After an apparent drunk driving rampage ended in the death of a pedestrian and damage to at least four cars, a sentiment I heard several times was “what kind of person would do that?” The answer, apparently: a SF Sheriff’s cadet.
Early in the morning of May 6, 61-year-old San Franciscan James Hudson was crossing Masonic avenue between Golden Gate and Turk when 23-year-old Jose Jimenez allegedly struck him.
According to ABC7, Jiminez was allegedly traveling at 50 mph when he hit Hudson, knocking him over 100 feet and killing him instantly. He allegedly kept driving for thirteen more blocks, hitting cars along Clayton and Fell before slamming into some flower pots next to St. Mary’s Hospital.
According to the Chron, Jimenez, who experienced only minor injuries in the accident, is a cadet with the SF Sheriff’s Department, and has been “has been employed as a swing-shift security guard at the San Francisco’s 911 emergency call center since September 2008.”
SF Sheriff’s department cadets are “are uniformed, trainee positions and employed for a maximum of three years. Cadets are encouraged to advance to the next level of 8302 Deputy Sheriff I through the examination process during the three-year trainee period.”
From that information, supplied by the SF Sheriff’s department, it appears Jiminez would have been on track to become a Deputy Sheriff by this fall.
“He was on his day off,” San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey helpfully told the Chron. Well, guess that’s a relief.
“As a result of him being involved in different accidents it is going to be a lengthy investigation,” said SFPD spokesperson Lt. Troy Dangerfield told Streetsblog, which asks “How Many Deaths Will It Take to Fix Masonic Avenue?”
It appears, however, that the issue in this case is less bad urban planning and more an issue of personal responsibility — it’s hard to think of a street design that will protect pedestrians from drunk people employed in law enforcement who allegedly try to evade their brethren after they kill someone.