The aftermath of a Thursday evening sideshow on 22nd St. Photo by Elizabth Creely

A driver spun out of control Wednesday evening in the Mission District, leaving mangled cars in his wake — as well as a neighborhood of shaken residents who say traffic accidents and reckless driving are getting worse as noted by Phil Votaw & Associates.

The driver of a blue sports car was seen doing donuts in the intersection at 21st and Alabama streets before abruptly reversing direction and driving south down the street, according to multiple eyewitnesses who declined to give their names.

Video obtained by Mission Local shows the driver entering the intersection of 22nd and Alabama at approximately 5:37 p.m., before accelerating sharply down the street and into a parked car.

Skid marks at the scene mark the driver’s chaotic trajectory onto the sidewalk in front of 2835 22nd St., after hitting the parked car and almost striking two pedestrians, who are seen running away from the crash in the video. A black car, possibly driven by a man who later claimed to be the driver’s uncle, is seen following the suspect. 

Eyewitnesses, including this writer, later saw the suspect exit the damaged car and run north on Alabama Street. 

The driver of this totaled car engaging in sideshow driving fled on foot. Photo by Elizabeth Creely.

The driver, who has not been identified, careered down the sidewalk, side-swiping a second car, before smashing into the back of an SUV owned by a woman who gave her name as Marita. 

Nelly Perez, who lives at the northeast corner of 22nd and Florida streets, was at a nearby park with her young daughter when she received a frantic call from her husband, Miguel. 

“Me and my daughter were at Parque Niños Unidos. We were there for five minutes, and then I got a call from my husband. He said, ‘Come home, come home; our car has been hit,’” said Perez, who was visibly shaken.

“My husband was in the house. He saw the guy coming down Alabama, and doing circles in the intersection, and then he saw him hit our car.”

Robert and Jacob Thumas, who live on 22nd Street, heard the commotion and ran outside. 

“We heard the accident first,” said Robert Thumas “After that, we came outside to look. We saw the car, and then remembered we had a Ring video.” 

YouTube video

Thumas feels that reckless driving has worsened on 22nd Street.

“These wide streets are known for people doing donuts on.  I feel like it used to happen more at 2 or 3 in the morning, but now it’s happening in the afternoon. There’s no concern,” he said. 

“There’s  two schools right here. A teacher died down there just a couple months ago,” he said, gesturing towards Harrison and 22nd streets, where Abraham Joshua, a teacher at Mission Preparatory School, was killed by the driver of a large truck last March. 

Thumas, along with other eyewitnesses, were later verbally accosted by a man who said he was the suspect’s uncle. 

Police on the scene and a crowd gathers as a driver smashed up cars and sent onlookers running on 22nd St. on Aug. 18. Photo by Elizabeth Creely.

The man, who is unidentified, arrived at the scene of the accident shortly afterward, and immediately became verbally hostile to the owners of the cars that were struck by the suspect, threatening them and telling them to stop talking. 

“All of you stop talking right now. I’m his uncle,” he said. “I know the driver. He’s my nephew. Shut the fuck up and let the police do their job!” 

Witnesses later claimed the man had been driving behind the suspect through the neighborhood, an allegation supported by the video. 

The man ultimately drove away, but not before physically threatening Thumas for sharing his video with the police.

“He called me a gentrifier,” said Thumas. “Please. I’ve lived here for 27 years. My great-grandparents owned this house. This isn’t a gentrification thing. This is a safety thing. It sounds like that guy doesn’t care about the neighborhood. And anyway, we all witnessed it. What is he going to do? Take on all 50 of us? I get he feels defensive because he knows the person who did this. But I can’t believe that he doesn’t get that driving like that threatens people’s lives.’”

At least one neighbor linked the crash with San Francisco’s longstanding Vision Zero policy.

“Cars drive super fast through that stop sign,” said Doug, who lives with his wife Anne near the southwest corner of 22nd and Florida streets.  “We have this Vision Zero policy, and the city says it wants zero pedestrian deaths, but it’s done nothing to deter reckless driving.” 

Steve Fong, a mystery writer and cyclist, often uses 22nd Street to commute. He also feels that reckless drivers are out of control. 

“I am very disturbed by the traffic violence,” Fong said. “It’s an epidemic. You might think that 22nd Street would be immune to this kind of thing, but obviously not.”

Update, Aug. 19: Police offered the following narrative of yesterday’s incident:

On August 18, 2022 at approximately 5:40pm, San Francisco Police Officers assigned to Mission Station responded to 22nd Street and Alabama Street on a report of a vehicle collision in which one of the drivers had fled the scene.  

