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San Francisco Lawyer Fatally Injured in Muni Bus Collision

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Scott Whitsett, 49, was killed in a San Francisco pedestrian accident after being hit by a Muni bus in the city’s Financial District the morning of April 21, 2010. According to a news report in The San Francisco Examiner, Whitsett had just stepped off the curb and onto the pavement of Mission Street, near Beale Street, when a Muni bus struck him. The impact of the collision pinned him under another Muni bus that was stopped at the intersection. Firefighters had to use hydraulic lifts and other equipment to extricate Whitsett. He was transported to a local hospital with critical injuries and died shortly after the accident.

My heart goes out to everybody who knew and loved Scott Whitsett. I offer my deepest sympathies to them, especially to his grieving family members. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

San Francisco Accident Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2008 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 16 fatalities and 790 injuries involving pedestrian accidents in San Francisco. Also, citywide, in 2008, 35 deaths and 3,577 injuries were reported as a result of all car accidents.

Driver Error?

If the details of this news report are accurate, it appears that one bus was stopped at the intersection. An ABC News report states that the driver of the second bus, Kimberly Johnson, has admitted to police that she accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake. Johnson has been a Muni operator since April 2008. This is the first Muni fatality of the year in San Francisco.

Liability Issues

Police are apparently looking at videos from both the buses along with other street surveillance cameras in order to determine what exactly happened here. The driver of both the buses have been put on administrative leave and are being subject to alcohol and drug testing, which is standard procedure in such cases. Muni pays out about $10 million annually for personal injuries, wrongful deaths and property damage caused by its vehicles.

In this particular case, I trust officials are determining whether this accident was caused by driver error, or occurred due to negligence or wrongdoing. If the bus driver is found to have caused this accident, she and her employer could be held liable for Whitsett’s wrongful death. In such cases, family members could file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation to cover funeral expenses, lost future wages, loss of love and companionship, and other related damages. Whitsett’s family would be well-advised to consult an experienced San Francisco personal injury lawyer, who will stay on top of this investigation and make sure that the family’s legal rights are protected.

What do you think Muni officials should do to make their vehicles safer and prevent these types of accidents?

The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.

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