The passengers were Dennis and Karen Marshall of Columbia Township. They arrived in San Francisco on Monday and hailed a cab at the airport to take them to their hotel.cab driver, Fageh Hassan Behbahani, 49, of Daly City, is now under criminal investigation for not pulling over when he first smelled smoke 2 miles before the crash.
Behbahani told investigators he and the Marshalls smelled smoke in his DeSoto Cab Co. taxi as he passed Candlestick Park while driving north on Highway 101 Monday morning, taking the Marshalls from the airport to the Mark Hopkins hotel on Nob Hill.
What the CHP needs to determine now is whether an average or so-called “reasonable” person would have pulled over right away or would have kept driving.
As a San Francisco injury lawyer, with a lot of experience handling taxi cab accidents one of the problems I identified with this case yesterday was that many of the taxi drivers employed in San Francisco have very little training. According to the CHP, Behbahani has a valid driver’s license and a clean record, but he has worked for DeSoto for just six months. Further, city taxi drivers do not usually receive any continuing education about safety or defensive driving. While an average person may not have pulled over after smelling smoke for two miles, I do not think it is too much to ask that taxi drivers, who are responsible for the safety of their passengers, be given instruction about what steps to take in a situation like this.
I further noted that many of the cabs on the street are not well-maintained. The cab that crashed passed an inspection in January at the permit processing unit at San Francisco International Airport. That maintenance record will have to be reviewed, but even if the vehicle was maintained properly, what about training drivers to recognize risks? What about instruction in defensive driving when emergencies such as failed brakes occur?
DeSoto released a statement saying DeSoto extended condolences to the victims’ families, but declined to comment on the crash or the investigation. It is sad but true that it will take a lawsuit before DeSoto will tell us what really caused this crash.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of the Marshalls.
We are 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 a reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free confidential consultation to “not at fault” persons named in this article and their family members.