Kids on field trip hurt when streetcar rear-ends bus in San Francisco

June 12, 2013 6:28:15 PM PDT
Some frightening moments for a group of local kids when the San Francisco Muni bus they were riding was rear-ended by a streetcar. It happened at 6th and Market streets as the children were on their way to a field trip.

It's a field trip the kids will probably never forget. But fortunately for those who were hurt, it's mostly bumps and bruises.

When Genero Jiminez picked up his children from the Vision Academy summer camp in the Bayview Wednesday afternoon, he knew they would have quite a story to tell.

"They said they're okay, I mean, it's kinda scary," he said.

His boys were among 31 kids on a field trip heading to San Francisco's Cable Car Museum when two other modes of Muni transportation collided on busy Market Street around 11 a.m. Their 9L-San Bruno bus was rear-ended by one of the city's historic F-line streetcars, which Muni says was travelling about ten miles per hour. It was still hard enough to jostle passengers aboard both vehicles.

Harold Day, who said he witnessed the collision while walking across Market Street toward UN Plaza, said the eastbound 9L bus was stopped and the streetcar was moving east slowing when it rear-ended the bus.

He said he saw people on the bus get tossed around by the impact. And though he didn't see anyone with visible injuries, he saw a girl crying and a man comforting her.

"I saw a little girl really traumatized, seemingly she was crying for her mom and dad," Day said.

Fifteen people were taken to local hospitals.

"Very minor to moderate injuries," SFFD Lt. Mindy Talmadge said. "None of the children were injured seriously."

The vintage streetcars and trolleys come from all over the world. This one, which dates back to the 1940s, is from Dallas, and just began operating in San Francisco this year.

"We do constant preventative maintenance on these vehicles, including checking brakes and all the safety procedures to make sure they're in good working order," Muni spokesperson Paul Rose said. "But we'll look at that as well in our investigation."

Both the bus and the street car have cameras, so the video may help determine what happened. The children waited for the scene to clear by visiting a small art gallery nearby, then hopped on another Muni bus to head back to the Bayview.

Both drivers suffered moderate injuries. Officials say they'll be placed on non-driving status and tested for drugs and alcohol, as is protocol.

(Bay City News contributed to this report.)


Load Comments