The number of pedestrian fatalities in The City continues to mount after a 70-year-old woman walking across Geary Boulevard at Ninth Avenue was killed Thursday morning after the driver of a white van struck her while making a left turn.
It was the 23rd pedestrian fatality in San Francisco this year. Nearly half the traffic fatalities in San Francisco are pedestrians, a rate that’s more than four times the national average, according to a recent study by Transportation for America, a coalition of transit, housing and planning groups.
The crash happened about 8:15 a.m. when the van, heading south on Ninth Avenue, turned onto eastbound Geary Boulevard and hit the woman, police spokesman Officer Samson Chan said.
The victim was identified as Jon Kong, a resident of the Richmond district. Kong was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with life-threatening injuries and was pronounced dead shortly afterward, Chan said. No one else was hurt.
The driver stopped after hitting the woman and stayed for a police interview. There was no alcohol involved in the incident and the driver had a valid license, Chan said. He has not been charged or cited, but the accident is still under investigation.
There were several witnesses waiting at the bus stop in front of the grisly scene. Willy Wong, who owns a Shell gas station on Ninth Avenue, said his employees ran out to help the woman. He said she was hit by the van while walking in the bright-yellow crosswalk, was thrown about 20 feet, and was then hit again by the same vehicle.
“The intersection is weird,” Wong said. “All the time we have accidents. About five or six years ago, a motorcyclist died at this intersection.”
Police closed eastbound Geary Boulevard about 8:20 a.m. It was reopened about 11:30 a.m.
Transportation for America’s nationwide survey found the San Francisco region, which includes Oakland and Fremont, is second only to New York for the highest percentage of traffic deaths among major cities in the country.
* To date
Source: Police Department