Employee errors appear to be the cause of an unattended Muni bus rolling down O’Farrell Street and smashing into a light pole on Van Ness Avenue, blocking traffic during Tuesday’s morning commute.
No one was hurt in the 8:38 a.m. incident, according to spokesman Paul Rose of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni. The front windshield of the bus was cracked from the impact, and the vehicle straddled the median, blocking north- and southbound traffic on Van Ness.
Earlier Tuesday, the bus was experiencing mechanical problems, prompting a maintenance worker to come out and investigate the situation. However, the worker and the operator of the bus did not follow standard protocol for the situation, an oversight that might have led to the accident, Rose said.
“We have strict procedures in place for these incidents, and it appears they weren’t followed,” said Rose, who added that the investigation is still pending.
Both employees have been tested for drugs and alcohol. The maintenance worker has been placed on administrative leave and the operator on nondriving status, which is standard procedure, Rose said.
Tuesday morning’s accident occurred less than two weeks after another runaway Muni bus crashed into several cars in Daly City.
Automobile traffic and Muni service was detoured around the accident until 10 a.m.