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Claude Wyle
Claude Wyle
Attorney • 888-787-5718

San Francisco Pedestrian Death Should Encourage City and Caltrans to Improve our Streets


I never enjoy reporting deaths–actually I always feel a bit uncomfortable, but when I see a story about a death of a child, and one caused by a driver reportedly under the influence, I always wonder why some stories get follow-up in the press and some are just left alone?

In this case, we should hear more about the March 2, 2013 pedestrian death of Hanren Chang who was killed on Sloat Blvd by a DUI suspect. Hanren was only 17 years old when she was struck down. She obviously did not deserve to die, particularly at the hands of a drunk driver.

I know that under our system of justice, we are all presumed innocent until proven guilty, so I presume that the DUI suspect, 29-year-old Keiran Brewer, who was arrested at the scene of the crime on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony DUI, after hitting Chang, has launched some kind of vigorous defense. And maybe the story of the DUI suspect is what we will hear about. But what about the family who has lost Ms. Chang? Putting Mr. Brewer in jail if he is found guilty will keep him off our roads for a while, but does that do much for the Chang family?

Ms. Chang was a Junior and attended Lowell High School and was on the track team. Is this family pursuing a claim? Did Mr. Brewer have insurance? If he had no insurance or very little insurance then the Changs should make an uninsured or underinsured claim under their own auto policy. Most people don’t know they have that kind of coverage available.

As a San Francisco Pedestrian Accident Attorney I think it's about time for Mayor Lee to increase pedestrian safety in San Francisco, especially since this tragic incident was the fourth pedestrian death that weekend. Hanren Chang was a young girl whose life was taken on one of San Francisco's most dangerous streets.

Despite some recent safety improvements, Sloat, a state highway run by Caltrans, remains a deadly speedway dividing the Parkside neighborhood. In January 2012, Caltrans put Sloat on a road diet (converting two of six traffic lanes to buffered bike lanes), upgraded some crosswalks with more visible markings, and lowered the speed limit from 40 mph to 35 mph. However, without further physical traffic calming measures, the lives of residents crossing the street are still at serious risk.

Hello, I'm Claude Wyle. Do you have any ideas to help educate people on pedestrian safety in San Francisco? Please comment or ask for a subject you would like to see researched or discussed in this blog. Thanks. Feel free to contact me at cwyle@ccwlawyers.com.

About the author: Claude Wyle is an aggressive advocate for San Francisco Bay Area pedestrian accidents and wrongful deaths. Claude has decades of experience representing those harmed by the wrongful conduct of others, and, as a San Francisco wrongful death attorney, has fought to protect the rights of pedestrians throughout his legal career.


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  1. Steven Sweat says:
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    You are exactly right. We can’t give enough press to a tragic story like this. Hopefully, this type of coverage will lead to further efforts to improve pedestrian safety.

  2. Michael Ehline says:
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    One thing we could do right now is raise sidewalk curbs. Also, bus stops are basically targets for a DUI driver. They should all have metal posts to block a car.