SAN FRANCISCO -- Police on Thursday released the names of two men arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter for separate collisions on New Year's Eve that killed a 6-year-old girl and an 86-year-old man.
Syed Muzzafar, 57, of Union City, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk for hitting 6-year-old Sophia Liu at about 8 p.m. Tuesday at Polk and Ellis streets in the city's Tenderloin neighborhood.
Sophia, a woman and another child were in a crosswalk when Muzzafar allegedly turned right and hit them, police spokesman Officer Gordon Shyy said.
Sophia died from her injuries at San Francisco General Hospital while the woman suffered life-threatening injuries and the other child is expected to survive, police said.
Supervisor Jane Kim, whose district includes the Tenderloin, said the other two victims were Sophia's mother and brother and that the motorist identified himself as a driver with the transportation company Uber.
Sheriff's spokeswoman Susan Fahey said Muzzafar was booked into custody early Wednesday morning and was released after posting bail at about 11 p.m.
An official from Uber said on Thursday that Muzzafar was a driver for UberX, the Uber's lower-priced service that uses hybrid and compact cars, and launched in San Francisco in 2012. He was not driving for Uber at the time of the accident, spokesman Andrew Noyes said.
"Our hearts go out to the family and victims of the accident that occurred in downtown San Francisco last night," the company said in a blog post Wednesday. "We work with transportation providers across the Bay Area, but we can confirm that this tragedy did not involve a vehicle or provider doing a trip on the Uber system."
Noyes said the company has deactivated Muzzafar's account, so he can no longer provide rides through the Uber app.
"We again extend our deepest condolences to the family and victims of this tragic accident," Noyes said in a blog post.
Noyes declined to say how long Muzzafar had been driving for the company. All drivers are independent contractors -- Uber doesn't employ drivers full time nor does it own cars but, like other ride-sharing services, it requires that drivers use their personal vehicles. Driver must pass background checks and ongoing quality reviews, and Uber says it requests and review customer feedback on drivers.
Earlier Tuesday in a separate incident, 86-year-old Zhen Guang Ng was struck at about 3:30 p.m. at Naples and Rolph streets in the city's Crocker-Amazon neighborhood. He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
Giampaolo Boschetti, a 69-year-old San Francisco resident, was arrested following the collision and was booked into custody on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and failure to stop at a stop sign, police said.
Fahey said Boschetti was released early Wednesday morning after also posting bail.
Bay Area News Group reporter Heather Somervile contributed to this report.
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