San Francisco

Golden Gate Transit Bus Kills Jogger in San Francisco

A jogger was struck and killed by a Golden Gate Transit bus in San Francisco Thursday morning by a driver with an "excellent safety record" who has 35 years on the job, an agency spokeswoman said.

“All of our hearts go out to the woman's family," agency spokeswoman Priya Clemens said. "We are working hand in hand with the police to aid in their investigation and learn exactly to cause this tragic accident.”

The victim was identified as 51-year-old Lori Helmer, of San Francisco, according to the medical examiner's office.

She described the driver as "shaken up" and "extremely distraught." He had never faced any administrative hearings for any accidents in his entire driving history, she added.

Clemens said the agency hadn't had a fatality in in the last five years. She was researching whether there had been any before that.

The deadly collision was reported around 6:15 a.m. at Van Ness Avenue and Lombard Street as Bus No. 918 was turning left onto Van Ness, Clemens said. The bus' daily route is from Novato to San Francisco.

It's unclear what exactly happened, but the jogger, a woman in her 50s, was hit, and quickly taken to San Francisco General Hospital where she was pronounced dead about an hour later, San Francisco Police Officer Gordon Shyy said.

Clemens was checking records to see when and if a Golden Gate transit bus had ever been involved in a fatality before.

The collision remains under investigation by police and neither the jogger's name nor the driver's name was released. Police officers were seen checking out the undercarriage of the bus, looking for possible mechanical issues.

Clemens said after the driver is interviewed by police, he will undergo a standard drug and alcohol test. The results of that, she said, will determine whether he is allowed back on the road.

NBC Bay Area's Ingrid Almaz and Bay City News contributed to this report.

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