Teenage Girl Dies After March 15 Collision at Lake Merced

Madlen Koteva, 14, was walking with her mother and dog when a 91-year-old driver struck them.

A 14-year-old girl has succumbed to her injuries more than a week after a driver struck the pedestrian at Lake Merced.

Madlen Koteva was walking with her mother along Lake Merced at John Muir Drive on March 15 around 6:16 p.m., when a 91-year-old driver struck them. The 14-year-old Bulgarian native was sent to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

She remained in critical condition and succumbed to her injuries 10 days later, the medical examiner’s office confirmed Tuesday.

Koteva’s family launched a GoFundMe before the teenager passed asking to “please help my family through this hard time.” It raised more than $41,000 that will instead be used for the funeral service and medical bills.

“Our hearts are broken as we process that your lovely, vibrant Madlen has passed,” wrote the Rozen family on the GoFundMe. “Her exuberant smile and demeanor reached everyone in her proximity. Please know that we grieve along with you, and her memory will live on in our hearts.”

According to Bulgarian press, Koteva moved to the United States five years ago. The 14-year-old is one of 10 people — and sixth pedestrian — to die on San Francisco streets in 2019.

Board President Norman Yee acknowledged Koteva’s death during the Board of Supervisor’s meeting Tuesday. Yee, who was critically injured as a pedestrian several years ago and represents the Lake Merced area, was overcome with emotion and couldn’t finish his speech.

This story has been updated.

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