The driver arrested in the killing of 6-year-old pedestrian Sophia Liu on Tuesday evening has been identified by San Francisco Police as 57-year-old Syed Muzzafar of Union City. Muzzafar was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and failure to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.
Sophia was struck in the crosswalk at Ellis and Polk Streets, along with her mother and young brother around 8 p.m. Tuesday evening. As SFist reported earlier, Muzzafar made a right turn without yielding to the pedestrians, who had the green light. All three family members were taken to San Francisco General Hospital where Sophia later succumbed to her injuries. The mother was in critical condition, but the brother is expected to survive.
Also as reported earlier, Supervisor Jane Kim wrote on Facebook after the incident that Muzzafar had self-identified as an Uber driver. Uber later released a statement saying the driver had not being "doing a trip on the Uber system" at the time and Supervisor Kim later revised her statement, naming him as a "non-taxi, for-pay driver." Uber declined to clarify to SFist whether the driver may have been available for Uber rides at the time.
Uber also stated that it is their policy to "immediately deactivate any Uber partner involved in a serious law enforcement matter."
Supervisor Kim, who advocated hard for pedestrian safety in 2013, points out that Sophia's death was the second in the Tenderloin in December and the 20th pedestrian fatality in San Francisco in 2013, the highest in six years.