Driver plows into several people on San Francisco street, killing one

March 28 (Reuters) - A driver plowed a vehicle into five people in San Francisco on Wednesday, killing one and critically injuring others before fleeing the scene, police said.

The five people were taken to the hospital and police later said on Twitter that one person had died following the hit-and-run in San Francisco's Central Waterfront neighborhood. Police said they were searching for the driver.

At least three of the other victims had life-threatening wounds, police said.

"Driver of vehicle in a physical altercation with five subjects and struck five subjects with his vehicle," San Francisco police said in a statement.

It was not clear what might have sparked the dispute between the driver and the people in the street. Police declined to immediately provide further details.

A witness said the driver got out of a van with an ax during the altercation, before getting back into the vehicle and driving it into people on the sidewalk, according to the San Francisco affiliate for NBC.

In video from NBC Bay Area, paramedics and police could be seen attending to a person lying on the sidewalk.

Paul Lim, who works at a business in the area, told the San Francisco Chronicle he saw the aftermath of the incident.

"I saw two lifeless people from across the street," Lim told the newspaper. "Another one was being consoled by a friend screaming for help. And another one was moving very slowly."

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles and Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Tom Brown and Grant McCool)

RELATED: San Francisco before it was a city

19 PHOTOS
San Francisco before it was a city
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San Francisco before it was a city

San Francisco's first residents, members of the Yelamu tribe, began inhabiting the area around 3000 BC. Approximately 150 to 300 people lived in the boundaries of modern-day San Francisco, though they also roamed to neighboring sites.

Photo Credit: Library of Congress

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

A group of Spanish explorers, led by Don Gaspar de Portolà, arrived there in 1769. This was the first documented European visit to the San Francisco Bay.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Clear Case

At the time, sand dunes stretched for about seven miles from east to west.

Photo Credit: Willard Worden/Open SF History

Source: San Francisco Department of the Environment

Here's another early 20th century photo of sand dunes, which formed centuries prior, in what is now the 1,000-acre Golden Gate Park

Photo Credit: San Francisco Public Library

The Spanish settlers established the Presidio of San Francisco (i.e. the "Royal Fortress of Saint Francis") in 1776.

Photo Credit: NYPL

The same year, the Mission San Francisco de Asís, the oldest surviving structure in the city, was built. The Catholic church was made of adobe, brush, and wood, which weren't the best materials considering California's earthquakes. Here it is in an 1863 photograph

Photo Credit: NYPL 

The area remained under Spanish rule until 1821, when it became a part of Mexico.

Photo Credit: Library of Congress

In 1835, English entrepreneur William Richardson founded the city’s first homestead outside Mission San Francisco de Asís, near what is today Portsmouth Square (a one-block park in the city's Chinatown neighborhood).

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Source: San Francisco Gate

The same year, Richardson and Alcalde Francisco de Haro, a Mexican soldier, laid out an urban plan for a larger town, named Yerba Buena (“Good Herb” in Spanish) after an aromatic plant native to the area. The town began to attract American settlers.

Photo Credit: Found San Francisco

A decade later, Yerba Buena had doubled in population to nearly 1,000 residents, and the town’s name was changed to San Francisco.

Photo Credit: Public Domain 

Source: "The San Francisco Bay Area"

In 1849, San Francisco became the home base for the gold rush, cementing it as a center for maritime trade.

Photo Credit: NYPL

Source: History.com

But in 1906, a huge earthquake and fire devastated the city. Here's a photo of the wreckage of San Francisco's City Hall.

Photo Credit: NYPL

Over the next few decades, San Francisco rebuilt itself ...

Photo Credit: NYPL/Ewing Galloway

... and its population boomed.

Photo Credit: NYPL

Construction on the 1.7-milelong Golden Gate Bridge began in 1933.

Photo Credit: Library of Congress

Throughout the first half of the 20th century, the city built up its infrastructure. Here’s a 1945 photo of a street with the city’s earliest streetcars, which debuted in 1873.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Source: San Francisco Cable Car Museum

The promise of San Francisco's bohemia, cool summers ...

American psychedelic rock band The Grateful Dead poses in San Francisco, circa 1960s.

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

... and the beautiful bay brought more residents to the city.

Two women pose with the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, circa 1940s.

Photo Credit: Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection/Indiana University Archives

Today, San Francisco is home to over 800,000 people.

Source: Bay Area Census

Photo Credit: Getty 

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