Officer arrived on scene and located witnesses and several damaged vehicles. Officers were told that a vehicle was driving at a high rate of speed when it collided with several parked vehicles. The driver of the vehicle got out and fled the scene on foot.  

No arrests have been made and this remains and open and active investigation. 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. 

Photo by Elizabeth Creely.

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  1. I find it interesting that some people always want to take other people’s rights away. Here we have a city with maybe 800,000 car drivers and when a very very few bad actors do something bad, as in this article, the anti-car people fall all over themselves in saying here is an example to take the rights away from everyone else who is doing something I don’t like. We should be more inclusive and not exclusive in SF. Please comment to this but please be polite, seems we are loosing politeness in our SF Culture, let’s renew it.

    1. Literally no one in these comments is proposing to take anyone’s rights. Driving is not a right, it’s a privilege. Adding features that encourage drivers to slow down isn’t depriving them of any rights.

  2. There’s a lot of school near by.
    This crazy driver’s can cause an accident and kill some innocent people.

  3. Stupid people making excuses for doing stupid shit. They could’ve taken their sports car to larger parking lot or something, at least then they wouldn’t be bothering and endangering anyone else.

  4. Every intersection with stop signs, like most on 22nd St, should have raised crosswalks and bulbouts. We need to stop *asking* motorosts to stop (which is all a stop sign does) and start *forcing* them too (which is what raised crosswalks do). This is a tenet of Vision Zero (don’t ask people to drive carefully or rely on police to enforce the laws, but design the infrastructure assuming drivers will operate their vehicles irresponsibly) and it would significantly reduce grown men (and it’s nearly always men) using our streets as playgrounds for their dangerous “toys”. In the meantime, while we wait for the infrastructure that SFMTA refuses to provide even though it is basically mandated by their own Vision Zero and Transit First policies, it’s really disappointing how useless SFPD has become in preventing reckless driving by catching these guys. This street is also a bicycle thoroughfare so it’s crazy nobody was hurt.

  5. It’s a 1986 Ford Mustang 5.0 GT that is track ready: very large air intake, quick release hood, race steering wheel, race gauges, race seat, roll cage and who knows what tuning.

    The fleeing driver stashes his something-or-the-other (I’m guessing cocaine on this one) in the open sidewalk square at minute 0:50.

    1. Everybody on here sounds like they ain’t grew up in the mission or any were in the city I was born 1991 I was tought to look both ways and pay attention to the cars if you hear or see a car burning out or doing donuts you hide behind some kind of object to protect yourself and run the other way if the car comes at you this isn’t the subburbs this the inner city there’s rules to survival in any inner city in the world no matter your color of skin now everybody asking sfpd to stop us “sideshow clubs” are gonna be the same people to complain when somebody gets killed because sfpd decide to chase a car for leaving some tire marks on the streets that will come off in a couple months let’s be honest what American doesn’t love hearing a V8 laying down some rubber and if you’re a women at one point in your life you either wanted to be in the car or date one of us car guys just because y’all men and women grew old and realized some stuff isn’t safe or you never got to experience it you shouldn’t try to ruin it for the rest of the youth as far as the driver we always said you get a ticket deserve it and that he did lmfao plus I’m pretty sure he ain’t even had a Licence but that’s just my guess 😂 but shout out the Candlestick Boyz rip s2k chele hope everybody reading this supports there cause of steering the youth away from drugs and violence and instead inspire them to work hard have nice cars and bikes and have fun just like we did at candlestick park befor they took our land mark that brought San Francisco together as 1 as well as near by cities like SSF and so on if you have no bars at driving please go practice at and empty parking lot so this doesn’t happen

      1. BS. They’ll find the kid that crashed the Ford and insurance is going to see to it that they’ll be made whole. So, the kid’s going to have his wages garnished, which means the kid’s not going to take up a proper job, ever. Is that your idea of “steering the youth”?

  6. The uncle sounds like a piece of work. To actually threaten the neighborhood victims is unbelievable. His nephew was driving a suped up car and it was too much for him. The uncle should be offering to pay for the smashed cars.

  7. Bicycle-friendly streets would attract less crazy car drivers and, sadly, mission district ain’t safe for bicycle riders. From Valencia street to South Van Ness to Folsom to Potrero is all unsafe and no protected bicycle lane. Of course, car drivers would speed and damage other people’s property in these needlessly wide streets. Make protected bike lanes and less car traffic will follow!

