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SF driver arrested in bizarre hit-and-run that killed 1, injured 4
A man was arrested Wednesday in San Francisco after a morning
hit-and-run crash killed one person and injured four others in
the Dogpatch neighborhood, police said.
But the circumstances of the case remained murky, with police
saying that the driver “struck five subjects with his vehicle”
after a dispute and fight in the street.
One man hit by the vehicle died from his injuries at noon, said
Brent Andrew, a San Francisco General Hospital spokesman. Three
of the injured were in serious condition and another in fair
condition, Andrew said.
Police said the driver, who was not identified, barreled into
the pedestrians at about 10:30 a.m. near Illinois and 24th
Sources familiar with the investigation told The Chronicle that
police are investigating whether the victims were hit after they
tried to break into the driver’s vehicle. But a man who
witnessed the incident said the driver was clearly the aggressor.
he industrial area where the incident took place was listed as a
hot spot for auto burglaries in a recent Chronicle investigation.
Officer Robert Rueca, a San Francisco police spokesman,
confirmed the arrest but said he was not aware of an auto
burglary being connected to the hit-and-run.
The vehicle was traveling north on Illinois when it hit the five
people on the sidewalk, according to police radio
communications. At one point during the incident, the driver
reportedly got out of the vehicle carrying an ax.
“There is a major incident going on at 24th and Illinois,” a
dispatcher said. “Suspect with an ax, probably some people
Police officers converged on the scene and blocked off the roads.
A man who said he had been walking his dog 25 feet from the
crash, and declined to be identified, said the driver yelled at
the other men and repeatedly used a homophobic slur.
“They literally said, ‘Hey, how you doing?’” the witness said.
“This guy (the driver) is crazy as can be. He goes off and just
The dog-walker said that after the driver took an ax out of the
vehicle, the men fought him off by hitting him with a belt
before taking the ax away and chasing him back to the van.
The group continued walking on the sidewalk, the witness said.
The driver swore and angrily started the vehicle too quickly, he
said, killing the engine. The five men laughed, the witness said.
He said the driver started the car again and made a three-point
“Guy goes full throttle and plows them down,” the witness said.
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