Born and raised in San Francisco, Andrew Zieman went back to his childhood alma mater - Sherman Elementary - to teach. But on Wednesday morning, right as school was about to begin, the 30-year-old paraeducator, was hit by a car on the sidewalk across from school. Police say he died at the scene.
"He was one of the nicest teachers I knew," said first grader Logan Klein.
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Logan said Zieman was one of his after school teachers.
"He always helped me when I got frustrated."
School was out for Veterans Day, but Logan wanted to stop by and pay his respects. His mom, Jessica Klein, witnessed the crash minutes after she dropped Logan off at school Wednesday.
"It was really shocking to see him lying there," said Jessica through tears.
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When she was 12, Jessica said she was in a dangerous car crash on Franklin and Filbert Streets, one block away. She and many others hope the City can make the intersection safer for the school community.
"This could have been a kid so easily, and I think all the parents and the staff are extremely relieved that it wasn't a kid, but it's still heartbreaking that it was a teacher."
SFPD says that two cars were involved in the collision at Franklin and Union Streets. Witnesses say a third car was also hit.
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San Francisco Supervisor Catherine Stefani's office says the accident is under investigation and charges could be filed against the drivers.
"It's distressing that people run red lights. My mother was hit in a car on Franklin Street and Lombard," said Peter Cimarelli, one of Zieman's cousin.
"Andrew was a wonderful person, very smart, all he wanted to do was help people. He was really, really a good kid and that's what makes it really hurt."
ABC7 news reporter, Kate Larsen, spoke to Andrew's parents Thursday. Andrew was their only child and they're devastated. His mom, Maridine Zieman said Andrew touched many lives and his father, Richard Zieman, said what happened to his son makes him angry. But, they want everyone to know how comforting it's been to hear all of the kind words about their son from the school principal, families, and community."
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Andrew's girlfriend, Adrienne Yang, says they met five years ago while working at Sherman.
In a moving statement, she wrote, "What drew me to him was his patient and gentle teaching style. He loved his job and was always eager to contribute to the school community. I feel incredibly lucky to have witnessed him at his best every day. He was my balance, my comfort, and my light. This world will never have another like him. My heart will never be the same. I love you, Andrew."
SFMTA staff plan to inspect the Franklin and Union intersection on Friday. Supervisor Stefani says she will be there and wants to consider all "possible interventions to reduce traffic speeds along this corridor, including new speed bumps, wider sidewalks, lane reductions, illuminated crosswalks, additional bulb outs, and lower speed limits."