A driver in a collision at San Francisco International Airport that killed one person and injured two others on Monday has been arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and driving at an unsafe speed, police said Tuesday.
San Francisco police and fire units stationed at the airport responded at 3:30 p.m. to the report of a multi-vehicle collision involving pedestrians in the arrivals area of the International Terminal.
The three pedestrians were taken to a local hospital, where one, 33-year-old Jedidiah Crews of Seattle, was pronounced dead at about 4:30 p.m.
Police said the driver of a black Ford Expedition accelerated from the curb prior to the collision, but offered few details about what ensued. They did say the driver did not appear to have been impaired and the collision did not appear to have been deliberate.
Airport officials also suggested the collision was unintentional.
“The gentleman hit the gas instead of the brake. We believe it was unintentional” based on early reports from police, said Ivar Satero, SFO director, at a San Francisco Airport Commission meeting Tuesday morning.
Satero told the airport commissioners that three victims were trying to get into their car when the driver of the black Ford Expedition accelerated, which “spun the other car around one hundred and eighty degrees, and that force injured the other passengers.”
The driver remained at the scene and Satero said, “we understand he wasn’t familiar with the vehicle’s operation.”
However, later Tuesday, police announced they had arrested Athmane Oukal, 46, and booked him into San Mateo County Jail.
Bay City News Service contributed to this report.