One man was killed and three were injured after an accident involving a big rig and a UCSF shuttle bus in San Francisco‘s Hayes Valley neighborhood this morning, police said.
The accident, which occurred at Octavia and Oak streets at 6:20 a.m., happened when a Peterbilt tractor-trailer truck carrying four cars collided with the UCSF shuttle bus carrying employees to San Francisco General Hospital, police said.
A passenger on the shuttle bus was ejected from the vehicle and was being pinned underneath the big rig. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His name has not been released pending notification.
Additionally, three more shuttle bus passengers suffered injuries.
Details of the accident are still under investigation. Streets in the area have been blocked off as police investigate.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the big rig is leased to Mag Transportation LLC of Inman, S.C., and is operated and owned by a Massachusetts man, said a company dispatcher who identified the truck driver only as Victor.
Victor called the company after the crash, saying he had the green light on Octavia and that the shuttle bus had come from “out of nowhere,” said the dispatcher, who asked that his name not be used. “He tried to avoid it but he couldn’t,” said the dispatcher.
The truck driver was bringing in cars from Minneapolis. He has a “pretty clean record” and has been driving trucks for at least seven years, the dispatcher said. Victor bought the truck about a half year ago, he said.
“Definitely, I’m upset,” the dispatcher said. “I’m upset that it happened to him and that it happened to us.”
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who represents the area where the crash happened, said police had told him the shuttle bus was not equipped with seat belts. If the shuttle had been equipped with seat belts, Mirkarimi said, “it could have made a difference.”
UCSF officials had no immediate comment.
Mirkarimi said the crash underscores the sometimes dangerous conditions on Octavia Boulevard.
“I am acutely aware of the ongoing concerns generated by traffic and those trying to negotiate in and around Octavia,” Mirkarimi said. The area is “especially confusing to visitors in San Francisco,” such as out-of-state drivers, he said.
News of the crash was announced at the start of the UC Board of Regents meeting this morning in San Francisco. “It’s a very sad day,” said regents Chairwoman Sherry Lansing.
It was the second fatality involving a UCSF shuttle bus in the past year. In November, a shuttle bus struck and killed a 65-year-old Nu Ha Dam as she was crossing Geary Street at Leavenworth Street.
The shuttles in both fatalities were running the “blue” route from the Parnassus campus to San Francisco General, the UCSF Mission Bay campus and the university’s Mount Zion Hospital.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a big-rig truck accident contact the personal injury lawyers at the Alexander Law Group, LLP by email or call 888.777.1776. All calls free and confidential.