A 3-year-old boy on a bicycle was struck by a truck near Golden Gate Park Thursday morning and rushed to San Francisco General Hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Police said the boy was riding out in front of a group of pedestrians when he was hit. The driver of the truck did not flee the accident scene and was questioned but not arrested.
SFPD Officer Gordon Shyy said that at about 11:45 a.m., the driver of a silver pickup truck was heading out of Golden Gate Park on Chain of Lakes Drive East toward 43rd Avenue.
When the driver made a left turn onto westbound Fulton Street, he struck the boy, Shyy said, who was riding a tiny red bicycle in front of the other pedestrians crossing the street and going the same direction:
“When the truck made the left turn (it) struck the child. They made a U-turn and returned to the scene and discovered they had struck this child. The driver remained at the scene and is cooperative with our investigators. The child is at San Francisco General Hospital with life-threatening injuries.”
Shyy said both the driver and the pedestrians had the green light and so far neither drugs nor alcohol are suspected to be a factor:
“We do know that the child was a few feet in front of the rest of the group. We also know that all parties had a green light.”
Shyy said other than the boy, there were no other injuries:
“So far this year, in 2014, we’ve had seven pedestrian-vehicle fatalities. … We are taking this seriously and we’re doing everything we can to prevent these tragedies from occurring.”
Shyy said when driving people should not be engrossed in their mobile devices:
“It is a violation to use your mobile device when you’re driving. Even if you have the right of way, we want people to take an extra second to look both ways before entering an intersection.”
Whether or not the driver was texting or using a mobile device at the time of the accident is still under investigation, he said.
According to KCBS radio, traffic citations have increased by close to 70 percent compared with 2013, as the SFPD cracks down on careless drivers.
But San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos said increased enforcement is only part of the solution. Mayor Ed Lee has proposed spending $17 million to boost safety at 170 intersections.
In 2013 there were a total of 20 pedestrian accident fatalities, according to the San Francisco Examiner, the highest number since 24 were killed in 2007.