Retired SFPD traffic inspector concerned over deadly Tesla crash in Tenderloin intersection

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Jeff Levin Levin investigated fatal car accidents in San Francisco for almost a decade and taught the police academy class on traffic collisions. Yet even he was surprised by the horrific crash at Taylor and O'Farrell Streets, caught on dashcam video.

"This is a pretty unusual case," said retired SFPD traffic inspector, Jeff Levin, about Sunday's deadly wreck in the Tenderloin.

"I didn't see any braking at all," said Levin after looking at the video of a black Tesla speed through a red light at the busy intersection around 2 p.m. Sunday.

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In the video, you can see that Kelly Dean saw the Tesla coming, stopped, and threw her arm across her husband before the Tesla hit them both.

"Something was going on with her. I don't understand why she would go through a red light so late, at such a high rate of speed."

Levin is referring to 21-year-old Kelsey Cambridge, who was arrested for crashing the rented Tesla into a Mini Cooper and then a couple... Kelly and Benjamin Dean, who were in the crosswalk.

Benjamin was killed and as of Tuesday night, Kelly is in critical condition at San Francisco General Hospital.

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"They may have even first seen her half a block away, but there's no time to react," explained Levin about Kelly and Benjamin, who paused when they saw the Tesla coming towards them. "If she's going 45 miles per hour, she's covering a hundred feet in a second and a half."

It wasn't hard to find other cars speeding on city streets Tuesday night. "In San Francisco, people should not be driving faster than 25 miles per hour," said Levin.

So check your speedometer, because Levin says it could save lives. "At 25 miles per hour, if someone were braking... (it would) at least bring the speed down. Those are survivable crashes."

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Levin examined the intersection at Taylor and O'Farrell Streets on Tuesday night and said it appears to be a physically safe intersection. There are newly installed traffic delineators, which improve visibility. And Levin says the clear traffic lights, new crosswalks, and unobstructed views all contribute to safety.

So in Levin's estimation, the accident was likely driver error.

So far, Kelsey Cambridge has been charged with misdemeanor involuntary vehicular manslaughter.
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