Cab slams building where boy died in crash 

A car crash Wednesday sent a taxicab spinning into the side of a building at the same location where a young boy standing on the sidewalk was killed last August in a similar crash.

According to witnesses and police, at about 1 p.m. a red Toyota heading north on Leavenworth ran a red light, hitting a taxicab heading east on O’Farrell. Farah Massis, owner of the Rightway Market, said the taxicab crashed into the side of his grocery store and deli, destroying a produce rack out front and narrowly missing an employee.

A similar crash resulted in the death of 4-year-old Juan Mendoza Jr. on July 27 last year. Juan was standing in front of the Rightway Market with his father when an Acura heading north on Leavenworth ran the red light and hit a Volvo, which spun onto the sidewalk, killing Juan.

Massis said that in the last year and a half, at least eight similar crashes have happened at the location. "Out of eight accidents, it’s always the same. It’s that red light they run on Leavenworth," Massis said.

Wednesday’s crash resulted in injuries to people in the cars, according to police. The nature of those injuries and the number of people transported to the hospital was not available.

Capt. Greg Corrales, who runs the San Francisco Police Department’s traffic division, said the intersection is not on the list of The City’s most collision-prone intersections. The Department of Parking and Traffic’s 2005 collision report indicates that the intersection of Ninth and Harrison streets saw The City’s most collisions in 2005, with 10.

"The biggest thing that we try to send out to the public is to slow down. Year after year, speed is the No. 1 primary cause for traffic accidents," Corrales said. "Invariably, when people blow a red light and the officer pulls them over, their excuse is, ‘I was going too fast and couldn’t stop in time.’"

amartin@examiner.com

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