South City three-year-old struck, killed by car backing out of driveway 

A family gathering in a hillside neighborhood turned tragic Sunday evening when three-year-old Katelyn Yu was struck and killed by a vehicle backing out of her family’s driveway.

The investigation by South San Francisco police is still pending, but the incident looked like it was a "simple" and "freak" accident, Cpl. Bruce McPhillips said.

"There’s nothing suspicious about it," McPhillips said, adding that there was no alcohol in the car. "There’s no negligence on the parents’ part — just a tragic accident."

Yu was not the family’s only child, he said.

An unknown number of family and extended family members had gathered Sunday afternoon at the house on the 2300 block of Julie Lane, up near Westborough Park where the planes taking off from San Francisco International Airport fly overhead.

At 6:45 p.m. and with people gathered outside, a family member — McPhillips said he could not confirm it was a parent — backed out of the driveway and hit Yu, who was taken by ambulance to San Francisco General Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

"It was just a Sunday afternoon gathering where you get a lot of family together and you just lose" track of someone, McPhillips said.

McPhillips said he was "shocked" byhow mild Yu’s injuries appeared when he arrived on scene, saying she was not dragged or run over by tires.

The family is so distraught that police have been unable to interview them further about the incident, McPhillips said. They did not answer their door when the doorbell was rung.

Neighbors on the quiet street with speed bumps said that there were a lot of families with children on the street but kids rarely played out in front of their houses.

"We all feel bad," said Helen Wong, an 18-year resident on the street who did not know the Yu family. Her children heard the anguished cries coming from the Yu family Sunday evening after the accident, Wong said.

"The strangest thing is that it was broad daylight" at the time of the accident, Wong said.

Neri Manag, who lives two doors down from the Yu family, said the street was family-oriented, with parents very busy caring for their children and working.

Children seldom played in the street, Manag said, and the neighborhood was "very quiet."

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