Witness shares new info on occupants who fled scene after car flips over SF hillside near stairs

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Monday, July 24, 2023
Witness shares info on occupants who fled scene of SF rollover crash
San Francisco police say they have been unable to locate people who fled the scene after flipping a vehicle off a hillside Saturday night.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco police say they have been unable to locate a carload of people who fled the scene after flipping a vehicle off a hillside near Dolores Park on Saturday night.

SFPD says the incident happened at approximately 7:19 p.m. Saturday, when officers assigned to Mission Station responded to the area of 19th and Sanchez Streets on a report of a solo vehicle accident.

UPDATE: Dramatic car crash off Sanchez Street stairs in SF tied to carjacking, officials say

People seen on cellphone video getting out of the upside-down car left minutes before police arrived, according to witnesses.

"There were screeching tires and then they were airborne and then I heard a thud, and that was when they were bouncing through the overgrowth and hit the trees, and then they landed and it was absolute silence," said Melanie Mandich, who lives nearby.

VIDEO: Moments before car rolls over stairs in San Francisco

Video shows the moments before a car ramps over the stairs at Sanchez and 19th Streets in San Francisco Saturday night.

In the area where the vehicle hoisted off the hillside, you can still see broken guard rails shaped as if they are made to bend.

"When I ran up to the car, I obviously heard some yelling from inside the car so just yanked on the door. Fortunately, it wasn't stuck at all just opened and people started pouring out," said a witness by the name of Giorgi.

Giorgi was working on his own car outside when he said the car crash happened. He helped five people get out but quickly noticed things he didn't expect to see or hear.

"One phrase that I still remember was like, 'We got three minutes. We need to run!' Bunch of stuff came out of the car. I saw, I think, two tasers and then the cops in the end. They also found a gun," Giorgi said.

Police will only say they've been unable to locate those who were inside the car but haven't said if they committed any crimes other than leaving the scene of an accident. A man who showed up afterward told Giorgi and many others that he had been carjacked, and the car that went off the hill was his.

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"He said he was driving past here, they opened his door, got the guy out. He said he got hit by a gun on his head," Giorgi said.

Still, there are many unanswered questions as to why those in the video ran from the accident scene.

"It was a miracle that nobody was killed because there were people walking down the stairs literally a minute or two before the car flew downhill, so we're lucky that nobody got killed," Mandich said.

SFPD says that this remains an open and active investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the SFPD at 415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and begin the message with SFPD. You may remain anonymous.

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