An elderly pedestrian injured in a collision in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood Friday morning has died from his injuries, the city’s medical examiner confirmed Tuesday.
According to police, officers responded at 8:27 a.m. to a collision near O’Farrell and Polk streets, where they located a pedestrian who had been struck by a vehicle. The pedestrian was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The driver of the vehicle that struck the victim stayed at the scene and cooperated with the investigation. Impairment does not appear to be a factor, according to police.
The pedestrian ultimately succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. He’s been identified as 80-year-old David Chow of San Francisco, the medical examiner’s office said.
Chow’s death marks the city’s first fatality involving a pedestrian in 2020, the advocacy organization Walk San Francisco said.
“Our hearts break every time a life is lost to traffic violence,” Walk SF executive director Jodie Medeiros said in a statement. “This is the first pedestrian death of this year. We wish it would be the last, but we know it will not be. Last year, 18 pedestrians were killed,” she said.
“San Francisco is doing many of the right things to make our streets safer, but not quickly enough and not aggressively enough,” she said. “We should all be able to cross the street safely. It’s as simple as that.”
According to the organization, Chow was struck as the vehicle was making a turn.
“We’re urging SFMTA to quickly expand its left turn lane traffic calming pilot program. We are also eager for a citywide policy on no-turn-on-red to move forward which the SFMTA and the Department of Public Health are tasked with by spring. Lives are on the line,” she said.
The left turn calming program involves rubber stampers being strategically placed in an intersection to slow drivers and give them better visibility of the crosswalk, by forcing them to make wider turns. The SFMTA has committed to launching a pilot program at eight city intersections this year.
Additionally, prohibiting vehicles from turning on red lights gives people and cars more time to go separately, reducing chances of a collision, Walk SF officials said.