Two hurt by wind-driven debris in San Francisco

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Two people were injured after being hit by wind-driven debris in San Francisco Sunday afternoon, according to fire officials. (KGO-TV)

The strongest wind gusts San Francisco has experience in 10 months, blew over a large chain-link construction fence in the Mission District Sunday.

According to San Francisco Police officers on scene, the fence fell on two people crossing the street at 23rd Street and San Jose Avenue around 2:15 in the afternoon. According to the National Weather Service, that's around the same time wind gusts peaked, at almost 40 miles per hour, in San Francisco.

"It did not surprise me because the winds are really heavy and I know from living in this area, it can get pretty bad," says Eli Zaturanski who saw the aftermath of the accident.

After the accident, workers were seen taking down the fence, which had a green privacy tarp attached and plywood nearby, which police say may have helped the wind catch the fence. The fence was wrapped around a large luxury condo building, called 1188 Valencia, which neighbors say has been under construction for years.

"I've lived here just over a year and the construction has been there a long time, so it's kind of become a permanent fixture," says Sarah Sitts who lives directly across the street from the building.

Employees at the building told ABC7 Sunday night that they had "no comment."

Denise Lew was walking by the area shortly after the accident and says she saw the victims, "a man and a woman on the street and the man had blood on his chest. It looked like something fell on top of him and there were a bunch of people around him helping. He was moving and talking, it looked like he was struggling and in some pain."

Cell phone video shows the 68-year-old man, who was hit by the fence, sitting on the ground while firefighters help him. Police say he has a traumatic brain injury and is in the ICU at San Francisco General after getting out of surgery Sunday night.

San Francisco Police say construction fencing is approved by public works and that the building department is investigating the incident and has shut down construction for the time being.


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