Ambulance, Car Collide on 16th and S. Van Ness

The ambulance was carrying three passengers, police said. Photo by Ross Torres.

The ambulance was carrying three passengers, police said. Photo by Ross Torres.

Four people were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after a crash involving an ambulance and another vehicle on 16th Street and South Van Ness Avenue at around 12:15 p.m. on Friday.

The second vehicle had one occupant. Photo by Ross Torres.

The ambulance was traveling eastbound on 16th Street when it collided with a white Volkswagen Cabriolet heading southbound on South Van Ness Avenue, said SFPD Commander Mikail Ali.

“We know the ambulance was traveling code three to a service call. A code three is lights and sirens,” Ali said. “They responded in that fashion, but it’s yet to be determined what the cause is.”

“There are a number of causes as to why people are involved with collisions with emergency vehicles in that manner,” Ali added. “Distracted driver is the primary cause.”

Jorge Luna, an employee at the nearby 76 gas station who witnessed the accident, said the ambulance flipped over “two or three times.”

Ambulance passengers included two paramedics sitting in the front of the vehicle and a medic intern in the back. There was only one passenger in the Volkswagen.

The two paramedics got out of the ambulance with Luna’s help, while first responders attended to the intern in the back, Luna said.

The Major Accident and Investigation team is on the scene. As of 1 p.m., police had blocked off the intersection to traffic and Muni’s 22 Fillmore line was being rerouted.

6 Comments

  1. Dale

    There have been at least four major accidents on South Van Ness in a month.

    Two at 16th/ South Van Ness.
    One at 20th/South Van Ness where a car veered out of control on to the sidewalk.

    Lastly, one at 22nd/ South Van Ness involving a motorcycle

    This is the only street that has not benefited from traffic calming in the Mission. You can’t turn left from Division on to Bryant, Folsom or Mission. If you did you would not be able ti drive fast.

    Why are cars allowed to drive at 40 plus in a 25 zone? Because the light timing allows for it. It is simply a matter of changing the light timing like it has been done for Valencia and Folsom Sts.

    Stand on any corner on South Van from 16th to Cesar Chavez and you will see how unsafe the traffic patterns have been allowed to become.

  2. Thomas

    I don’t know much about this incident but the street has been allowed to become a fast moving street. The number of red light runners and speeders is outrageous and I feel that this wreck is just one of many to come if something is not down to slow traffic.

    If streets like Bayshore,Alemany,Mission,Market,and Potrero can be slowed down, why can’t a short street like South Van Ness? I have had people say it is a thouroughfar. When I ask them about streets in the Mission that are longer and gave been slowed, no logical answer is given why South Van Ness is being ignored.

  3. Charles

    I am not surprised at all. This street is a traffic disaster. There is high volume and high speed in close proximity to schools.

    Nobody drives 25 on this street.

  4. Dude

    I’ll be the first to admit that I drive >25 mph on SVN. The bus situation isn’t helping the flow either. They can be downright dangerous!

    • Kev

      Expect more of this as all of the streets are shut off to traffic like Bryant st just got approved for.

      South Van Ness is a traffic dumping ground thanks to the planners who created this mess.
      The residents deserve better than this or don’t they?

  5. Sean

    The speed on this street is so far out of control. I don’t think that the traffic engineers thought this would happen when they protected other streets in the area with slow light timing and no left turns on ti them.

    Hopefully they take a good look and do something about a dangerous situation.

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