A 3-year-old boy on a bicycle, who police say rode out in front of a group of pedestrians near Golden Gate Park Thursday morning, was struck by a truck and rushed to San Francisco General Hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The driver of the truck did not flee the accident scene and is being questioned but was not arrested at the intersection where it occurred.
Officer Gordon Shyy of the SFPD said that at about 11:45 a.m. the driver of a silver pickup truck was heading north from Chain of Lakes Drive East in the park toward 43rd Avenue, when he made a left turn to go west on Fulton Street and struck the boy, who was riding a tiny red bicycle in front of the other pedestrians crossing the street and going the same direction.
"When the truck made the left turn (it) struck the child," said Shyy. "They made a U-turn and returned to the scene and discovered they had struck this child. The driver remained at the scene and is cooperative with our investigators. The child is at San Francisco General Hospital with life-threatening injuries."
Shyy said both the driver and the pedestrians had the green light and so far neither drugs nor alcohol are suspected to be a factor.
He said other than the boy, there were no other injuries.
"We do know that the child was a few feet in front of the rest of the group," he said. "We also know that all parties had a green light.
"So far this year, in 2014, we've had seven pedestrian-vehicle fatalities. ... (San Francisco Police) Chief Suhr was just at a school this morning and talking to a number of students ... about exercising safety when you're walking in San Francisco because we are a very busy city. ... We are taking this seriously and we're doing everything we can to prevent these tragedies from occurring."
Shyy said when driving people should not be engrossed in their mobile devices.
"It is a violation to use your mobile device when you're driving," he said. "Even if you have the right of way, we want people to take an extra second to look both ways before entering an intersection."
Whether or not the driver was texting or using a mobile device at the time of the accident is still under investigation, he said.
According to a recent KCBS news report, traffic citations have increased by close to 70 percent compared with 2013, as the SFPD cracks down on careless drivers.
But San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos said increased enforcement is only part of the solution and Mayor Ed Lee has proposed spending $17 million to boost safety at 170 intersections.
In 2013 there were a total of 20 pedestrian accident fatalities, according to the San Francisco Examiner newspaper, the highest number since 24 were killed six years previously.