Dangerous day to drive on Geary

Two separate major accidents struck within three hours Tuesday afternoon in the Richmond district, leaving a 73-year-old pedestrian with life-threatening injuries and another victim with stab wounds.

The pedestrian is fighting for his life following a hit-and-run incident at 20th Avenue and Geary Boulevard, which occurred around 1 p.m. Ywe E. Emerson, 49, was allegedly making a left turn from 20th Avenue and struck a 73-year-old pedestrian walking in the crosswalk. Emerson then backed up and sped off northbound on 20th Avenue, San Francisco police spokesman Sgt. Neville Gittens said.

A witness followed Emerson’s vehicle, Gittens said. The good Samaritan eventually lost sight of the car, but not before giving police the license plate number.

Police spotted Emerson in the car in the 500 block of John Muir Drive near Harding Park Golf Course. He was arrested on felony hit-and-run charges and booked into the San Francisco County Jail. Police have no evidence that alcohol was involved. The victim remains at San Francisco General Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

A second accident on 18th Avenue and Geary resulted in what police said was a road-rage stabbing. A man driving a white sedan collided with a Toyota with a man, woman and baby inside. The Toyota was rammed into a traffic signal, which toppled over. The occupants of both cars jumped out of their vehicles and the driver of the sedan stabbed the man in the Toyota in the hand  before returning to his car and fleeing the scene, police said.

Diane Lam, owner of Diane’s Nail Care, which is near the scene of the accident, said she heard a loud bang and, a moment later, saw the white car drive up 18th Avenue. Shortly after, she said, she saw the woman who had been in the Toyota walking shakily up the street, holding the baby.

“I asked her if she was OK, and she said, ‘No, I’m not OK,’ and walked away. She wasn’t crying, she was just shocked, walking like she had no brain,” Lam said.

Manish Champsee, president of pedestrian advocacy group Walk San Francisco, said Geary Boulevard has been a traditionally problematic street for pedestrians.

“One of the major complaints is when the light goes green, the lights go green for a mile instead of going along with the speed limit. It sends a message to motorists to go as fast as they can,” he said.

Thirty-two pedestrians were killed by vehicles in San Francisco last year — about double that of recent years, Champsee said. Almost 800, or two per day, were injured.

tbarak@sfexaminer.com

kworth@sfexaminer.com

Geary madness

First accident on Geary Boulevard

  • Site: Geary Boulevard and 20th Avenue
  • Time: 1 p.m.
  • Victim: Man, 73, life-threatening injuries
  • Arrested: Ywe E. Emerson, 49, of San Francisco

Second accident on Geary Boulevard

  • Site: 18th Avenue and Geary Boulevard
  • Time: 4 p.m.
  • Victim: Unidentified driver of Toyota stabbed in hand

32 Pedestrian fatalities in 2007 in S.F.

Nearly 800 Pedestrians injured by cars in 2007

Sources: S.F. police, Walk San Francisco

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