Cab driver blamed for crash into storefront


The owners of the new Russian Hill Market are throwing away tomatoes, lettuce and carrots, produce that was sprayed with glass and radiator fluid when a car crashed into the front of their store on Thursday.

"We're probably going to lose in excess of $20,000 in sales," owner Ramiz Hinn told ABC7.

And, that's just what they lost over the Halloween weekend. Milk, cheese, meat and a lot of other perishables are now worthless. Hinn says it is going to be months before the market can reopen.

"It could be a month. It could be two months. It could be six months," he said.

Hinn was not there when the car came crashing through the front of the market, but store clerk Phillip Hogan was.

"I heard the initial crash, then I heard like an Indy 500 racecar starting, right," he recalled.

Hogan says the car came in like the scene out of a movie.

"It was like slow motion. That car knocked that pole and it ended up in the store, and radiator fluid was everywhere and smoking," he continued.

Hogan, a former police officer, says the driver of the car was not at fault. A neighboring businesses' surveillance camera caught the collision. In it, a yellow cab can be seen running through the stop sign and clipping the sedan, which spun out of frame and into the store.

People on the street are still talking about it. Long-time resident Brent Marsh told ABC7 that drivers can often be seen blowing the stop signs at the intersection and that oftentimes, they are taxi drivers. He added that Jones is a major taxi thoroughfare connecting Fisherman's Wharf with Nob Hill. Taxis roll through there almost as often as private cars.

"A lot of taxis are just aggressive drivers and they're out to make money, and the more time you're moving, the more money you're making," he said.

ABC7 asked Yellow Cab to respond to the surveillance video. A claims adjuster for the company referred us to the general manager. We made repeated calls to the GM and the administrative office. So far, there has been no response. It is frustrating for the two brothers who are trying to make a go of market their father built.

"This is the second time this has happened within the past five years," Joseph Hinn said.

It is a dangerous intersection, though not as dangerous as Hollywood would have you believe. Remember the picture "The Rock" with Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery? The big car chase in that film that ended right in front of the market at Jones and Pacific. Only that time, it was all make believe.

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