Just minutes before she was struck and killed by a Muni bus on Friday, Emily Dunn spoke cheerily with her mother on the phone for a brief moment. And although Deborah Dunn was having difficulty coming to grips with the tragic death of her daughter, she was able to take some solace in that final talk.
"It was a very happy conversation," said Dunn. "She loved The City and she loved her job."
An Atlanta native, Dunn, 23, had been living in San Francisco for less than a month when she was killed while crossing the intersection of 18th and Hartford streets in the Castro district. An avid traveler, she visited 35 countries and stepped foot on every continent in the globe, except for Antarctica, her father Chris said Monday at a makeshift memorial set up at the scene of the accident.
He said the family was still trying to make sense of the accident "that took our wonderful little girl."
After volunteering at music festivals across the country for several years, Dunn accepted a job this summer with Superfly, an event production company, and moved out to San Francisco on July 22, said Deborah Dunn. She graduated in May with honors from Washington University in St. Louis.
Rick Farman, a partner at Superfly, said that Dunn had worked with the production company for many years on a volunteer basis, setting up crucial contacts with artists through her experience at festivals like Bonnaroo in Tennessee and San Francisco’s Outside Lands.
At the time of her death, she was helping to set up the company’s fledgling San Francisco office, Farman said. He said she was a dedicated worker and music lover who nurtured many strong industry connections in her too-short career.
"She was truly wise beyond her years," said Farman. "She made a lot of relationships in our world in a very short period of time. Everyone at the company was really looking forward to working with her, and right now we’re just devastated."
According to the Police Department, Dunn had crossed about 95 percent of the street when she was struck in the crosswalk by a Muni bus making a left turn. Police are still investigating the accident and the driver of the bus, who has been working for Muni for just seven months, has been placed on non-driving status by the agency while the inquiry continues.
The operator was driving a Muni shuttle bus that was out on the street to provide supplementary service for the agency’s F-Market line. The F-Market line, made up of the agency’s historic street cars, does not travel on Hartford Street. The agency’s policy is to run shuttle buses only on streets with regularly assigned service.
Chris Dunn said the family had plenty of questions about the accident.
"Why did a bus driver have to come up a street he shouldn’t drive up?" Chris Dunn asked. "How do you prevent that from happening?"
For now, the family is in San Francisco to collect Dunn’s things. As part of the visit, they picked up one of Dunn’s most prized collections — an old compass that she wore around her neck.
"She always seemed to know where she was going," said Amanda Dunn, Emily’s 20-year-old sister.
Examiner writer Mike Koozmin contributed to this story.
Muni-related traffic fatalities: