New statistics show more than 500 pedestrians have been injured or killed in San Francisco in 2013. While those numbers are on pace to be a slight improvement over 2012, safety advocates say there’s still a long way to go.
According to the numbers gathered by San Francisco Police, 529 pedestrians were injured and another 13 were killed through October 22, 2013. 594 were injured and 16 were killed over the same period of time last year.
The numbers work out to about two pedestrians hit a day.
One victim who survived his injuries is small business owner Soren Krogh-Jensen. He was hit by a black SUV in March when he was crossing 2nd Street at Townsend Street. Almost nine months later, he’s still suffering the effects of a brain injury, with no sense of smell or taste.
“Really, I wake up, there’s nothing. Either it’s mushy or it’s crunchy, whatever I eat,” said Krogh-Jensen.
Despite, the slight decline in pedestrians hit in 2013, safety advocates with Walk San Francisco say there’s more work to be done. Executive Director Nicole Schneider argues that many injuries go unreported.
“We see that there are more people in the hospital than are in those collision reports,” said Schneider.
Personal injury attorney Dale Minami told KTVU he’s handling more vehicle vs. pedestrian cases now than he’s ever had in 42 years of practice.
“I first started seeing this phenomenon in Japan Town and these elderly Japanese-Americans were getting creamed in the streets,” said Minami. “And then I saw the same phenomenon repeated in Chinatown and then it became epidemic around the city.”
Michael Hanna is one of Minami’s clients who considers himself lucky. He was hit by a red light runner on California Street in November of 2012, but he was not seriously injured.
“I feel like if I were even just a little shorter or had taken one more step, I would be under the truck instead of here,” said Hanna. “It’s scary.”
The driver who’s accused of hitting Krogh-Jensen, triathlete Meredith Kessler, is now facing a felony hit and run charge for leaving the scene of the accident.
“Based on what I’ve been through, it’s only fair that justice is served,” said Krogh-Jensen.