A man kite surfing at Ocean Beach was picked up by a gust of wind and fell on to the Great Highway where he was then hit by a car.
Just before 3:15 p.m., Friday afternoon, the "man was just about to enter the water when the gust lifted him into the air. The wind dragged him over the dunes and across a parking lot and dropped him forcefully onto the Great Highway at Sloat Boulevard, where a car then hit him. "He hit the ground once, and then I think he got up, but then he flew over [the dune] uncontrollably," Barbara Leiker, who saw it happen from her car in the parking lot, told the San Francisco Examiner.
According to a statement from the SFPD, the kite surfer was taken to a hospital after suffering "life-threatening injuries" and head trauma. Southbound lanes of the Great Highway were closed between Lincoln Boulevard and Sloat Boulevard while police conducted their investigation into the incident.
The conditions were quite windy at Ocean Beach yesterday, with the strongest gust clocking in at 47 miles per hour. "You definitely need to be more of an expert level when you come out in a wind like this today," Alex Lowe, a kite surfer of seven years told KPIX. "He probably got in what's called an uncontrolled kite loop. So if one of his lines crossed, the kite will spin uncontrollably and it will drag you at the wind speed."
Cort Larned, co-owner of the shop 101 Surf Sports, told SFGate that accidents like this are rare but not unheard of. "All the accidents happen almost invariably while getting into the water or getting out of it," he said. Larned said a closed friend of his was killed when the wind blew him into a wall.
Meanwhile, across town, about an hour later a taxi and a motorcycle crashed at the intersection of Polk Street and Bay Street. According to a statement from the SFPD, the motorcyclist also suffered life-threatening injuries.