Driver arrested in crash that killed 4-year-old girl in San Francisco

A vigil was held Wednesday at the intersection of 4th and King Streets, the scene of a deadly pedestrian crash from the day before. Safety advocates say with a few critical changes at that intersection that that accident may never have happened.

San Francisco police are still investigating the circumstances of the deadly collision on Tuesday night. The victim, a four-year-old girl who was being pushed in a stroller with her mother and father through the intersection. 

The girl's father, who was also struck, was last reported to have life-threatening injuries. He was in the hospital while the mother was reported to be physically unharmed.

The driver, who San Francisco police have now identified as 71-year-old Karen Cartagena, remained on scene and was arrested. Police say drugs or alcohol don't appear to be a factor. 
Pedestrian safety advocates are saying this case, with such a young victim, is tragic. "We lose a lot of people every year in traffic crashes, especially pedestrians," said Marta Lindsey from Walk SF.

"But, this is a four-year-old girl. I mean, it's just not right."

Walk SF says the little girl's death was the 11th of the year. 

Lindsey says the intersection of 4th and King is already on their radar as being a dangerous one, with pedestrians coming and going to sporting events and traffic rushing to get on or off Interstate 280. "This has happened before, crashes are happening here all the time," said Lindsey. "So, those are the streets that need the most aggressive treatments by the city to really make is possible for someone to cross the street safely."

The organization says at this intersection King Street is broad, sending a signal to drivers to  they can speed up, and having two right turn lanes to the freeway is a recipe for disaster. Walk SF says the city needs to make changes here to make the intersection safer. "Reduce the lanes, no turn on reds," said Lindsey. "So, there's just reducing all kinds of opportunities for conflict. Pedestrians get their turns, drivers get their turns."

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San Francisco Giants fans Linda Schaffer and Carmel Stanovack were at Tuesday's game and saw the aftermath of the deadly crash. They say they know firsthand how walking these streets to and from the ballpark can be dangerous. "I say it every game we come to, too much speed," said Schaffer. "'What is the speed limit,' I asked a police officer today, and he said '35 miles per hour,' and I said 'well, they're not doing 35 miles per hour out here.'"

Both regularly walk the area near the ballpark, and say vehicles go too fast.  "It's sad to see all these cars how they're going so fast," said Stanovack. "35 miles per hour, they'd better put a lot of speed bumps in order to stop them. That's the only thing that's going to stop them."

Police did arrest Cartagena after the crash. She is facing three counts failing to yield to pedestrians and vehicular homicide.


Driver strikes family at SF intersection, kills little girl being pushed in stroller

A 4-year-old girl being pushed in a stroller was struck and killed by a vehicle in San Francisco on Tuesday evening, the police department confirmed.