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Union City Man Arrested on Suspicion of Vehicular Manslaughter in 6-Year-Old's Death

Authorities say Syed Muzzafar, a 57-year-old Uber driver from Union City, failed to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, striking 6-year-old Sophia Liu in San Francisco on New Year's Eve.

Authorities say Syed Muzzafar, a 57-year-old Uber driver from Union City, failed to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, fatally striking 6-year-old Sophia Liu in San Francisco on New Year's Eve. Credit: SFPD
Authorities say Syed Muzzafar, a 57-year-old Uber driver from Union City, failed to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, fatally striking 6-year-old Sophia Liu in San Francisco on New Year's Eve. Credit: SFPD
By Bay City News Service

A driver with the San Francisco transportation company Uber was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter for striking and killing a 6-year-old girl in the city's Tenderloin neighborhood on New Year's Eve, police and company officials said Thursday.

Syed Muzzafar, 57, of Union City, was arrested following the death of 6-year-old Sophia Liu, who was struck as she crossed the street with her mother and brother at Polk and Ellis streets at about 8 p.m. Tuesday, police said.

Muzzafar was turning right when he struck the victims, who were walking in the crosswalk, police said.

He was booked into custody on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk and posted bail at about 11 p.m. Wednesday, sheriff's spokeswoman Susan Fahey said.

Uber, which matches riders to private cars via a smartphone app, released a statement Thursday confirming that Muzzafar was a driver for the company and said it has deactivated his account.

Uber officials said he did not have a passenger in his car at the time of the collision.

"We again extend our deepest condolences to the family and victims of this tragic accident," the company said in a statement.

The pedestrian death was the second in San Francisco on New Year's Eve.

Earlier in the day, 86-year-old Zhen Guang Ng was fatally struck at Naples and Rolph streets in the city's Crocker-Amazon neighborhood.

Giampaolo Boschetti, 69, of San Francisco, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and failure to stop at a stop sign in connection with Ng's death.

Boschetti was also released from custody on Wednesday after posting bail, Fahey said.

Copyright © 2014 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

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