A driver believed to be drunk collided head-on with one of The City’s moving monuments Wednesday, sending the cable car operator to the hospital, police Officer Albie Esparza said.
A blue Ford Explorer driven by 61-year-old Jeffrey Webber of Suisun City reportedly collided with the cable car at Geary and Powell streets about 10 p.m., Esparza said. Bystanders detained Webber until police arrived. The cable car operator was taken to the hospital for a minor shoulder injury, Esparza said.
Webber was booked on felony DUI charges, Esparza said.
The cable car was traveling northbound on Powell Street when Webber’s Explorer struck it, Esparza said. Muni spokesman Paul Rose said service on the line was shut down for about an hour.
There were about 15 people on the cable car, Rose said, but no one was injured.
The cable car did not appear to be extensively damaged, Rose said, as both vehicles were reportedly moving at a slow speed. The bumper of the cable car was damaged and some glass was broken, he said.
The Powell-Mason and Powell-Hyde cable car lines both begin at the turnaround at Powell and Market streets and cross over Geary Street before they split off into separate routes, according to Muni. Both lines end near Fisherman’s Wharf.
The average speed of cable cars is about 9.5 mph, even on steep grades, according to the Cable Car Museum website. The cars use a series of braking mechanisms, including the cable itself, to regulate speed.