Dangerous nights on the roads

Two pedestrians killed, two injured in The City

At least two pedestrians were injured and two more died in car crashes on San Francisco streets and highways Thursday and early Friday, including a 4-year-old boy who was seriously injured while standing on the sidewalk.

San Francisco police spokeswoman Officer Maria Oropeza said Friday that preliminary reports indicated the boy was standing at the corner of Leavenworth and O’Farrell streets at about 8:30 p.m. when an Acura headed north on Leavenworth and driven by a 39-year-old woman collided with a Volvo heading east on O’Farrell.

The Volvo spun onto the sidewalk on the northeast corner of the intersection and hit the boy, Oropeza said. The boy's father, who was in a nearby store, ran outside and took the boy into the store, where he called 911.

Also on Thursday, a woman was hit by a car on Market Street near Hyde Street when she apparently started to cross just after the light had turned red.

The two deaths both took place on freeways. At 11:35 p.m. Thursday, a man was struck by as many as three vehicles in the middle of Interstate 280, according to the California Highway Patrol. He was dead when responding officers found him.

At 12:46 a.m. Friday a man walking in the shoulder of northbound U.S. Highway 101 was struck and killed just south of Duboce, the CHP reported.

According to a report published this month by the San Francisco Department of Parking and Traffic, 699 injury accidents took place in San Francisco in 2005, up 5 percent from the 665 reported in 2004. Pedestrian deaths, however, dropped in 2005. The department reported 14 such fatalities, a 10-year low.

Fatalities have been up this year, averaging more than one every two weeks.

Supervisor Fiona Ma introduced a bill in 2005 to install countdown signals and sidewalk ramps at signaled intersections citywide. The bill is still working its way through committee, but Ma’s spokesman, Bill Barnes, said she hopes to get it passed by December. Funding has been identified for engineering and community outreach in the bill, but not for the actual improvements, Barnes said.

amartin@examiner.com

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