Woman Killed By Muni in Castro District Friday Afternoon
A woman was struck and killed by a San Francisco Municipal Railway bus in the city's Castro District Friday afternoon, police said. The woman was heading west on 18th Street at about 2:30 p.m. when she crossed Hartford Street and was struck by the F-line shuttle that turned left onto Hartford Street from 18th Street, police said. The victim was about 90 percent of the way across the street when she was hit, causing fatal injuries, police said.
Paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene. The San Francisco medical examiner's office has not yet released her name. Hartford Street is a common route for the F-line shuttle, according to police. The driver remained at the scene and will be taking a chemical test, police said. The Police Department's Major Accident Investigation Team and Hit and Run Detail are investigating the accident.
Alameda County Deputy Charged With Misdemeanor
An Alameda County deputy probation officer has been charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter for striking and killing a bicyclist with her car on June 15 in Castro Valley, the District Attorney's Office said Friday. Eunique Wesley, 32, of San Francisco is scheduled to be arraigned in Alameda County Superior Court in Hayward on Sept. 23, according to District Attorney spokeswoman Teresa Drenick. The California Highway Patrol said Wesley was driving east on Fairmont Drive near Foothill Boulevard at about 9:40 a.m. on June 15 when she looked down, allowing her car to veer to the right.
The 1995 Honda Civic hit Timothy Bucher, a 56-year-old San Leandro man who was also traveling east on Fairmont Drive on his bicycle. He hit his head on the car's windshield before landing in the roadway, according to the CHP. Bucher was wearing his helmet but still suffered major injuries. He was taken to Eden Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, according to the CHP. Wesley was driving about 35 mph at the time of the collision, the CHP said. Probation Department officials did not respond to an inquiry about whether Wesley is continuing to work for the county. Dave Campbell, the program director for the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, said the bike group is working with the county's Public Works Department to put in bike lanes in the area where the accident occurred. "It's a wide and hilly road and there's plenty of room for bike lanes," Campbell said. "There's not a space issue."
John Ackley, a Marin County man who used to live in San Leandro and described Bucher as "one of my dearest friends," said he's a strong supporter of the proposal to put bike lanes on Fairmont Drive between Foothill Boulevard and Lake Chabot Road. Ackley said he believes bike lanes are needed because the section of Fairmont Drive where Bucher was killed lends itself to inattentive driving because it is so wide and lightly traveled.
LA Attorney Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison
Los Angeles attorney Susana Ragos Chung was sentenced Friday to five years' probation for her role in a widespread automobile insurance fraud scheme in the Bay Area that was dubbed "Phantom Menace," according to Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley. Chung was charged with 28 felony offenses following a long investigation into the scheme that was conducted jointly by the District Attorney's Office, the fraud division of the California Department of Insurance, and the California Highway Patrol. But on May 13, prosecutors agreed to allow Chung to plead no contest to only two felony counts of recklessly submitting fraudulent insurance claims.
The district attorney's office said that while Chung's plea agreement only involves two counts, her restitution order requires her to pay back insurance companies for 15 separate fraudulent claims. Prosecutors said Chung also has agreed to place herself on "inactive status" with the California State Bar pending its mandatory investigation into her felonious conduct, which may result in her disbarment. In addition to being placed on five years' probation, Chung was ordered to pay $117,562 in restitution to insurance companies along with a restitution fund fine of $235,124. O'Malley said that between 2003 and 2007 Chung participated in a fraud ring by submitting insurance claims for people who staged car accidents for profit.
She said the lawyer worked with "cappers," who are the people who orchestrated the phony collisions, body shops that inflated the amount of damage to vehicles, and chiropractors who provided cursory medical attention for occupants of the alleged accidents and then submitted inflated bills. The damage in the phony accidents was not from collisions but was intentionally caused by cappers, O'Malley said. Chung represented the claimants who alleged they were injured in the fake accidents, O'Malley said. The majority of the people Chung represented never met her and many did not even know they had an attorney, according to O'Malley. She said nearly 100 people have been convicted in Alameda County over the last several years as part of the conspiracy, including more than 90 "accident" participants, three chiropractors, and Norberto "Chito" Mora, who was Chung's primary capper in the Bay Area.
SF Mayor Lee, Oakland Mayor Quan Take Bets on NFL
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan agreed Friday to a wager on the preseason football game today between the 49ers and Raiders, Lee's office announced. Lee and Quan agreed the winning mayor's office would receive a package of the losing city's best food and treats. Quan's office will send Oakland wine, Vice chocolates and Blue Bottle coffee if the 49ers win. If the Raiders win, Lee's office will send Dungeness crab, assorted locally grown produce, Ghirardelli chocolate and Philz coffee. The 49ers defeated the Raiders twice last season, including in the annual preseason matchup between the Bay Area's two NFL teams. Today's game is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
San Leandro Man May Have Shot Himself, Officials Say
A man who claims he was shot in the groin on Wednesday might have actually shot himself while concealing a gun in his waistband, San Leandro police said Friday. The shooting was reported around 9 p.m. Wednesday, when a woman called 911 stating her friend had been shot on the 200 block of Haas Avenue, Lt. Jeff Tudor said. Officers responding to the area found a 24-year-old male who had suffered multiple gunshots to his groin.
