A stretch of Polk Street is known as a place where fatal and serious traffic accidents occur. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>

A stretch of Polk Street is known as a place where fatal and serious traffic accidents occur. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

SFPD investigating fatal hit and run on Polk street

The driver of a vehicle struck and killed one pedestrian and left another in critical condition on Tuesday night at the intersection of Polk and Hayes streets, according to the San Francisco Police Department.

Officers responded to the site of the collision at approximately 7 p.m. where they found both victims.

According to the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s office, the woman who was pronounced dead at the scene was 29-year-old Lovisa Svallingson. The second victim, a male, was transported immediately to the hospital, where he remained as of Wednesday morning.

Reports of the collision first circulated on social media, including graphic videos and photos.

SFPD said its preliminary investigation indicates that a black Chevy Avalanche, a truck, collided with a white Audi A6 before hitting the two pedestrians.

The driver of the truck was seen fleeing the scene on foot, and this investigation is being investigated as a hit-and-run.

When the two vehicles collided, there were four passengers in the Audi. Two were transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The intersection of Polk and Hayes streets sits on San Francisco’s High Injury Network, the 13 percent of city streets where 50 percent of fatalities and 75 percent of severe injuries from traffic violence occur.

It’s also one of just 13 intersections citywide to be outfitted with a red light camera intended to slow speeds and reduce reckless driving behavior.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which oversees the red light camera program, says it gives priority to the intersections with the highest injury collision totals.

Some elected officials have called for the program to be scaled up and cameras placed at more locations across The City, but SFMTA has historically said it prefers to try other street safety improvements first, such as signal timing and improved signal visibility, due to the higher cost of camera hardware and the longer lead time required for installation.

San Francisco’s Vision Zero pledge aims to eliminate all fatalities caused by traffic violence by 2024. Officials have grown increasingly wary that this target is not within reach as it stands.

As of the end of April, 10 people were killed on San Francisco streets due to traffic violence, an increase from the year prior at the same point in time. Seven of those victims were pedestrians.

“The threat is rising, and we need The City to meet that threat. City leaders can’t wait another day to act in new, bold ways to reach Vision Zero,” said Jodie Medeiros, Executive Director of the street safety advocacy group Walk SF.

SFMTA is set to work with agency partners and its board of directors to create its two-year strategy for street safety in the coming months.

Medeiros and other advocates are calling for officials to redouble their commitment and urgency.

“We need an aggressive plan that’s laser-focused on the solutions that can start saving lives now, not years from now,” she said.

cgraf@sfexaminer.com

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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