FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 16, 2023
CONTACT: Jodie Medeiros, Executive Director, Walk SF, firstname.lastname@example.org, 415.596.1580 (cell); Marta Lindsey, Communications Director, Walk SF, email@example.com, 617.833.7654 (cell)
Four-year-old girl hit and killed yesterday at 4th & King Streets
Groups bringing flowers and a white stroller to crash site
San Francisco, Calif. – A four-year-old girl, who was riding in a stroller pushed by her parents, was hit and killed by a driver yesterday around 5:00PM at the intersection of 4th & King Streets.
“There are no sufficient words for this little girl’s parents,” said Jodie Medeiros, executive director of Walk San Francisco. “What should never happen has happened, and we grieve for the family’s unfathomable loss.”
Walk San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets community stand ready to support the friends and loved ones of the victim however possible. The two groups are bringing a white stroller and flowers to the crash site today at 5:00PM.
This is the 11th pedestrian death in San Francisco so far in 2023. About 30 people are killed in traffic deaths each year in San Francisco; pedestrians typically make up about half of these deaths.
The location of the crash was at 4th and King Streets, where the driver was making a right turn from the center lane. Both 4th and King are on the City’s ‘high-injury network’: the 12% of streets where 68% of all severe and fatal traffic crashes occur.
The 4th and King intersection has very high numbers of pedestrians and many drivers rushing to get on the nearby freeway entrance. The T-Third light rail MUNI line and 45 MUNI Line runs along 4th Street, with the 8,30, and 45 MUNI lines a block or two away. Amtrak buses also stop nearby.
“Intersections and streets like this – very wide, with four- and five-lanes of traffic and so many pedestrians – need to be designed to prioritize safety,” said Medeiros. “The City must use every possible strategy to bring down speeds, and do everything possible to make people safer in the crosswalk.”
“Intersections must be designed to reduce the chance of a conflict happening in the first place, and keeping driver speeds slow so that if something does happen, it’s not fatal,” said Medeiros. “That means proven solutions like no turn on red, left turn calming, reducing the width pedestrians must cross, and pedestrian safety zones at every possible high-injury intersection.”
In total, 20 people were killed while walking in San Francisco in 2022. 39 people were killed in all traffic crashes in 2022, which is the deadliest year since the City adopted Vision Zero in 2014. Vision Zero is a comprehensive, data-based, preventative, and proven approach to ending severe and fatal crashes that has been successful worldwide.
“For the City to live up to its Vision Zero promise, it has to act much more aggressively in designing and enforcing our streets to protect us,” said Medeiros. “We don’t need another tragedy for this to be a top priority of City leaders and agencies. When children are killed in the crosswalk, this should get everyone’s attention and every possible action.”
Nationally, pedestrian deaths are at their highest numbers since 1981 with an average of 20 pedestrian deaths every day.
Citywide, around 30 people are killed and more than 500 severely injured each year on San Francisco streets. Older adults make up 50% of these fatalities annually.
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Walk San Francisco (‘Walk SF’) advocates for safe streets for everyone who walks, which is everyone. Since our founding in 1998, Walk SF has been leading the way to make San Francisco a pedestrian-first city where people of every age and ability can walk safely. Learn more.
San Francisco Bay Area Families for Safe Streets is a group of people who have been directly affected by traffic crashes, including crash survivors and people whose loved ones have been killed or injured in traffic crashes. Learn more.