San Francisco is supposed to be a bicycle-friendly city with its many bike lanes, pro-bicycling traffic signs and laws and not to mention its many bicycle commuters and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. Cycling to work or just for errands is a great way to lower our carbon footprint while also getting great exercise.
I was very sorry to hear that a couple from Ohio vacationing in San Francisco died yesterday when the DeSoto taxi they were riding in crashed on an Interstate 280 off-ramp. In addition to the death of the two taxi passengers, the taxi driver was seriously injured, and two sheriff's deputies who helped pull the victims out of the car were hospitalized for smoke inhalation.
According to the CHP, the couple was on the way from SFO to the Mark Hopkins hotel on Nob Hill when the cab's brakes apparently failed. The taxi cab crash was reported at 10:57 a.m. at the Mariposa Street off-ramp from northbound I-280. The woman passenger was pronounced dead at San Francisco General Hospital shortly after the crash, and the man died at about 4:20 p.m. The taxi driver was seriously injured but left the hospital. The cause of the accident appears to have been failed brakes. The taxi driver said that he had smelled smoke as he was driving on the highway and that the brakes failed as he took the Mariposa off-ramp. The driver said he also tried to use the emergency parking brake to stop, but that did not work either and the taxi ended up crashing into a highway support beam and catching fire, before it hit a steel support fence. The taxi was a Dodge Intrepid from the DeSoto Cab Co. and was registered in San Francisco.