A driver plowed his van into a group of five people on Wednesday in San Francisco, California, leaving at least one person dead and others in life-threatening condition, police reported.
A spokesperson for San Francisco General Hospital said that three of the victims were in serious condition, and a fourth was in fair condition, Fox News reports.
The San Francisco Police Department told reporters that a driver got into an altercation with five people just after 10 a.m., and struck them with his vehicle before fleeing the scene.
Officials said the incident appeared to be isolated and added they don’t believe the public is at risk. The incident occurred in an industrial neighborhood along the waterfront, a few miles from the city’s financial district.
CBS SFBay Area News reports that a witness who chose to remain anonymous said the incident began as a dispute between a driver of a van and four or five people on the street which led to the driver getting out of his van and chasing after the people with an ax or a hatchet. The witness said the people were able to disarm the man and chase him back to his van, where he then got back in the vehicle and drove onto the sidewalk and into the group at high speed.
“The guy in the van got out of the van to pick up something on the ground and these guys sort of said, ‘What are you doing?’ And it was sort of a playful exchange, then the guy in the van got in their face and started yelling at them and they started yelling back. And there some sort of turf discussions like, ‘This is my turf,’ and whatever. So it’s just a crazy person. The guys on the street were sort of just messing around and then it got escalated and then all of sudden I think one of them is dead,” the witness said.
“The white van circled around — there was an altercation happening between this guy int he van and the four victims. … I saw somebody with a hatchet or small ax, and then other guys took out a belt. There was then a scuffle between them at which point I was already thinking about calling 911, I was on the phone with 911 and then he ran the four of them over. And then he continued down the sidewalk towards my general direction at which point I stayed on the phone with 911 and he drove off,” another witness said.
The suspect has been arrested.
This is a breaking news story; please check back for updates.