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SF Police Arrest Driver For New Year's Eve Collision That Killed Girl In Tenderloin

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- San Francisco police Thursday released the name of the man arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter for a pedestrian collision on New Year's Eve that killed a 6-year-old girl and and left her mother clinging to life.

Syed Muzzafar, 57, of Union City, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk for striking 6-year-old Sophia Liu at about 8 p.m.
Tuesday at Polk and Ellis streets in the city's Tenderloin neighborhood.

Sophia, a woman and another child were in a crosswalk when Muzzafar allegedly turned right and struck them, police spokesman Officer Gordon Shyy said.

Sophia succumbed to her injuries at San Francisco General Hospital while the woman suffered life-threatening injuries and the other child is expected to survive, police said.

Supervisor Jane Kim, whose district includes the Tenderloin, said the other two victims were Sophia's mother and brother and that the motorist identified himself as a driver with the transportation company Uber which matches passengers with private cars via a smartphone app.

"As we start the new year, we as drivers must take our responsibility with care," Kim wrote. "Pedestrian deaths are senseless and avoidable."

The company issued a statement saying the collision did not involve a vehicle making a trip with a passenger on Uber, but said it could not confirm whether the driver was associated with the company.

"Our policy is to immediately deactivate any Uber partner involved in a serious law enforcement matter," the statement said.

"For that reason, we urge the police to release information about the driver in question as soon as possible. If the driver is a partner of Uber, his or her Uber account will immediately be deactivated," the statement said.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Susan Fahey said Muzzafar was booked into custody early Wednesday morning and was released after posting bail at about 11 p.m.

Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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