San Francisco news reports that one person died and another suffered serious personal injuries after an SUV crashed into a group of outdoor diners. According to reports, several individuals were dining outdoors, in a temporary “al fresco” dining space set up outside a shopping mall. The initial investigation indicates that the man driving the vehicle may have accidentally hit the accelerator, rather than the brake, sending his vehicle into the crowd of people. Eight people were taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for minor to serious personal injuries. A woman was declared brain dead shortly after arrival. The driver may have suffered a medical emergency during the incident as well.
As the pandemic has increased “al fresco” dining, and the increased use of parking lots, sidewalks, and streets for expanded outdoor dining, anecdotal evidence shows an increase in car accidents/diner incidents as drivers adjust to new conditions. As such, cities and municipalities have worked to come up with guidelines and regulations, as well as support, for restaurants who wish to participate in outdoor dining. This includes safety assistance such as providing barriers to protect diners and parameters for seating. Compounding this tragedy, early reports incident that the restaurant had not registered for a permit, which may have provided an additional support in ensuring the patron’s safety.
The investigation into the driver and the restaurant continues.
For more information, or if you or a loved one has suffered any type of serious personal injury, please contact the dedicated San Francisco personal injury attorneys at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.