A shocking bicycle accident occurred on October 18, 2013, in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood. The tragic accident occurred at the intersection of 11th, Bryant and Division Streets. This intersection is located beneath the Highway 101 overpass and is controlled by traffic lights. According to published reports, a male cyclist was struck by the MUNI bus that was making a right turn onto Bryant Street.
Tragically, the cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim has since been identified as 78-year-old San Francisco resident Cheng Jin Lai. At Matiasic Roth & Johnson LLP our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Lai’s family in their time of unimaginable grief and sadness.
San Francisco Police Detectives will conduct an investigation to determine why the bus driver failed to see the cyclist. Additionally, the operator of the bus will be given a toxicology screening to ascertain whether driver intoxication contributed to this deadly bicycle accident. A comprehensive bicycle accident investigation is necessary to determine if driver negligence or error contributed to this deadly accident.
Concerned residents have expressed their frustrations regarding this particular intersection. They have indicated that the intersection is dangerous and puts the safety of cyclists at risk. Local residents complain that intersection has poor sight lines, which cause vehicles to unsafely merge and transition from lanes. The intersection also seems to be poorly constructed and designed because the streets that compose the intersection meet at unusual angles. There is also concern that the traffic signal that controls the intersection may not have been properly phased. If a comprehensive bicycle accident investigation determines that this unsafe intersection was a substantial factor in causing this accident the City of San Francisco may be held liable.
This terrible accident exemplifies the dangers facing cyclists in San Francisco and cities throughout the State of California. Published reports indicate that this is the fourth fatal bicycle accident that has occurred in San Francisco in 2013. At Matiasic Roth & Johnson LLP we specialize in fighting for bicycle accident victims and their families. We have successfully represented bicycle accident victims in claims against negligent drivers, municipal transportation agencies, private companies and public entities.