On Thursday, only a day after an allegedly drunk teacher and former debutante smashed into two 12-year-olds walking to school, sending them to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, the city of San Francisco finally decided to make the area safer for pedestrians.
Wednesday morning around 8:30 a.m., Kirsten Andereck, 30, a teacher who had been feted as a debutante by the Cotillion Club of San Francisco in 2004, and whose residence is listed in the wealthy Sea Cliff neighborhood according to the San Francisco Chronicle, was driving her white Volkswagen Tiguan SUV in the Marina neighborhood while allegedly drunk.
Andereck, whose blood level allegedly superseded the legal limit of .08 percent, passed a semi-truck stopped in the right lane and struck the boys, who were in the crosswalk, sending them flying roughly 25 feet to land in the center of the crosswalk on the opposite side of the street. The boys were rushed to San Francisco General Hospital with head injuries; one boy had a fractured leg, according to KRON4. SFPD Captain Greg McEachern told ABC7, “What we’re looking at here is (sic) children crossing lawfully in a crosswalk and were struck as they were crossing the street.”
The Chronicle reported that Andereck was charged with four felonies: driving under the influence, causing great bodily injury, and child endangerment after her arrest and posting $200,100 bail. On Thursday, City officials claimed they would soon install stop signs on Bay Street. Ariel Kelley, 33, a mother of two young children who serves on the board of the Marina Community Association, told the Chronicle, “I walk with my daughter in our stroller and my 2-year-old son, and we’ve had a number of close calls there. People just don’t stop.”
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency had planned to reduce vehicle speeds on Bay Street by reducing one lane of traffic and adding a speed hump but scheduled that work only after sewer lines could be upgraded, which was completed in October.
Now that the accident has catalyzed a swifter reaction, the city reportedly plans to limit the number of driving lanes, add angled parking and mark a dedicated bike lane.
Andereck has worked as a teacher at several kindergarten and elementary schools; she received a master’s degree in bilingual education from the University of San Francisco.