muni_driver.jpgA San Francisco Municipal Railway bus driver operating a coach that ran over a bicyclist last week in North Beach and did not stop remains on non-driving status, an agency spokesman said today.

Police said that the female bicyclist had been traveling west on Columbus Avenue in the lane closest to the curb at about 6 p.m. on Sept. 14 when she attempted to navigate around a parked car that blocked her path.

A double-length 8X-Bayshore Express bus was already in the adjacent lane when the cyclist partially entered that lane, police Sgt. Michael Andraychak said.

Her bike’s handlebars made contact with the articulated section of the bus, she fell, and the coach’s rear tire rolled over her left arm, according to Muni’s initial report of the incident.

Muni investigators reviewed surveillance video from a camera outside the nearby Roaring 20s strip club, and that footage indicated that the car had been illegally parked, Muni spokesman Rose said, although it was unclear from the video whether the bicyclist first struck the car or the bus.

The bicyclist was transported to San Francisco General Hospital for treatment.

Rose said that the agency’s safety division classified the collision as a “nonpreventable” incident, which indicates that there was nothing the operator could have done to avoid the collision.

The driver, who joined the agency in 1997, did not stop the coach but might not have realized that the collision had happened, Rose said.

“According to our investigation, it seems as though the operator was not aware that the cyclist had made contact with the side of the bus,” Rose said.

Both Rose and Andraychak said that it appeared passengers on the bus were also unaware that the bicyclist had been hit. Andraychak said a hit-and-run inspector was expected to review the case on Friday.

“It’s always possible that the driver didn’t even know,” Andraychak said.

Patricia Decker, Bay City News

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