SF Filipina killed by tour bus raises alarm on pedestrian safety

By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

October 28, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO – Friends, co-workers, and other family members, came to St. Gabriel’s Church to say goodbye to 68 year old Priscilla “Precy” Moreto and offer their condolences to her husband and children.

“We’re obviously devastated but we are just trying to just get through this,” said Precy’s son Eric Matthew Moreto. “Luckily we have a lot of friends and family who are supporting us.”

“It’s hard for us because my mother was the matriarch of the family and she was the one holding the family together,” said Precy’s daughter Clarissa M. Bautista.

Before they even consider filing a case against the tour bus company, the Moreto family says they want the investigation to be completed.

“Honestly, at this point, we are just trying to say goodbye to my mother,” said Eric. “We’ll go into finding out exactly what happened so we’re not really pushing them. We trust them to do a thorough investigation.”

The death of Moreto has also raised more concerns about pedestrian safety in San Francisco.

According to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, each year in San Francisco 100 pedestrians are killed while 800 are injured.

“Any time a San Francisco pedestrian or pedestrian anywhere crosses the street it’s dangerous,” said Attorney Claude Wyle.

Wyle is a personal injury attorney who says that Moreto may have been a casualty of distraction.

“I think what we got is a case where you have a tour bus operator, the tour bus operator is looking at sights, asking people to look at sights, maybe the driver is the same person on the microphone who’s describing the sights, and with all this input for the driver it might just be too much information,” said Wyle.

Wyle says that there was no way that the tour bus operator should not have seen Moreto.

“I’ll come right and just say they’re probably primarily at fault,” said Wyle. “This is not a regular crosswalk. This is a hugely wide striped crosswalk. Anybody who drives that street knows that they’re going to be a lot of pedestrians at any given time.”

The tour bus company, Classic Cable Car Charters, said in a statement that they are working with authorities as well as launching their own investigation into the incident.

Balitang America is also following up with the company on the status of their probe.

The family thanks the Filipino-American community for their support and hope this brings awareness to pedestrian safety.

“There’s a lot that has been spoken about this accident, I just don’t want it to happen again to anybody else,” said Eric.

Precy Moreto’s funeral was held earlier this morning. A motorcade procession to San Francisco City Hall preceded the interment rites.

You can contact Rommel Conclara at rommel_conclara@abs-cbn.com and follow him on Twitter @rommelconclara for more information.

One Comment

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  • Mark mcgreevey
    16 January 2015 at 12:45 am - Reply

    I work for 18 years as a tourbus driver and guide. It is wrong to state that the driver must have seen this pedestrian. If the driver were going slowly enough, as they do at that location to show the buildings, it is well possible that the pedestrian thought the driver was slowing to a stop and suddenly stepped out in front of the cable car tourbus.

    I know for a fact that pedestrians do this all the time especially while they are cell phoning and texting and not checking their surround ings.

    Of course it a tragedy. But the article should stress how pedestrians have everything to lose by carelessness and neglect of their own safety. This was a professional driver and I have a strong hunch that the pedestrian was at fault in misjudging or not looking before stepping into the street.