SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — On the night of Aug. 14, a pedestrian was struck by a human-driven vehicle on Harrison and 7th streets. The victim suffered critical injuries but died after reaching the hospital.
The San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD) says two Cruise vehicles blocked lanes, which prevented the ambulance from getting to the hospital in a timely manner. SFFD blames Cruise for causing a delay in response time that led to a patient dying.
However, Cruise refuted SFFD’s claims in a statement (below) released by the autonomous vehicle company on Saturday. Cruise says the ambulance behind the AV had a clear path to pass the AV as other vehicles, including another ambulance, proceeded to do.
On August 14 two Cruise AVs encountered an active emergency scene at an intersection in which a pedestrian had been hit by a human driven car. The first vehicle promptly clears the area once the light turns green and the other stops in the lane to yield to first responders who are directing traffic. Throughout the entire duration the AV is stopped, traffic remains unblocked and flowing to the right of the AV. The ambulance behind the AV had a clear path to pass the AV as other vehicles, including another ambulance, proceeded to do. As soon as the victim was loaded into the ambulance, the ambulance left the scene immediately and was never impeded from doing so by the AVCruise
Cruise added that SFFD’s claims are “irresponsible to try to shift the blame for this tragic event toward our fleet.”
The autonomous vehicle company has been in communication with SFFD and other local municipal agencies. Cruise said it is trying to show the fire department surveillance footage from the two AVs on the night of Aug. 14.
Cruise showed KRON4 footage from the night of the incident to explain its side of the story. Due to Cruise company policy, the footage was not released for public consumption.