San Francisco Fire Department says Cruise cars hindered life-saving efforts

The San Francisco Fire Department claims that a driverless vehicle impeded first responders' efforts to save a person's life.

In an incident report from Aug. 14, the fire department stated that two Cruise cars blocked an ambulance from leaving the scene of a crash at the intersection of 7th and Harrison Streets. At the scene is where firefighters found a person who had been struck by a car.


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After emergency personnel loaded the victim into an ambulance, they encountered delays attributed to two stalled Cruise vehicles, which hindered the ambulance's departure, according to the fire department. The person who was hit later died from their injuries.

The San Francisco Fire Department has cited this delay as a contributing factor to what they describe as a "poor outcome."

Cruise responded to the fire department's account of the events with the following statement: "On August 14 two Cruise AVs encountered an active emergency scene at an intersection in which a pedestrian had been hit by a human driven car. The first vehicle promptly clears the area once the light turns green and the other stops in the lane to yield to first responders who are directing traffic. Throughout the entire duration the AV is stopped, traffic remains unblocked and flowing to the right of the AV. The ambulance behind the AV had a clear path to pass the AV as other vehicles, including another ambulance, proceeded to do. As soon as the victim was loaded into the ambulance, the ambulance left the scene immediately and was never impeded from doing so by the AV."