Woman who died in fall at Van Ness Station identified as missing SF resident, substitute teacher

A woman who fell to her death on the tracks of Muni’s Van Ness Station Monday night has been identified as Eunice Kang, 32, a San Francisco resident.

The Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed her identity Tuesday night.

Kang’s friends put out a public plea searching for her on Facebook Monday night, and said she went missing after leaving Bar 587 on Post Street.

In the Facebook post, Kang’s friends wrote that she called a friend still at the bar because Kang had forgotten her credit card there, and said she was coming back for it.

“She never made it back to the bar and we’ve been unable to contact her since,” her friends wrote on Facebook. “She’s loved by many people.”

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Director of Communications Candace Sue told the SFMTA board Tuesday afternoon that the woman — who has now been identified as Kang — entered Van Ness station, climbed on the railing and at some point fell from the mezzanine level to the tracks below.

SFMTA personnel immediately responded and attempted CPR. She died while on the tracks, according to the San Francisco Fire Department.

The City is investigating the incident.

The railing Kang reportedly climbed is shorter than most people are tall. When asked if the SFMTA planned on modifying the railing for safety reasons, spokesperson Paul Rose said “we are going to follow the investigation closely and make any necessary adjustments to the area. But at this point, it’s too early to say.”

Kang’s family declined to comment.

On a GoFundMe page that briefly opened, and then closed, to raise money for Kang’s family, friends wrote, “Eunice was a super caring and fun person whose laugh was infectious and whose spirit was so gentle and beautiful. She was one of the most unique people we’ve ever met and left a lasting impression on our lives.

-Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

STORY UPDATED JAN. 17, 2018:

The Examiner has learned that Kang was a beloved substitute teacher with the San Francisco Unified School District.

Hired as a substitute teacher by the school district in May 2017, she worked mostly at A.P. Giannini Middle School in San Francisco’s Sunset District, confirmed SFUSD spokesperson Laura Dudnick on Wednesday.

“We are saddened to hear about her loss,” said Dudnick.

After news of Kang’s death broke, several AP Giannini Middle School community members honored her on Twitter.

“She was a vivacious, witty, sharp and creative student herself. There aren’t many like her ever,” wrote educator Gillian Hart in a Tweet.

Mike Murphy, who ran for District 4 Supervisor in November, said in a Tweet that he didn’t know Kang, but described her as having a reputation as a “reliable, well-liked, in-demand substitute teacher” at the school.

“Students, my son included, are processing, as she’ll be missed,” said Murphy.

Kang’s death preceded news of another tragic loss for the school district — On Tuesday morning, the body of 67-year-old longtime SFUSD employee Janeth reynolds was found floating in the San Francisco Bay.

Reynolds worked for the district as a child development paraprofessional for more than three decades, from 1973 until her retirement in 2006, the San Francisco Examiner has previously reported.

The circumstances around Reynolds’ death remain unclear — police officials have not indicated whether they are investigating the incident as suspicious. The City is investigation both Kang and Reynolds’ deaths, officials said.

-Laura Waxmann

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez and Laura Waxmann
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Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez and Laura Waxmann

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