Frozen Yogurt Truck Slams Into San Francisco Funeral Home

By Lisa Fernandez and Christie Smith
|  Thursday, May 15, 2014  |  Updated 2:01 PM PDT
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A semi-truck slammed into the side of a funeral home in San Franciso, sparking a fire. Christie Smith reports.

A semi-truck slammed into the side of a funeral home in San Franciso, sparking a fire. Christie Smith reports.

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Semi-Truck Sparks Fire at Funeral Home

A semi-truck slammed into the side of a funeral home in San Franciso, sparking a fire. Christie Smith reports.
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A frozen yogurt truck slammed into Arthur J. Sullivan's Funeral Home in San Francisco early Thursday morning, after the driver said he heard some type of explosion before the fiery accident.

The driver of the Southwest Traders Inc. truck told authorities he lost control of the rig, when he veered across Market Street in the city's Castro neighborhood and struck the side of the funeral home at 2254 Market Street about 12:30 a.m.

Authorities said the driver reported having some type of explosion in the refrigerated portion of his 18-wheeler. About 150 gallons of diesel from the truck spilled down Market Street, which was closed as hazmat crews cleaned up the mess.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman Paul Rose said the truck was removed around 12:15 p.m.

The company delivers yogurt, ice cream, juice, smoothies and coffee to restaurants in 14 western states, according to its website. One of the company's main clients is Starbucks.

Southwest Traders Risk Manager Angelo Bergeron emailed a statement to NBC Bay Area saying that it "appears that the vehicle had a mechanical malfunction that we are currently investigating." She added that "only one of our employees may have sustained a minor injury."

Southwest Traders Inc., truck is damaged after slamming into Sullivan's Funeral Home in San Francisco, Thursday, May 15, 2014.

Fire Battalion Chief Kevin Taylor said the driver and a passenger were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. A colleague who only identified himself as "Ricardo" said the driver had been released by 7:30 a.m., and the passenger was having his leg X-rayed.

Based on a preliminary investigation, the crash is considered accidental and the driver has not been cited or arrested, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.

The accident could have been worse, Taylor said, if the driver had slammed into the wood portion of the building, instead of the stucco - which prevented more of a fire.

"They were very fortunate," Taylor said. "I fully expected to find human remains."

No one was injured inside the funeral home, either.

"We're thankful our building is still standing," Funeral home owner Gerry Lynn Sullivan told NBC Bay Area, whose husband's grandfather started the business 90 years ago. "It's just property damage."

She said there are no services planned at her site for Thursday, and so she'll just work on getting the building repaired and "go forward."

The scene caused quite a commotion in the wee hours of the morning. The fire, the smoke and the spilt fuel brought neighbors in the Castro out to see and document what was going on.

"I saw this big fireball," said Roy McKenzie, a web developer and editor of a hyperlocal blog, Castro Biscuit. "And for a while, it was hard to breathe."

Southwest Traders Inc. truck is damaged after slamming into Sullivan's Funeral Home.

Photographer Steve Rose contributed to this report.

 

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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