San Francisco teen girl killed by alleged DUI driver

March 4, 2013 6:31:27 PM PST
A young life was taken far too soon when a Bay Area teenager was killed by a suspected drunk driver. Hanren Chang, 17 and a student at Lowell High School, was hit by a car as she was crossing Sloat Boulevard late Saturday night. The intersection is typically very busy and dangerous, but neighbors say the tragedy could have been avoided.

Some of Chang's classmates and closest friends went to place flowers at the intersection where Chang was struck. Her friends were surprised to see the young girl's father there. He went to warn them of this dangerous intersection. "I just learned it's my daughter, actually, is a victim here," Wenhan Chang said.

Chang said his daughter was out Saturday night celebrating her birthday. She got off the bus and was crossing the intersection when police say she was hit by 29-year-old Kieran Brewer. "I asked the police officer, 'Did somebody get hit?' I told her, 'I'm waiting for my daughter to come back.' They asked, 'What's her name?' I told her the name and they said, 'She is on the way to San Francisco General Hospital,'" he recalled.

The driver was arrested at the scene. "He was arrested for felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter," Officer Gordon Shyy said.

Chang's friends remember her as an excellent runner on the track team, a happy person, and a good friend. "She always made me laugh and she had this kind of humor. I got her humor and she got my humor," Sophia Li said.

"She inspires me. I don't know what else to say. I'm numb right now," another girl said.

"I know it will be heartbreaking for a lot of people. I just thought it would be great to come out and pay my respects," Christopher Gantan said.

The very busy intersection has no stoplights. Neighbors there say that while there are pedestrian crossing signs, few cars stop. "They clearly say 'Stop' and no one ever stops," one woman said.

"For the protection of the kids here, something's got to be done," Chang said.

San Francisco Supervisor Katie Chang said Monday that three intersections on Sloat Boulevard will be improved to increase pedestrian safety. They are the intersections of Sloat and Everglade, Forrest View, and 23rd Avenue. Nonetheless, neighbors in the area would like to see a traffic light at the intersection where Hanren was killed.


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