A man in a wheelchair who was hit and killed by a car in San Francisco early Monday has been identified as 31-year-old Bryan Goodwin, an employee with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Goodwin, a San Francisco resident, was struck shortly after midnight Monday in the area of Market Street and Octavia Boulevard. He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The driver of the car that hit Goodwin remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, police said.
Goodwin worked as a hearing clerk in the EPA’s Office of Regional Counsel in San Francisco, agency spokesman Bill Keener said. He had been with the EPA since 2010.
“We’re still kind of shocked about it,” Keener said today.
Goodwin, who had osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic defect that negatively affects the body’s production of collagen, also worked with disability rights groups to reach an agreement that changed San Francisco’s policies for emergency response involving people with disabilities.
The civil rights firms Disability Rights Advocates and Chavez & Gertler LLP reached the agreement in 2012 after Goodwin fell from his wheelchair and had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital, but his motorized wheelchair could not be taken with him.
Emergency personnel phoned a taxi company to pick up the chair, but left before the taxi arrived and the wheelchair disappeared.
San Francisco agreed to improve its policies, including by contacting the city’s Department of Emergency Management to request that a paratransit contractor or other service provider come pick up any equipment left behind, and by requiring that a police officer stand by until it is retrieved.
Larry Paradis, executive director of Disability Rights Advocates, worked with Goodwin on the case and said he was also very sad to hear about the death.
“It was very distressing to hear that about our client,” Paradis said. “He was really in the prime of his life.”
Paradis said Goodwin “was so warm-hearted, and valued by everyone he dealt with.”
He said his group is working to improve pedestrian safety in San Francisco, particularly for wheelchair users who are at greater risk of an accident.
“They’re often harder to see because they’re lower down, and they can’t jump out of the way,” he said. “It’s a systemic issue of concern for people with disabilities.”
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News