Woes mount with latest S.F. Muni accident

A man hit by a T-Third train Tuesday was the fourth victim of a Muni-involved pedestrian crash in two weeks as the transit agency faces mounting legal claims that have resulted in millions of dollars in payouts this year.

The man was hit at about 12:30 p.m. as he crossed Third Street at Williams Avenue, San Francisco Municipal Railway spokesman Alan Siegel said. He was crossing against the light, Siegel said, and suffered minor injuries when the train hit him. The man was transported to San Francisco General Hospital in the fourth such Muni accident since mid-August.

On Aug. 14, 83-year-old Marina Vafiadis was hit and killed by a 28-line bus as she crossed Park Presidio at Balboa Street. On Aug. 17, a 40-year-old woman was hit and injured at 22nd Avenue and California Street. On Thursday night, 47-year-old John O’Neill was hit and killed by a J-Church train near Glen Park station.

As of last week, Muni vehicles had been involved in 956 collisions this year, 39 of which involved pedestrians and five of which were fatal, Muni spokeswomanKristen Holland said.

Tuesday’s collision came as the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency deals with a lawsuit worth as much as $2 million from the family of a woman who was hit and killed by a Muni bus earlier this year. The family of 49-year-old Xiao Feng Deng sued The City on July 9, alleging wrongful death.

During the first three months of 2007 — the latest date for which information was immediately available — the MTA doled out $2,078,470.41 in payouts for legal claims. In 2006, it paid out $12,935,927.63 in legal claims, according to the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office.

Deng was killed as she crossed Leavenworth Street on Ellis Street on her way to work on April 9. Lawrence Less, the lawyer representing Deng’s husband, two daughters and three granddaughters, said Deng had the green light to cross. He said the bus had come from behind her and turned right at the green light to head north on Leavenworth, blindsiding her.

Less did not specify what damages the plaintiffs are asking of The City, but court documents indicate the anticipated damages could be in excess of $2 million.

San Francisco City Attorney spokeswoman Alexis Thompson declined to comment as the case is ongoing.

Death by Muni

Muni drivers have hit four pedestrians in two weeks; five people have been killed by agency vehicles to date in 2007.

Jan. 11: Kenji Suzuki, 69, hit by a 22-Fillmore while crossing Fillmore Street at Geary Street

March 18: Edwardo Funes, 40, killed while walking on J-Church tracks in Dolores Park

April 3: Xiao Feng Deng, 49, killed while crossing Leavenworth Street on Ellis Street

Aug. 14: Marina Vafiadis, 84, killed while crossing Park Presidio at Balboa Street

Aug. 23: John O'Neill, 47, killed while walking on J-Church tracks near Glen Park station

amartin@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Deputy public defender Chris Garcia outside the Hall of Justice on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
As pandemic wanes, SF public defender hopes clients will get ‘their day in court’

Like other attorneys in San Francisco, Deputy Public Defender Chris Garcia has… Continue reading

Hyphen hosts a group show at Space Gallery in San Francisco in 2010. (Photo courtesy of Albert Law/Pork Belly Studio)
What’s in a name? Asian American magazine fights to keep its identity

An investor-backed media group laid claim to the moniker of SF’s long-running Hyphen magazine, sparking a conversation about writing over community history

A warning notice sits under the windshield wiper of a recreational vehicle belonging to a homeless man named David as it sits parked on De Wolf Street near Alemany Boulevard on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. A proposed SF Municipal Transportation Agency law would make it illegal for overnight parking on the side street for vehicles taller than seven feet or longer than 22 feet. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fight over ‘poverty tows’ heats up

‘What can we do to ensure the vehicle stays in the hands of the owner?’

Crab fisherman Skip Ward of Marysville casts his crab net out off a pier near Fort Point. (Craig Lee/Special to The	Examiner)
San Francisco came back to life, and we captured it all

Last spring, in the early days of the pandemic, the bestselling authors… Continue reading

Revelers at Madrone Art Bar in the early hours of June 15, 2021 (Courtesy Power Quevedo).
No social distancing at Motown-themed dance party

‘I don’t care how anyone feels, I just want to dance!’

Most Read