Fatal street-racing collision near Highway 101 topped off deadly week in SF

A street-racing collision that killed a woman near an entrance to Highway 101 in Potrero Hill was just one of several incidents in a deadly week for San Francisco that also included two homicides.

Police Chief Bill Scott offered new details in two of the cases Wednesday at the most recent Police Commission meeting. Scott said the woman who died was a passenger in the back seat of a vehicle that crashed into a concrete barrier while racing up and down Bayshore Boulevard early last Sunday morning.

The vehicle was attempting to turn onto the freeway near Cesar Chavez and Vermont streets when it hit the barrier at a high rate of speed, Scott said. A vehicle racing behind it then crashed into the first car.

Scott said the driver of the car that crashed into the barrier was seriously injured and taken into custody, while the passenger in the front seat had minor injuries. The woman in the back was severely injured and later died.

The woman has since been identified by the Medical Examiner’s Office as 31-year-old Phala Neuo of Richmond. A GoFundMe fundraiser page set up in her name has collected $1,628 as of Sunday afternoon. According to the online memorial, Neuo was a mother of four.

“It was very heartbreaking to hear that our loved one has passed away so suddenly,” her family said on GoFundMe. “We won’t be able to hear her voice or the sound of her laughter anymore… Phala was always so humbled, she always had jokes when she walked into the room.”

Police have not released the name of the driver. Scott said he expected that charges would be filed against the person.

The deadly wreck happened just hours before a double shooting killed a man in the Bayview last Saturday night.

In that shooting, Scott said the victim was crossing Quesada Avenue just east of Third Street with another man when the passenger of a vehicle pointed a gun out of the window and opened fire.

The gunfire sent both men to the hospital, where the 26-year-old man died and the 21-year-old man was treated for injuries not considered life-threatening. The homicide victim has since been identified by the Medical Examiner’s Office as Terrell Blay of San Francisco.

Scott said the shooting was captured on video by a nearby surveillance camera. As many as three suspects were in the vehicle.

Police have not made an arrest in the case. Scott said investigators are looking into the surveillance footage.

Blay was the ninth homicide victim of the year in San Francisco.

Days earlier, a man was killed on his 19th birthday when the suspect walked into the lobby of a building in South of Market and shot him from behind on March 25. The victim was later identified as Taiepisi Gutu.

The alleged killer fled the scene and was later shot by law enforcement in Southern California. Hakim Oden, 20, has since been charged with two counts of attempted murder on a peace officer in Riverside County.

“We had a busy week,” Scott said.

Still, Scott said violence crime including homicide is down 18 percent so far this year in San Francisco. There were 10 homicides reported at this point last year, compared with nine in 2019.


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