The man said he was shot by suspects in a silver Toyota Camry while he was walking on the 900 block of East 14th Street. As he was being treated, an officer noticed there were no gunshot holes in the man's pants. When he was asked about this, the subject changed his story, saying he had been shot on Haas Avenue by two suspects who were chasing him on foot. Police now suspect the wounds were self-inflicted, but hope members of the public will help clear up what actually happened. "We are asking for the public's help and want to be contacted by anyone who witnessed the shooting," Tudor said. "We are not getting a lot of cooperation about what truly happened." The injured man was taken to a local hospital for treatment. No weapons were found at the scene.
Three Juveniles Shot on SF Street in Fillmore Neighborhood
Three male juveniles were shot on a San Francisco sidewalk in the city's Fillmore neighborhood Friday afternoon, a police spokesman said. Police responded to a shooting in the 1500 block of Eddy Street, which is between Fillmore and Steiner streets, at about 5:15 p.m., Sgt. Michael Andraychak said. Officers learned that the three male juveniles had been shot and that they had split up after the shooting, running to several different locations, Andraychak said. The three victims were transported by ambulance to the hospital with what Andraychak said were not believed to be life-threatening injuries. The unknown suspect or suspects reportedly fled the scene on foot. No arrests have been made, Andraychak said.
Man Wielding Loaded Shotgun Convicted
A man who pointed a loaded shotgun at his neighbor during a dispute over noise was convicted of brandishing a deadly weapon this week, the district attorney's office said Friday. Prosecutors said David Aviel, 31, was stomping on his apartment floor in the Parkmerced area on November 10, 2010, when his downstairs neighbor stepped out into the garden area of the apartment building and asked him to stop. The stomping continued, and the neighbor's guest also stepped outside and yelled at Aviel to stop, Assistant District Attorney Seth Steward said. The stomping only grew louder, and when the neighbor's guest stepped outside again, Aviel pointed a shotgun at him.
The neighbor stepped outside to see what was happening, thinking the gun was only a BB gun, but when Aviel pumped the shotgun, the guest pushed her back inside and told her to call 911. The guest remained out in the yard, zig zagging while Aviel tracked him with the shotgun barrel, Steward said. When police arrived and took Aviel into custody, they found that the shotgun had a live round in the chamber and four rounds in the magazine. Aviel had a three-day trial before Judge Anne-Christine Massullo, and was convicted by a jury on Wednesday Aug. 17 after less than four hours of deliberation, Steward said. Sentencing is scheduled to take place on Friday, Sept. 30. Aviel faces a maximum sentence of a year in county jail. -
Governor Brown Appoints Five to Statewide Boards
Governor Jerry Brown has appointed five people, including three from the Bay Area, to various statewide boards, the governor's office announced Friday. Piedmont's Dan Richard, 60, who will join the Board of the California High-Speed Authority, was BART's board president twice from 1992 to 2004. Richard helped lead the efforts to secure $4 billion in capital for the agency's expansion to San Francisco International Airport, system rehabilitation projects and seismic retrofit programs. He also served as PG&E's senior vice president of public policy and governmental relations from 1997 to 2006.
"His expertise will be a great contribution to the Board as it continues to provide oversight and direction in the year leading up to the construction on the statewide high-speed rail system," California High-Speed Rail Authority Board Chairman Thomas Umberg said in a statement. Palo Alto's Sharon Levine, 65, has been appointed to the Medical Board of California, Brown announced. She was been the associate executive director at Permanente Medical Group, Kaiser Permanente since 1991. Levine had also served as chief of pediatrics and chief of quality assurance between 1977 and 1991. Paul Benedetto and Anna Brannen, both of Elk Grove, have been appointed as deputy secretaries at the California Technology Agency. Joan Hancock, of Sacramento, has been appointed to the Contractors' State License Board.
Golden Gate Transit Bus Collides with Car in SoMa
A Golden Gate Transit bus collided with a car that ran a red light in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood Friday morning, police said. The bus was traveling south on Howard Street when the car ran a red light at the Fourth Street intersection and crashed into it at 8:54 a.m., police and Golden Gate Transit officials said.
The bus driver complained of back pain and was taken to a hospital, Golden Gate Transit spokeswoman Mary Currie said. The car was totaled in the crash, police said. The intersection was closed while San Francisco police and fire responded to the accident, but reopened by 9:57 a.m.
Bay Area Weather Report
Mostly cloudy skies are expected in the Bay Area today after patchy fog and drizzle in the morning become partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 50s are expected.
Partly cloudy skies are likely this evening becoming mostly cloudy with patchy fog and drizzle expected after midnight. Lows in the mid 50s are expected. Forecasters predict a cloudy Sunday morning becoming partly cloudy with patchy fog and drizzle. Highs in the upper 50 to mid 60s are anticipated. -0-