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UPDATE: Tess Rothstein Killed In San Francisco Truck Accident While Riding Bicycle By Sixth Street and Howard Street


Mar 11, 2019

Tess Rothstein San Francisco: 31-Year-Old Design Researcher Identified As Tess Rothstein From Berkeley Killed In Bicycle Accident With White Commercial Truck By Howard Street and Sixth Street –> Support The Bike Coalition Through Go Fund Me

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA (March 10, 2019) – A 30-year-old woman identified as Tess Rothstein has tragically died in a truck accident while she was riding a Ford GoBike near the intersection of Howard Street and Sixth Street. 

A witness to the accident told the San Francisco Examiner that Tess Rothstein was bicycling down Howard Street when a person in a parked car opened their driver side door. The 30-year-old victim swerved in order to avoid the car door. 

She swerved directly into the path of a white box truck and was run over. The scene following the accident was chaotic with multiple onlookers screaming. San Francisco police are saying that the driver of the white box truck remained at the scene and cooperated. 

According to Tess Rothstein’s website, she was a design researcher focusing on “fieldwork, in-depth interviews, diary studies, and cross-team insights.” She continued, “On my best days I facilitate workshops around research findings and team strategy.”

A number of San Francisco residents were outraged following the accident and said that it could have been prevented if Howard Street had protected bike lanes. An advocacy group known as People Protected Bike Lanes released the following statement through twitter. 

“Tonight, for the 3rd time @PeopleProtected will be joining hands on Howard. Hopefully for our last time. Our community is shook by today’s preventable death. ALL of Howard needs Protected Lanes Now! Out of respect, we will be protecting the lane at 5th and Howard. 5-6pm pls RT”

San Francisco Mayor London Breed has acknowledged the safety deficiencies along Howard Street and has promised that both short term and long term solutions are coming. An investigation into the accident remains ongoing at this time. 

You can support efforts to prevent future tragedies through Go Fund Me.

Vision Zero And Protected Bike Lanes

The tragic death of Tess Rothstein comes at the same time that city officials are pushing Vision Zero. In short, Vision Zero represents city officials plan to reduce traffic deaths to zero in San Francisco. According to its proponents this will be done through:

  • Education: Informing people of traffic safety rules
  • Engineering: Designing and constructing safe streets
  • Enforcement: Cracking down on safety violations likely to produce traffic accidents
  • Evaluation: Learning where, when and why collisions occur to prevent additional accidents

One of the design features for keeping bicyclists safe is protected bike lanes. A protected bicycle lane runs alongside the road and is comprised of a physical barrier. 

Liability In Bicycle Accidents

There may be numerous forms of liability for any bicycle accident in San Francisco. Bicyclists are a common part of the city. People use them to get around and also to deliver goods through companies like Postmates. Drivers have a responsibility to be mindful of bicyclists, especially as they are opening their car door. A number of bicyclists are killed or seriously injured every year after running into open car doors. A driver that opens their door and causes an accident may face civil liability following a crash. 

The city of San Francisco may also bear liability for a bicycle accident if it was caused by a dangerous condition on public property. Cities like San Francisco have a responsibility to design and maintain roads that are reasonably safe. According to California Government Code 835, “Except as provided by statute, a public entity is liable for injury caused by a dangerous condition of its property if the plaintiff establishes that the property was in a dangerous condition at the time of the injury, that the injury was proximately caused by the dangerous condition, that the dangerous condition created a reasonably foreseeable risk of the kind of injury which was incurred.”

When there is a history of similar accidents along a road or at an intersection that puts a city on notice that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. If a city fails to act to correct a dangerous condition prior to another accident they may face civil liability. The family of a victim that died may have the ability to pursue a municipal negligence claim through California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. A wrongful death attorney can investigate your claim free of charge and let you know what your options are.  

Investigating A Bicycle Accident 

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the family of Tess Rothstein. It’s time that city officials take action and set up protected barriers along Howard Street. Safety should not be an afterthought in our city. Any person that may have witnessed the accident should come forward and speak with the San Francisco police department. 

If you or someone that you love has been involved in a bicycle accident in San Francisco you may have legal recourse. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any legal questions that you have. We take great pride in advocating on behalf of our clients and working to make our city safer. Whether you need a free police report, have questions about your rights or need an investigation into your case we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.

Tess Rothstein San Francisco Bicycle Accident

UPDATE: Tess Rothstein Killed In San Francisco Truck Accident While Riding Bicycle By Sixth Street and Howard Street

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