Driver Who Hit and Killed Cyclist In Presidio May Have Been Intoxicated, Police Report Says
A newly obtained U.S. Park Police report on the April 4 death of champion cyclist Ethan Boyes indicates the driver who struck and killed him on a Presidio roadway may have been intoxicated — though authorities are releasing very little information about the investigation.
When two-time USA Cycling Masters Track National Champion Ethan Boyes was hit by a car and killed in early April while biking in the Presidio, there was some speculation on social media that the driver was drunk. Now, two months later, we’re getting possible confirmation that may have been the case. The Chronicle has obtained U.S. Park Police police reports on the accident that killed Boyes, and now reports that the Park Police suspected the driver was indeed intoxicated.
Chronicle Exclusive: U.S. Park Police officials suspected that the driver who struck and killed a champion cyclist in San Francisco's Presidio in April was intoxicated at the time of the fatal crash. https://t.co/58yQxQKJeu
This determination is not certain. But in one report the Chronicle obtained, it was noted that U.S. Park Police Officer Andrew Hernandez told investigators, "The driver of the vehicle was in custody at [SF General] for possibly driving under the influence at the time of the incident."
Safe street activists Luke Bornheimer and David Alexander address tonight's crowd honoring Ethan Boyes and demanding protected lanes.Palpable sadness and frustration with the lack of action in SF's District 1.Over the last 15 years, hundreds have been injured on Arguello. pic.twitter.com/pmcGrK6gfM
Note how they only say the driver was "possibly driving under the influence," and his custody was at SF General, not at county jail. The driver still has not been named publicly, nor is there any indication that the driver was charged with any crime. The U.S. Park Police declined the Chronicle's request for comment, saying that commenting on the matter could compromise any future prosecution.
Good news: SFMTA created a design for Arguello by May 4 as promised (thank you SFMTA staff!).Not-so-good news: The design still has sections of unprotected bike lanes and unprotected intersections. Also, there's no plan to install Quick-Build immediately.https://t.co/Hxz74SN5x8
Boyes's death has brought some lasting change, albeit a modest change. The Chronicle reported in early May that protected bike lanes would be installed on the stretch of Presidio streets where Boyes was hit and killed. (Those streets are under the jurisdiction of the Presidio Trust, not the SFMTA.) Transit activists were pleased with the intent, but find the current version of the plans to be perhaps somewhat flimsy.
The president of the sustainable transit group Protected Arguello, Luke Bornheimer, said in a statement that "While the Presidio Trust's plans include protected bike lanes separated by bollards (will these ‘bollards’ be made of concrete or steel?), the Trust's near-term plan consists entirely of signage, pavement markings, speed cushions — which have cutouts for cars to drive through them at full speed — and flexible posts, many of which are inadequate for protecting people, never mind slowing car traffic or ensuring another person isn't killed on Arguello."
Boyes's family and friends, and the larger bicyclist community, are understandably frustrated by how little information has been released about his death. But the Presidio is federal land, the U.S. Park Police are a federal organization, and federal investigations do tend to take longer than local police investigations. So any developments may come in the form of newspaper reporters digging, and not any announcement from the feds.
Related: USA Cycling Champ Hit By Car and Killed In the Presidio [SFist]
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