Family of woman hit on 10th Ave & California is “thankful she’s alive”

Photo by @jdonnellydc

On Thursday, February 6, an elderly woman named Carmen Silva was hit by a driver at the intersection of 10th Avenue and California Streets.

On Sunday night, Carmen’s son Emiliano Lee found the above photo that we posted on Facebook and left a comment with an update on his mother’s condition, and explained what happened that day:

“She had just gotten off the 1 California (we live on 11th) and was crossing the street, in the crosswalk, with the green light. A woman driving a prius turned and drove right into her. Happened so fast my mom didn’t see her until she was being hit… She hit the hood and windshield then was thrown into the street.”

“We are all thankful she’s alive as it could have been much worse,” Emiliano added.

Carmen herself jumped into the Facebook thread to talk about her accident:

“I’ve lived on 11th & Geary 24 years so am a vigilant pedestrian, have been nearly hit too many times. I always look 4 ways and keep looking as I cross. I do not ever use my cell phone when walking. I do not jay walk. And however clich├ęd, I did not see the car until it was about to hit me. My head, neck, ribs and a knee were damaged. Slow but steady recovery, and I do know it might have been so much worse. Thank you to the many helpful and comforting passers-by and EMTs and SF police.”

We’re glad to hear that Carmen is doing well and on her way to recovery. Thank you to the family for the updates!

Sarah B.


  1. I’m glad Ms. Silva is recovering from the collision. I know exactly what she means about careless drivers.

    I’ve seen it too many times: drivers turning right check for oncoming traffic that might hit them, but don’t look directly in front of them where a pedestrian might be crossing.

  2. I was hit crossing Park Presidio by someone turning right from Balboa. I was out in the middle of the lane (in the crosswalk, with the walk sign) and was hit by someone turning right. I was 36 weeks pregnant and just happened to look left and was able to jump up (to protect my kneecaps). I bounced off the hood (and then my belly) and ended up with bumps and scrapes. The elderly driver didn’t see me. I don’t think he was even looking. It’s dangerous out there for pedestrians.

  3. I’d love an update on what happened to the driver who nearly killed someone as they were in a rush to make a right on red?

    Yes, he or she stayed on the scene and hopefully they were not drinking or otherwise impaired. Assuming no DUI then I’m guessing just a traffic ticket for a few hundred dollars, with no points if they complete traffic school? That’s just a cynical guess but if true when will drivers ever learn to slow down.and when will pedestrians ever be safe.

  4. Happened on Geary & Arguello a year or two ago, and the lady who was hit died. Pretty much the same situation, as I recall.

  5. Just to clarify, I was crossing 10th from Calif. going South towards Clement. The driver was on 10th facing North and was attempting a Left turn onto Calif. when she hit me. I think I was about halfway across the street. I learned from police that she was 70+ years old and lived in Marin. I could not see her but I do recall her kneeling down next to me and saying how very sorry she was. Thanks to everyone for the good wishes. CS

  6. I hate it when people do a ‘rolling stop’. I see it so often on 7th and anza!

  7. is the lady (blonde/grey) with the white top standing the driver?

  8. Glad everyone is OK. Could have just as easily been a mother with children as happened earlier this year with less favorable results for the family. Carmen, thanks for reporting in and best in your recovery. It really is dangerous out there and pedestrians will always lose. Accidents will happen and not sure what can be changed to prevent ones like this terrible situation.

  9. I, too, almost (emphasize almost) hit someone when I was turning left and the pedestrian was in the crosswalk. I didn’t see him. I stopped in time and didn’t touch him and I wasn’t going fast. I felt he was camouflaged and blended into the background. It didn’t help he was jogging and didn’t make much of eye contact. I try my best to make eye contact with pedestrian to let them know I see them and that they have right of way.

  10. Something is definitely going on and not just at that one intersection. In just the past 2 or 3 days, *TWO* drivers sailed through the red light at Geary and 6th Ave. headed East.

    The first I was witness to was a woman in a white SUV who after sailing through and then just sat there like an idiot. Then *TODAY* some guy driving a metallic tan Japanese model sedan went right through and only stopped when he caught up to the other cars that had stopped for the red light at 5th and Geary.

    If someone had been crossing past the Eastbound 38 Geary buses that were in the bus stops they would have surely died given the speeds both drivers were doing.

  11. Also. what is going on with so many cars having tinted drivers’ windows? Pedestrians can’t even make eye contact many times, even if they wanted to …

  12. Driver was 70+. Why aren’t we compelling ALL drivers over 65 to take a driving simulation test that measures night vision, reaction time, etc.? This would be a trivial thing to do. Test these drivers every 2 years. If they fail give them one re-test. If they fail twice, they lose their license to drive.

  13. Andy (#8) says, “not sure what can be changed to prevent ones like this terrible situation.”

    I can tell you. Time for us all to wake up and demand intersections like this: http://streetsblog.net/2014/02/20/the-next-breakthrough-for-american-bike-lanes-protected-intersections/

    In the meantime, give generously to Walk SF, write to your supervisor, speak out when you see a driver doing something stupid, and call your local police station and complain when you see violations. It’s time for pedestrians to re-assert their rights to safe streets.

  14. Carmen, so glad you are on the mend!
    I wish drivers would slow the hell down and pedestrians would look before they walk. How complicated is it? Also, wish more pedestrians & joggers walking near and after sunset would carry a flashlight and wear reflective clothing. Lake Street is fairly dark at night; very difficult to see pedestrians and joggers who wear dark clothing.
    @Mike P: most cars with heavily tinted windows are owned by transplants who move here. Unless laws have changed, I understand it’s illegal to have really dark windows here.

  15. I meant to say that I understand it’s illegal for auto shops to install heavily tinted windows here.

  16. @Carmen, yeah glad to hear you’re doing better!

    @Mom on a bike, the ‘Protected Intersection’ looks pretty cool!

  17. I do wish there was more we could do to report bad drivers, I’ve never done it as I assume it’s a waste of police time.

    I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve almost been hit, add to that skateboarders (one who finally crashed into me) and bicycles.

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