By Malou Liwanag-Aguilar/Asianjournal.com
SAN FRANCISCO –A 66-year-old Filipina who spent 20 years as a housekeeper for Hotel Whitcomb on Market Street, was killed when a Department of Public Works (DPW) driver hit her on Bayshore Boulevard on the morning of April 12.
Florencia Tiongco was in the crosswalk, pushing a cart of her laundry, when she was hit at 8:15 am across the busy Bayshore Boulevard in the Bayview neighborhood. The DPW city pickup was turning left onto Bayshore from Bacon Street, police said.
“The truck had the green light to go and the pedestrian had the green light to walk across the street,” Sgt. Wilfred Williams, a spokesman for the San Francisco Police Department said in a report by the San Francisco Chronicle.
The driver of the city-owned Ford pickup was a woman who has worked for DPW for 10 years, according to Public Works spokeswoman Christine Falvey. That unfortunate morning, she was on her way back to the department’s operation yard after delivering street-cleaning supplies. She stayed on the scene after the accident and cooperated with police investigation. The city employee was also taken to the San Francisco General Hospital where she was given the routine alcohol and drug tests.
As of this year, it reported that five pedestrians have been killed on city streets due to vehicle collisions, which includes Tiongco. The SFPD, City Attorney’s Office and DPW are all conducting investigations about the incident, while the 55-year-old driver has been placed on paid administrative duty.
Tiongco moved to the US from the Philippines in 1989 to join her family. She lived with her daughter not far from the scene of the accident. The victim, who is said to have seven children, 15 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren had worked at the Hotel Whitcomb to send money back to her family in the Philippines, as said by her granddaughter, Christine Sarmiento. Sarmiento also mentioned that her grandmother was already planning to retire this year and their family had plans of going back to the Philippines. The family is now instead making plans to go home to bury her.