A man on a bicycle sustained a head injury after being struck by a speeding driver Monday evening at 19th and Capp streets, according to eyewitnesses and police.
Officers responded to the intersection around 5:15 p.m. and found the cyclist suffering from injuries, said SFPD Officer Kathryn Winters in a statement.
The driver had apparently fled the scene. The victim is expected to survive. He was given aid on scene and transported by paramedics to San Francisco General Hospital.
Although the victim’s injuries were not life-threatening, photos of the bicycle after the incident showed the front wheel torn off and nowhere to be seen, and bicycle and street safety advocate Paul Valdez said on Twitter that the victim was “screaming in pain” as he was carried into an ambulance. Debbie Horn, the owner of the nearby Royal Cuckoo Market, said her neighbors who witnessed the crash saw the front bicycle wheel pinned to the front of the car as the driver sped away.
Horn arrived with her husband during the aftermath of the incident. She said neighbors and witnesses told her the driver had turned quickly onto 19th Street from South Van Ness Avenue and hit the cyclist, who was headed east on 19th Street.
The police department’s initial investigation appears to confirm this: “The driver of the vehicle made a left turn at a high rate of speed, struck the bicyclist, and fled the scene,” Winters wrote.
Valdez also noted in his tweet that the car’s license plate was recovered on the scene by police, though the SFPD did not confirm this, citing an open investigation.
“It was awful,” said Horn. “It’s been getting crazier and crazier, people are getting hit all the time.”
Mission Local has reported on a series of other, sometimes fatal, hit-and-run collisions this summer: One pedestrian was killed by a driver running a red light on South Van Ness Avenue, a young woman was killed after a Mission Street car collision, and a car collision sent one car crashing into a 20th Street parklet in June.
“Sadly, our city leaders and agencies move at a snail’s pace when it comes to street projects and improvements, and they unfortunately lack bold courage in their decision making,” Valdez told Mission Local. “Each day that they delay or take their time, someone is going to get seriously hurt or die.”
Horn said she and her husband, Paul Miller, use their bicycles to travel between the two Royal Cuckoo locations, and they are “constantly thinking about” the frequency of collisions in the city. She echoed Valdez’s thoughts that San Francisco needs to do more to ensure street safety.
Just a few months ago, Horn and her 19th Street neighbors organized to support a regular customer, Alex Tamez, who was hit by a driver and went into a coma.
“Everyone who comes here is already traumatized from that,” Horn said, standing behind her bar on Tuesday afternoon. Within arms’ reach, she had a laminated photo of Tamez with her dog; before the February incident, they could be found at Royal Cuckoo every day.
Miller said Tamez is nearly recovered now, months later, but noted that, at the time of the crash, “they left her for dead.”
This is a breaking story and may be updated. Anyone with information is asked to call the SFPD Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. You may remain anonymous.