Driver arrested in San Francisco hit-and-run was on cellphone

A driver who allegedly struck and killed a man in San Francisco before fleeing on Christmas Eve had been distracted by his cellphone, police said Monday.

Juan Martinez, 23, of San Francisco, was arrested just hours after a man was struck and killed on a street median at Cesar Chavez and Potrero Avenue.

Police were called to the scene around 8:30 a.m. and found the victim, whose identity hasn’t been released, on an island under the freeway, Sgt. Daryl Fong said Monday. The car fled after apparently driving onto the island and striking the man, Fong said.

The Police Department’s hit and run detail investigated and made an arrest around 3 p.m. the same day. Investigators have not revealed what led them to a suspect, Fong said.

Martinez was booked into County Jail on charges of vehicular manslaughter, felony hit-and-run, driving with a suspended or revoked license and driving a motor vehicle while using a wireless device, Fong said.

It was not known if the driver was intoxicated at the time, the police spokesman said.

Last week, National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah Hersman called on states to outright ban all cellphone usage while driving.

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