A man has been taken into custody on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter for fatally striking a 6-year-old girl in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood on New Year’s Eve, a police spokesman said today. The girl, identified by the medical examiner’s office as San Francisco resident Sophia Liu, was struck along with another child and a woman at about 8 p.m. Tuesday at Polk and Ellis streets, police said. Sophia was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The woman suffered life-threatening injuries while the other child is expected to survive, police said. The three were in a crosswalk when a vehicle turning right struck them, police spokesman Officer Gordon Shyy said. Shyy said the driver, whose name is not yet being released, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter following the collision. Supervisor Jane Kim, whose district includes the Tenderloin, wrote on Facebook that the other two people struck by the car were Sophia’s mother and brother.
“As we start the new year, we as drivers must take our responsibility with care,” Kim wrote. “Pedestrian deaths are senseless and avoidable.” Kim wrote that the motorist identified himself as a driver with the transportation company Uber, which matches passengers with private cars via a smartphone app. The company issued a statement saying the collision did not involve a vehicle making a trip with a passenger on Uber, but said it could not confirm whether the driver was associated with the company.
“Our policy is to immediately deactivate any Uber partner involved in a serious law enforcement matter,” the statement said. “For that reason, we urge the police to release information about the driver in question as soon as possible. If the driver is a partner of Uber, his or her Uber account will immediately be deactivated,” the statement said.
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