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Possibly stolen car flips over San Francisco stairway in crash caught on viral video

A firefighter stands next to an upside-down car lying on top of a toppled tree on a sidewalk next to a stairway
A vehicle drove off a public stairway and flipped over in San Francisco’s Castro District on Saturday evening.
(San Francisco Fire Department)
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Police are searching for a group of people who drove a car off a public stairway in San Francisco in a spectacular crash caught on video.

The crash occurred at 7:18 p.m. Saturday in the Castro District, the Fire Department said in a news release, and none of the people who got out of the car were found at the scene when police and firefighters arrived.

The white sedan drove through a guardrail at the top of the Sanchez Street Stairs, flipped over and landed on its back 40 feet below, according to the San Francisco Fire Department and a video from the bottom of the stairway that was posted to YouTube.

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The video shows the car soar into the air and knock down a tree a few seconds after pedestrians walked down the stairs. In a separate video posted to YouTube, a surveillance camera at the top of the stairs shows the car approach the end of the dead-end street and plow through a railing without slowing down.

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Several people rush over to help after the crash, and a pedestrian pulls open one of the car doors. Stunned bystanders watch as the occupants stumble out of the car and appear to toss out items from inside the wrecked vehicle. A person can be heard on the video saying, “I’m sorry, guys. I love you. ... I’m sorry. We gotta go.”

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who represents the neighborhood, told the San Francisco Chronicle that police believe the car was stolen two blocks away and that some of the people inside may have been minors.

Video shows at least two of the people who got out of the car run up the Sanchez Street Stairs as three more walk away on 19th Street, with one person in the group yelling at bystanders for looking at them. The group walks out of the frame of the surveillance camera just as the sound of approaching sirens can be heard.

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No injuries were reported, according to the San Francisco Fire Department.

Authorities said they have been unable to find the people involved in the crash. Anyone with information can contact police at (415) 575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and begin the message with SFPD.

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