Bloody Muni accident is 19th this year

Blood-soaked asphalt and tattered clothes marked the scene of a harrowing collision involving a pedestrian and a Muni bus that left a man with life-threatening injuries on Wednesday.

The unidentified man, believed to be between 50 and 70 years old, was struck by the right front end of a two-trolley 38-Geary bus at the intersection of Geary Boulevard and Fillmore Street, according to San Francisco Police Department spokesman Sgt. Wilfred Williams.

The accident is the 19th instance this year of a Muni-versus-pedestrian collision, according to Examiner counts; to date, there has been one pedestrian death in 2008.

In 2005, there were 34 collisions; in 2006, there 50; and in 2007, there were 62, according to the SFMTA. Muni-related pedestrian fatalities have also risen, from three in 2005, to four in 2006, to seven in 2007.

During that time period, The City has paid out nearly $9.5 million in settlement decisions to pedestrians injured by Muni transit vehicles, according to Alexis Thompson of the City Attorney’s Office.

That total does not include a $21 million settlement dispensed this year involving the 2003 death of 4-year-old Elizabeth Dominguez, who was killed by a Muni maintenance vehicle at the intersection of Potrero Avenue and 24th Street.

Thompson stressed that settlement decisions do not implicate The City is at fault in the pedestrian-collision cases.

According to police and eyewitnesses, the Muni collision Wednesday afternoon occurred after the victim stepped in front of the vehicle as it was passing through a green light on Fillmore Street.

Erika Galt, who was traveling on the bus at the time of the collision, said the man was run over by two sets of wheels before the driver was alerted to the accident from screaming bystanders witnessing the incident.

After the bus came to a stop, Galt said she and two men tended to the fallen man while they waited for emergency service vehicles.

“There were bones sticking out of his pants and he had blood coming out of his head,” Galt said.

The man was transferred to San Francisco General Hospital.

The Muni driver, a 20-year veteran, was placed on administrative leave and tested for drugs and alcohol, which is a standard procedure, SFMTA spokesman Judson True said.

wreisman@examiner.com  

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