    1. I agree we need more bicycle-friendly streets, but 22nd St is not wide at all and reckless drivers can cause havoc on streets of all widths.

  8. It’s a good thing that the SF-BOS wants to stop the police from pulling over these reckless drivers. Why should there be any restrictions on these car “entusiasts”? Why do we even have stop signs?

  9. SFPD won’t do anything if the sideshows/reckless driving happen in neighborhoods that “deserve” it.

    Buchanan and Eddy is regular venue for this dangerous “fun.” A year or so ago, a car did plow into a light post. Damage was severe, but the driver managed to abandon the car and other people unloaded whatever was in the car and trunk.

    Responding to an email sent to then-Supervisor Breed’s office, SFMTA declined any intervention to calm the streets. They wouldn’t even consider raising the cross walks across Buchanan Street and adding bulb outs that would make donuts much more difficult if not impossible to do at the intersection. According to the SFMTA hack who responded to the forwarded email, SFFD would be unable to race down Eddy Street because, somehow, raised sidewalks parallel to their route of travel would require them to slow to a crawl or else flip over. Of course, the double parked cars on Eddy and on Buchanan are not cause for concern, even though someone died in a house fire in that location. There were so many illegally parked cars blocking the street and the sidewalk that, to put it mildly, first responders’ access to the apartment on fire was difficult.

    The Mission (at least some parts of it) get no more government services (in the form of creating and maintaining safe street conditions) than does the Fillmore.

    1. Donuts in the intersection? There’s a strikingly simple fix: Bott’s dots in the intersection. Oakland’s been doing this a year ago on McArthur. BTW, don’t do the roundabouts that have popped up over the last couple of years, they squeeze out bicyclists and unnecessarily push traffic deeper into neighborhoods. 20th Ave and Ulloa as an example.

      1. Yes, but installing such a simple solution was beyond SFMTA’s skill set. The original email to Breed didn’t say the only option is raised sidewalks. The SFMTA hack who said nothing could (would) be done to reduce/prevent donuts at that location was probably familiar with them at the time. The hack’s solution of doing nothing wasn’t much of a solution. Quite simply, SFMTA didn’t (and now, almost ten years later, still doesn’t) want to do anything at that intersection.

      2. I’ve seen exhibition driving in all sorts of intersections all over the city. To try to prevent donuts with Botts dots everywhere would suck up a lot of resources. And those dots can cause problems for bikes, motorcycles, skaters, scooters…especially when it’s raining

  10. What is the SFPD’s policy on handling these side shows including one driver spinning out and risking lives?

    1. They will do absolutely nothing and when asked why they will whine about “under staffing” and “morale” even though every single officer is taking home a minimum of $103,116 before overtime.

      1. It’s dangerous to try and stop a sideshow in progress. Almost impossible without people getting hurt. I think the priority for the police is people’s safety. So they record the event and find the car owners through the DMV system later. It’s not as satisfying as a big bust, but it’s probably more responsible.

  11. I live a few blocks from there and I’m fed up with guys coming to our neighborhood and doing donuts. Robert is right that they come in the afternoon too now. A guy did donuts at 21st and Hampshire the other day around the same time, the skid marks are still there. Hillary Ronen, SFMTA, and SFPD need to come up with a plan for traffic calming because it’s a public safety issue. These guys come into our neighborhood and cause damage in a residential area where families deserve to walk around without getting hit by a car or have their own cars smashed up.

  12. I was on the sidewalk at that hour and heard the screeching. The guy in the car drove right by me.I can only describe him as looking completely unhinged. His driving was so bold and wreckless that it appeared to me that he was looking for an altercation with people or police. I feel as though he was trying deliberately trying to provoke police or that he might try to plow people down on the sidewalk. I immediately called my husband and made sure he and my kid were inside.

    1. 100% agree. It was one car doing donuts and driving recklessly in broad daylight. It can hardly be called a sideshow.
      It seems like maybe the Uncle was also concerned. “…let the police do their job.”

  13. Look at the photo showing the cars interior—the car has a roll cage installed. Looks like a customized racer. I think the driver “borrowed” the car and couldn’t control the power. There’s a whole bunch of YT videos of inexperienced drivers crashing their supercars Lamborghinis etc. They all fishtail in a similar way as in the video of this incident. Sure sideshow and drift drivers know how to control their slip from loss of traction. I think this driver got in a car they couldn’t handle.