on Tuesday. | Source: Justin Katigbak/The Standard

Three of the crashes at King and Fourth streets between Jan. 1, 2018, and March 31, 2023, resulted in severe injuries, but none of them were fatal.

There were five crashes in which vehicles hit pedestrians at the intersection during that span, including three in which the pedestrians were in the crosswalk. Most recently, a pedestrian on Feb. 17, 2023, was broadsided by a vehicle while in the crosswalk.

People walk through the intersection of Oak and Divisadero in San Francisco on Sept. 20, 2022. The intersection is one of the most dangerous in San Francisco for cyclists and pedestrians, according to data tracking accidents in the city. | Source: Garrett Leahy/The Standard

The deadly crash that killed the 4-year-old girl and seriously injured her father happened Tuesday evening, according to San Francisco police.

Officers responded around 5:15 p.m. to the intersection of King and Fourth streets on reports of a car wreck, police said.

The child and both parents were transported to a local hospital, where police say the girl was pronounced dead and the father was treated for life-threatening injuries.

Luke Bornheimer, who has advocated for creating a network of bike lanes around San Francisco, said the city should make safety improvements to the intersection given its history of crashes.

A bicycle painted white and adorned with flowers leans against a tree.
A "ghost bike" memorial is seen at the Presidio intersection where cyclist Ethan Boyes was killed on April 4, 2023. | Source: Jesse Rogala/The Standard

Bornheimer said the city should establish dedicated turn signals for the intersection to protect pedestrians, especially the area with two turn lanes for southbound cars turning right onto King Street from Fourth Street.

Bornheimer said the more pressing goal is for San Francisco to have fewer cars on the road in general and to design streets in a way that will incentivize people to use bikes and public transit to get around.

"This should be a wake-up call to the city that we need to prioritize bike lanes and shift people away from cars," Bornheimer said.

There have been other deadly crashes in San Francisco recently, including one where cyclist Ethan Boyes was fatally hit by a car on Arguello Street in April and one where Thomas McKean was killed while walking on South Van Ness Avenue between 18th and 19th streets.

According to city data, there have been 11 deadly crashes between January and June 2023, the latest data available from Vision Zero, a city initiative to end fatal crashes in San Francisco. Seven of the crashes this year killed pedestrians, according to the data. There were 39 deadly crashes in 2022, 20 of them killing pedestrians.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which regulates San Francisco city streets and runs local public transit, said in an emailed statement:

"We were devastated to learn about the collision last night involving a family and the loss of a life. We have begun our preliminary Rapid Response investigation at the site and are closely working with SFPD to understand the details of the crash. The loss of even one life on our streets is one too many."

The San Francisco Police Department did not respond to a request for comment by publication time.

Garrett Leahy can be reached at garrett@sfstandard.com
Noah Baustin can be reached at nbaustin@sfstandard.com
George Kelly can be reached at gkelly@sfstandard.com