City worker killed in SF tow truck accident was mother to toddler

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A city worker, who was a mother to a little girl, died after a vehicle slid off a tow truck and into the path of the worker Wednesday afternoon in San Francisco, a police spokeswoman said.

Just before 2:00 p.m., a black Buick was being loaded onto the bed of a Dodge flat-bed style tow truck on 28th and Diamond streets when it "slipped" and rolled back, police said. Three city employees on foot were involved. One woman was struck and transported with life-threatening injuries to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital where she died, hospital officials confirmed. 

The woman has been identified as 34-year-old Lilianna Preciado, a utility plumber. She was on a one-day job fixing a leak and replacing some pipe when the accident happened.

She joined the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission in 2012 as an apprentice utility plumber and after completing the apprentice program she was promoted to utility plumber, according to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. She leaves behind a toddler, her daughter who is almost three-years old. 

"We are beyond devastated to learn that we lost one of our own employees this afternoon," Harlan Kelly, general manager of the public utilities commission, said in a statement. 

Kelly added, "Lilianna was a dedicated public servant who proudly served as one of only a few female plumbers on our team. Out hearts and prayers are with her family, friends and coworkers tonight as we all mourn this terrible loss." 

"Our City family is mourning today following the death of Lilianna Preciado, a valued employee with the Public Utilities Commission," said Mayor Mark Farrell. "We are incredibly saddened anytime a member of the City family passes away, but it is particularly painful when an individual perishes while working on the behalf of San Francisco."

"Most sincere thoughts and deepest condolences are with the friends, family members and professional colleagues of Lilianna at this time."

A woman named Catherine, the owner of the car, told KTVU she called the tow truck because her car needed a new transmission. She said she watched as the tow- truck driver struggled to hook her car onto the inclined flatbed.  

The other two city employees involved escaped without being hit. It's unknown if the two were injured while evading the Buick, police said. 

Co-workers describe Preciado as always smiling, cheerful and a great person. 

Her crew, upset at the scene, gathered her phone, watch and other belongings to give to her parents. 

The collision is being investigated by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health and the San Francisco Department of Public Health. 

The tow truck driver cooperated with police. SFPD spokeswoman, Officer Grace Gatpandan said no one has been arrested.