By Ellie Doyen
A fleeing driver in a stolen SUV struck two pedestrians and multiple vehicles in San Francisco’s Tenderloin and downtown neighborhood as she sped away from pursuing police officers Wednesday afternoon, according to police.
At least one of those pedestrians suffered life-threatening injuries but remains in “stable” condition, according to Sgt. Michael Andraychak, a San Francisco Police Department spokesperson.
Police did not identify the driver, and only described her as female.
“It’s very scary what I saw,” Andraychak said, speaking of video footage showing the driver’s collision with pedestrians. It was, “very, very dangerous, what this person was doing.”
The trail of traffic turmoil started at around 2 p.m., when police ran a license plate check on a silver SUV at Leavenworth and Eddy Streets. The vehicle had been reported as stolen, according to Andraychak, and officers attempted to pull the vehicle over in front of the Tenderloin Police Station.
The driver executed a “series of maneuvers” Andraychak said, sending her vehicle into reverse to flee officers.
A video police released of the incident shows roughly a dozen uniformed officers swarming the SUV from all sides. When the woman threw the car into reverse, the officers backed up simultaneously. When she pulled forward, they swarmed again.
The video shows her reversing one more time and then flying forward with enough speed to knock a parked car forward before she sped away.
The driver also struck a scaffolding and a pedestrian while attempting to flee. That pedestrian suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
She then continued east on Eddy Street, Andraychack said, where she struck another pedestrian at Eddy and Taylor streets. The second pedestrian was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Again the driver failed to stop and continued toward Market Street, where she hit two more occupied cars at Fifth and Market streets. The occupants in these cars reported pain, but did not have to be transported to the hospital.
From here, the suspect turned down Clara Alley from Fifth Street, striking yet another vehicle before continuing to Sixth Street, where she struck a final vehicle at Sixth and Clara.
That final collision prevented the driver from fleeing further, Andraychak said.
The suspect was apprehended at the scene and taken to the hospital for treatment of her injuries sustained during the series of collisions.
Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez contributed to this report.