Sadly, a San Francisco toddler missed out on trick or treating this year. Instead, she spent her Halloween weekend hospitalized with serious injuries after being struck by a car.
The accident happened the Thursday before Halloween around 11:40 a.m. in San Francisco’s Laurel Heights neighborhood. The collision occurred when the girl’s mother, who was pushing her daughter in a stroller along with their older child, crossed the street at the busy intersection of Euclid and Parker Avenues. A driver was making a left turn from southbound Parker Avenue onto eastbound Euclid Avenue when he failed to yield and hit the girl in the stroller. The driver remained on the scene and was cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
The toddler suffered serious, life-threatening head injuries and was taken to the hospital. She was hit on the right side of her body and has had surgery. The girl’s mother and sibling were uninjured.
The intersection where the accident occurred is known to local residents to be dangerous. Many have called it a “death trap” for pedestrians. After the accident, police sat near the intersection looking for others who may be tempted to drive through a stop sign or fail to yield.
San Francisco’s police chief and mayor spoke to children at a local elementary school after the accident, urging them to exercise caution while trick or treating. They told students that in decades past it was acceptable just to look both ways before crossing the street, but now because of busier streets and distracted drivers, it’s important to make eye contact with the driver.
San Francisco is known to be a city for walkers, because of its mild temperatures, light rainfall, parks, public transportation systems, and stores within easy walking distance from most residences. About 435,000 vehicles drive into or through San Francisco on an average weekday. Another 469,000 vehicles are registered in San Francisco, for a total of 900,000 vehicles in the city.
With a large number of vehicles and pedestrians in a fairly small city, pedestrian deaths and injuries in accidents are a huge problem. The main streets through the city have very high rates of pedestrian deaths and injuries when compared with other cities. Although the numbers change from year to year, there are about 20 pedestrian deaths per year and 800 serious injuries. Pedestrian deaths account for about half of all traffic fatalities in San Francisco per year. Those most at risk are seniors and children. About 40 percent of all pedestrian fatalities in San Francisco are seniors, even though seniors only make up about 15 percent of the population in the city.
Although the city has a plan called Vision Zero, which was adopted in 2014 to make the streets safer for pedestrians, pedestrian deaths and serious injuries are still a problem. Technology is expected to help make the streets safer, along with better education for drivers, bikers, and pedestrians.
Accidents are to be expected in a small city with huge numbers of vehicles and pedestrians. However, every accident that occurs could have been prevented. At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that any pedestrian who is struck by an automobile because of the driver’s negligence should pursue compensation from that driver. A pedestrian may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Call Micha Star Liberty, San Francisco pedestrian accident attorney, at 415-896-1000 or 510-645-1000. She works with clients in the San Francisco area, including Oakland, Hayward, Fairfield, Tracy, San Jose, Sacramento, Berkley, and the surrounding areas. Call her today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation on your case.