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San Francisco to modify intersection near ballpark where 4-year-old killed

San Francisco Police Department tape off Fourth and King streets as they gather evidence after a car hit a family near Oracle Park on Aug. 15, 2023. | Source: Justin Katigbak/The Standard

San Francisco Mayor London Breed said Monday the Fourth and King streets intersection, where a 4-year-old was killed in a crash on Aug. 15, would see immediate safety improvements.

The city will remove one southbound right-turn lane from Fourth Street onto King Street, leaving only one lane of vehicles turning into the crosswalk instead of two. This will reduce the number of conflicts between turning cars and people in the crosswalk, the Mayor's Office said in a press release. 

The traffic signal will also be changed so drivers turning right from Fourth Street onto King Street see a yellow arrow instead of a green light. The arrow reinforces the requirement for drivers to yield to pedestrians. 

The press release gave no firm dates for when the work will take place.

San Francisco Police Department tape off Fourth and King streets as they gather evidence after a car hit a family near Oracle Park on Aug. 15, 2023. | Source: Justin Katigbak/The Standard

“This is a heartbreaking incident that took the life of an innocent child, leaving a family changed forever and our community deeply saddened," Breed said. "I know I speak for every San Franciscan in continuing to hold this family in our thoughts and prayers."

"On behalf of myself and our entire agency, we are grieving for this family and their loss,” said Jeffrey Tumlin, San Francisco Municipal Transportation director. “This tragedy reminds us of the urgency needed to accelerate safety investments to this intersection and critical streets across the city.”

Authorities arrested the driver, Karen Cartagena, 71, in the hours after the crash, according to the San Francisco Police Department. The woman was arrested on suspicion of vehicle manslaughter and three counts of failing to yield to pedestrians, police said.

The intersection 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.

Garrett Leahy can be reached at garrett@sfstandard.com

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