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Vigil held for 4-year-old girl killed in SF Mission Bay; Residents say intersection is unsafe

Mission Bay residents say intersection where 4-year-old girl was killed is a constant danger for ped
SF Mission Bay residents say intersection where 4-year-old girl was killed is unsafe 04:30

People moved by the tragic death of the 4-year-old girl killed near Oracle Park in San Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood brought flowers and candles Tuesday to honor her life and call attention to what they say is a difficult and dangerous intersection.

A white stroller memorialized the stroller carrying the victim, who was hit by a car as she crossed King Street with her parents.

San Francisco Police said the driver of a grey Mercedes SUV - identified as 71-year-old Karen Cartagena - has been arrested for three counts of failure to yield to pedestrians and vehicular manslaughter.

The father was left with life-threatening injuries. The driver was making a right from the center turn lane.

SFPD said to respect the family's request for confidentiality, they are not identifying the victims. The department did say they are not from the area.

"I cried, it's every mother's biggest nightmare coming true. It's horrible. our heart goes out to that family. We can't imagine what they feel like today," said Jodie Medeiros who runs Walk SF, a pedestrian safety group, that wants design changes made to the intersection at 4th and King Streets, which she said has been identified as one of the city's most dangerous.

"I mean here we are about to watch a man in a wheelchair," she pointed as a car trying to make a right turn came close to the pedestrian.

SFPD officers were at the scene Wednesday warning drivers to slow down as they turned onto the Interstate Highway 280 on-ramp.

While we were doing interviews we saw countless examples of cars and trucks inching toward pedestrians from the two right turn lanes.

"You just feel like you're taking your life in your hands," said longtime resident Bettina, who added she goes out of her way to avoid the intersection altogether. It's where Safeway customers, Caltrain commuters, Muni riders, residents, and often ball game pedestrians converge.

"This is madness, I go out of my way if I do come through here, I will want it to be at a different time of day, not at a rush hour," said Bettina.

"Maybe they have to look at this right turn here," said Maya, a resident who uses the crosswalk daily.

This is the 11th pedestrian death in San Francisco this year. Medeiros said the crash was more than just an accident.

"An accident is more like spilled milk, a crash is something that is decided upon. So the driver made a choice, even while the other driver was stopped, the other driver made a choice to go through that intersection," she said.

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