A San Francisco woman who allegedly struck two children with an SUV in the Marina pleaded not guilty at her arraignment Tuesday.
Kirsten Andereck, 30, appeared despondent and responded to the judge’s questions at the hearing in San Francisco Superior Court.
She was charged with four counts from the Nov. 4 collision which injured two 12-year-old boys: Driving under the influence of alcohol and causing injury, driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 and causing injury, as well as two counts of child endangerment.
Her bail was set for $200,100 and she submitted to two conditions set by the District Attorney’s Office. She agreed to wear a SCRAM bracelet to monitor her for alcohol intake, and to not drive for any purpose.
Her court date is set for Jan. 20.
After Andereck pleaded not guilty, one of her attorneys, V. Roy Lefcourt, said outside the courtroom, “She’s taking this extremely hard, as you can imagine.”
“I ask you to hold your judgment,” Lefcourt said. “This is a very trying case, and the family and Kirsten simply want you to know they have the boys in their heart.”
Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office, said, “The most important thing is these kids recover. One of them is in bad shape, the other is still recovering.”
Both are still hospitalized and are being treated for fractures, he said.
Andereck arrived at the Hall of Justice on Tuesday with her arms crossed and her head down. After some time, Judge Daniel Flores asked Andereck to agree to the terms of her bail.
“Yes, I agree,” she said quietly, to wearing an alcohol monitoring bracelet. And, “I agree,” she said, this time loudly, to the requirement not to drive.
She answered no questions of reporters as she left the courtroom.
Andereck attended St. Ignatius College Preparatory in 2001, according to yearbook records. In 2004, when Andereck was 19 years old, she was a debutante at a Cotillion event hosted by the Cotillion Club of San Francisco.
Nicole Ferrara, executive director of advocacy group Walk SF, previously said the 12-year-old boys flew across the intersection as they were struck. As the San Francisco Examiner previously reported, the boys are both students of Marina Middle School, and were crossing toward the school on Bay Street in the Marina district.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency planned “The Bay Street Road Diet and Separated Bikeway” in order to ensure cars on that street drove slower. Documents obtained by the Examiner show the second phase of the project was delayed twice.
If completed, speed bumps would have been installed on Bay Street and the distance the children would have walked would have been shorter. Advocates with Walk SF and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition both said that may have slowed the car.
Even vehicle speed reduction of a few miles per hour can lessen major injuries, they said.
SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said of the safety project, “this is a citywide effort that involves several city agencies. Once repaving is complete, the SFMTA will work quickly to install the upgrades to slow traffic in the area by reducing a lane of traffic and adding a speed hump, as early as this month.”
Rose noted San Francisco was the first large city in the state to implement 15 mph speed limits around schools.
“Children deserve to be safe and drivers slowing down is one proven way to do that,” he said.
Above, Andereck walks into Hall of Justice. Her attorney V. Roy Lefcourt addresses reporters, and then District Attorney’s Office spokesman Alex Bastian addresses reporters.