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Disability Advocate Bryan Goodwin Killed While Crossing Street in Wheelchair

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Bryan Goodwin, the wheelchair-bound disability advocate who was stuck and killed by a car on Monday morning.

Goodwin, 31, of San Francisco, was hit by a car while crossing Market Street and Octavia Boulevard shortly after midnight. He was rushed to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died of his injuries. The name of the driver has not been released, though police said the person remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

Bryan Goodwin was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a disease that made his bones brittle. He previously worked with disability rights groups to improve San Francisco’s policies for emergency response involving people with disabilities. Last year, Goodwin fell from his wheelchair and had to be transported to a hospital via ambulance. His motorized wheelchair could not be taken with him. Emergency workers called a taxi company to pick up the chair but left before it arrived and the wheelchair was stolen. Because of Goodwin’s advocacy, San Francisco agreed to adjust its protocol. Now, the city’s Department of Emergency Management must be alerted to pick up any equipment left behind, and a police officer is required to stand by until it is retrieved.

Larry Paradis, the executive director of Disability Rights Advocates expressed sadness about Bryan Goodwin’s untimely passing and vowed to continue to improve pedestrian safety in San Francisco, especially for wheelchair users. According to Paradis, wheelchair users are at greater risk of an accident because they’re often harder to see and they can’t jump out of the way.

The intersection where the accident occurred is known to be particularly dangerous. It currently has the highest record of collisions in the city – 30 between 2009 and 2011. The city previously installed cement islands and warning signs to prevent cyclists and pedestrians from being struck by cars making illegal right turns from Market Street onto the onramp leading to I-80 and 101 South. Additionally, a new red light camera was activated just hours after the accident. The camera will send warnings to drivers for the next month, and citations starting at $238 after that.

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