San Francisco police are investigating a fatal accident in which a pedestrian using a walker was hit by a paratransit bus.
The deceased 86-year-old woman was crossing the street after exiting the bus. A witness said it appeared that the woman stopped in front of the bus to check for cars passing by in the next lane. As she took a step back to avoid the traffic, the bus driver accelerated and struck the woman, dragging her nearly 30 feet across the intersection. She was trapped beneath the bus and was pronounced dead at the scene.
It was unclear if the woman was crossing against the traffic light when she was run over. She was on her way to a meeting hosted by Senior and Disability Action, a group that is sponsoring town hall gatherings regarding safety on San Francisco streets. Police hope video from surveillance cameras at a nearby church will help in their investigation.
San Francisco Paratransit is a city run service contracted by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency for people with disabilities. The driver is a veteran operator, but it was his first time on the route. He has been cooperating with police.
Was the driver distracted or not paying close enough attention to notice the woman stopped in front of the bus? Was she crossing outside of a crosswalk or against traffic control signals? Was there a bus mechanical failure or defect? While all the details of this pedestrian-auto accident won’t be known until the investigation is complete, witnesses said that the intersection has always been dangerous.
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