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‘We just saw them’: Huge crowd mourns family members killed in deadly West Portal crash

A group of people stands around a street memorial with flowers and messages. Some observe solemnly, while one woman adjusts an object.
Walk SF and Bay Area Families for Safe Streets hold a vigil to honor victims of Saturdayʼs fatal collision at a Muni bus stop at Ulloa Street and Lenox Way Saturday. | Source: Loren Elliott for The Standard

More than 150 people attended a vigil Monday evening to grieve a man and a woman and their young child, all three of whom were killed after being struck by an SUV while waiting at a bus stop in West Portal Saturday afternoon.

Community members gathered near the scene of the crash on Ulloa Street near West Portal Avenue, where a banner reading “SF Grieves” was posted over a makeshift memorial brimming with flowers and stuffed animals. 

“It’s so hard, we just saw them last week,” said Silvia Olivar, who said she knew the woman and young child who were killed but declined to share more, stressing that the family wants privacy.

Authorities said the man and the child died at the scene of the collision. The woman died later at the hospital. 

The four victims are all members of the same family, the Brazilian consulate told the Standard Monday.

On Tuesday morning, the city's Office of the Medical Examiner identified the dead as Diego Cardoso de Oliveira, 40, and 1-year-old Joaquin Ramos Pinto de Oliveira died at the scene of the crash at Ulloa Street and Lenox Way, authorities said.

The boy's mother, Matilde Moncada Ramos Pinto, 38, died later in hospital.

Diego, a Brazilian national, worked for Apple. A LinkedIn profile for a person with the same name lists employment sincseas an associate creative director at Apple.

The crash also injured the family's two-month-old boy, who is currently hospitalized.

Julie Lazar, a West Portal resident since 2006, said she came to mourn in solidarity with her neighbors. “This happened in our neighborhood,” she said. 

People are placing flowers and notes at a makeshift memorial on a sidewalk. A crowd and media are present.
Community members left flowers at a makeshift memorial at Monday's vigil honoring the victims of Saturdayʼs fatal collision at a Muni bus stop in West Portal. | Source: Loren Elliott for The Standard

Mayor London Breed and several other city officials were among the mourners. 

“I’m just trying to process this right now,” said Breed, who declined to say anything more.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency head Jeff Tumlin said: “I’m just trying to deal with staff grief right now,” before walking away.

Residents at the vigil joined pedestrian advocacy groups Walk SF and Bay Area Families for Safe Streets in calling on the city to make traffic safety improvements and investments in public transit that would get people out of cars. 

Michael Petrelis, who lives in the Mission Dolores neighborhood, called on the city to ban cars altogether from the intersection of Ulloa Street and West Portal Avenue.

“Traffic engineering in San Francisco sucks,” Petrelis said. “The car is king, whether it’s Valencia Street or here on West Portal.”

District 7 Supervisor Myrna Melgar, whose district includes the busy intersection where the crash happened, said speeding drivers have been a problem there for years.

Melgar, who attended the vigil, said the city needs to add concrete bollards in front of bus stops and use cameras and drones to enforce speeding and red light violations.

“We have to do better,” she said.

A crowded urban street with a diverse group of people, some wearing masks, under an overcast sky.
Around 150 people joined Monday evening's vigil for the two adults and a toddler killed in Saturday's fatal crash. | Source: Loren Elliott for The Standard

Emily Murphy, a UC Law professor who lives nearby on Diamond Heights Boulevard, said she has been nearly hit many times in the crosswalk on her street.

“My husband was at this stop 10 minutes prior, it could have been him,” Murphy said.

The victims of Saturday’s crash marked the eighth, ninth and 10th traffic deaths in San Francisco this year. There were 22 traffic deaths in 2023, according to data from Vision Zero, the city’s unsuccessful, decade-long initiative to end traffic deaths by this year.

Kax Lee, 22, said she saw the crash happen Saturday while she was sitting on a bench near the West Portal Muni station.

Lee said she heard a loud boom and saw an SUV had crashed into a signpost. Then she saw a man propelled about 20 feet in the air.

“The car hit the pole, and the man was lying over there, about 70 feet away,” Lee said.

A 78-year-old woman has been accused of manslaughter after the horrific wrong-way collision.

Mary Fong Lau was booked into jail at 12:15 p.m. Sunday on three counts of vehicular manslaughter, two reckless driving offenses, driving on the wrong side of the road and driving at an unsafe speed, records show. Lau remained in jail Monday morning.

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins asked for patience in filing charges against Lau as toxicology results from the suspect could take 30 days to process. The vehicle operating system will need to be carefully analyzed by experts to determine if mechanical issues were involved in the crash.

Garrett Leahy can be reached at