Instead of one there were three Dolores Street Hill Bomb events over the past week and a half, and during the third one on Friday, a cyclist collided with skateboarder sending both of them to the hospital — and the cyclist died from his injuries on Sunday.
The first and what we thought was the official Dolores Hill Bomb happened a week ago Thursday, on July 9, leading to at least one hospitalization and several injuries — and the vandalism of a vehicle that unknowingly drove into the chaos during the event on Dolores between 21st and 19th streets. But as the Examiner reports, different dates were promoted for the event this year, leading to confusion and multiple Hill Bombs — including a "Part 2" on Saturday, July 11.
As one local skater and friend of the deceased cyclist, Daniel Mejia, tells the Ex, the third Hill Bomb felt sparsely attended and "The energy and the overall vibe of it was very odd. Even before it started, it felt like it shouldn’t have happened."
The cyclist, Andrew Sanders, was a recent graduate of San Francisco State University, graduating with a BA in visual art. He leaves behind a group of friends, some of whom gathered for a small vigil on Dolores Street on Sunday. Sofia Montes, a coworker of Sanders, tells KPIX he was "Super creative, always dancing, super happy. Such a nice guy to be around."
And Sanders' roommate of five years, Jonathan Concool, tells the Examiner, "Anyone and everyone he met, he could always find something to connect with them. He’s the most full-of-life person I’ve ever met."
Sanders reportedly suffered a head injury in the crash that led to an aneurysm.
His parents say they hope to set up a fund to support the arts in Sanders' name.
SFMTA chief Jeffrey Tumlin mistakenly tweeted that two people had died Friday night while Sanders and the injured skateboarder remained hospitalized with critical injuries. He later corrected himself, as the Chronicle reports, but he instructed the agency to immediately begin installing the Botts' dots across the street to deter future Hill Bombs. "SF has a world renowned skate scene I love," he wrote, tweeting the photo of the installation. "So I hate doing this to Dolores."
SF has a world renowned skate scene I love. So I hate doing this to Dolores. But two pointless deaths. Consulting now with leaders about building stronger skate culture and co-designing Slow Streets pic.twitter.com/XElGjEmrUo— Jeffrey Tumlin (@jeffreytumlin) July 19, 2020
"We’re certainly not anti-skate at the SFMTA [but] we did need to stop what was happening," Tumlin said to KPIX.
In addition to Sanders' death and the skateboarder injured this year, another young man who was seen spectacularly wiping out on social media was hospitalized with a brain bleed on July 9.
At the 2019 Hill Bomb, a wipeout left skateboarder 23-year-old Tomoko Oikawa hospitalized with a skull fracture and traumatic brain injury. Oikawa has since been recovering, and said in a February interview that she was re-learning how to skate.*
Regarding the new speed dots, Supervisor Rafael Mandelman wrote on Facebook over the weekend, "I understand kids wanting to skateboard, have fun, and congregate after having had to shelter in place for several months now. However, the public safety concerns extend well beyond the possible spread of COVID-19 and serious injuries have occurred to participants, neighbors and passersby."
*This post has been updated with new information about Tomoko Oikawa's recovery.