Stolen van driver who killed bicyclist charged with murder

A man who allegedly killed a bicyclist while fleeing from police in a stolen van in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood in July is now facing murder charges in the case, prosecutors said.

Anthony Wisner, 25, is accused of fleeing in a stolen van from a traffic stop at Larkin and Post streets, then crashing into a taxi three blocks away near Post and Jones street on July 28, police said. The impact from the crash sent both the van and the taxi onto the sidewalk, hitting a bicyclist and a pedestrian.

The bicyclist was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with a serious head injury while the 60-year-old pedestrian, the taxi driver and a passenger in the cab were also hospitalized, police said.

The bicyclist died at the hospital on Aug. 16 and was identified by the medical examiner’s office as 29-year-old San Francisco resident Zachary Watson.

Following the crash, Wisner took off on foot and boarded a San Francisco Municipal Railway 38-Geary bus, but was quickly found and arrested, police said. A woman who was in the van with Wisner was trapped during the crash and was also hospitalized. She cooperated with the investigation, police said.

Following Watson’s death, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office filed a motion to amend the complaint against Wisner and increase his bail.

The judge approved the amended complaint on Tuesday, charging Wisner with murder, mayhem, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of drugs causing injury, as well as six hit-and-run counts and two counts of reckless driving causing great bodily injury.

He is also charged with unlawful taking of a vehicle, forgery and driving with a suspended license. Wisner’s bail was increased from $350,000 to $1 million, according to the district attorney’s office.