A Richmond man was arrested Thursday after he allegedly drove through a red light on Laguna Street, slammed into a taxicab — killing one and seriously injuring three others — and then ran away from the accident.
Co-workers of Eduardo Vicente, 25, who had seen reports of the hit-and-run incident, called police when he showed up to work Thursday morning and claimed he had been in an accident.
Vicente, a Guatemalan national, allegedly abandoned a 2007 Chevrolet Uplander minivan after broadsiding a Town Taxi at Laguna and Fulton streets just after midnight Thursday. As the cab headed west on Fulton Street, police say Vicente ran a red light northbound on Laguna Street, sending the taxi spinning into a light pole.
Two waitresses and the co-owner of Bar Crudo, a raw bar near Union Square, were passengers of the cab. Graciela Sholl, 31, of San Francisco, was killed, and Bar Crudo head chef and co-owner Michael Selvera, was ejected from the taxi and suffered a broken jaw and punctured lung, according to friends and family of the victim. The third passenger is in critical condition. A Town Taxi dispatcher said Thursday afternoon that the cabdriver was still in the hospital. None of the cab’s occupants were wearing their seat belts, police reported.
San Francisco police spokesman Sgt. Steve Mannina said officers found alcohol containers in the minivan, but Vicente is not being charged with alcohol-related crimes.
Vicente, who works at a golf course in El Cerrito, told a co-worker Thursday morning that he’d been in a crash the previous night. The co-worker told the foreman, and the foreman called El Cerrito police. Vicente was transported to San Francisco at about 10:30 a.m., Mannina said. He was booked on charges of vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run.
Sholl’s sister, Jennifer Ellett, said Thursday that Sholl was sitting in the back seat of the cab behind the driver. The van hit the cab where Sholl was sitting, and the impact made a 4-foot indent in the side of the cab. "From what the doctor can tell us, she was unconscious from impact, and probably didn’t feel anything," Ellett said.
Last October, Kevin McGuinness, then 43, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder for allegedly ramming his Toyota truck into a taxicab, killing the driver and a passenger, after running a stop sign at Broadway and Webster Street while drunk. A preliminary hearing commenced Wednesday to determine if there is sufficient evidence to take McGuinness to trial.