Elderly Pedestrian Dies Days After Potrero Hill Collision

Jesus Ocampo is the 17th pedestrian or cyclist to die in San Francisco in 2019 thus far.

An elderly man succumbed to brain injuries from a Potrero Hill collision last week, the medical examiner confirmed Friday.

The driver of a sedan struck Jesus Ocampo on Nov. 2 around 8:45 a.m., leaving him with a critical brain injury on 16th and De Haro streets. He was transported to the nearby Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

Police did not arrest the driver, described as a 39-year-old man.

But by Friday, he succumbed to his injuries, Bay City News reports. He was 77 years old.

“We grieve yet another life lost to traffic violence,” said Jodie Medeiros, executive director of pedestrian advocacy group Walk San Francisco. “We hold the loved ones of the victim close in our thoughts.”

Ocampo marks the 26th person to die in a traffic-related incident in 2019 so far, by SF Weekly‘s count. This surpasses the 23 deaths in all of 2018, slipping further away from San Francisco’s Vision Zero goals.

He was also hit just two days after 69-year-old Pilsoo Seong was killed by a driver in the Mission District on Halloween.

While Ocampo was fighting to survive, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution to declare a state of emergency for pedestrian and cyclist fatalities. Ocampo marks the 17th death that fits under that category.

The resolution urges, though not forces, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to prioritize street safety improvements. This includes doubling the number of red-light cameras, re-timing traffic lights, letting pedestrians cross an intersection in all directions (known as a scramble) and extending the sidewalk (known as bulb-outs).

Earlier this year, the SFMTA began a “quick build” program to immediately implement 15 projects, like painting traffic signs, through 2020 and has completed several so far.

“It’s clear we have a public health crisis happening on our streets today in terms of traffic safety,” said Medeiros. “Having the entire Board of Supervisors officially recognize this earlier this week was huge. Now we’ll be making sure they take action that’s commensurate to the crisis.”

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