Updated: Vigil for women killed during New Year's Eve hit-and-run postponed

The vigil will be held at 2nd and Mission, the site of a fatal NYE hit-and-run | Image: Google
By Carrie Sisto - Published on January 06, 2021.

Two women killed in a hit-and-run on New Year's Eve will be remembered during a vigil Wednesday afternoon at the scene of the collision in SoMa.

“I think Hanako’s death should be a critical lesson for the whole society to create a system to prevent such disastrous incidents from happening,” Hiroko Abe, mother of 27-year-old Hanako Abe, said in a media advisory about the vigil. The mother has traveled from Japan to arrange for transportation of her daughter’s remains.

The remembrance vigil will occur at Mission and Second streets, the site where 45-year-old Troy McAlister of San Francisco allegedly struck and killed Abe and 60-year-old Elizabeth Platt around 4 p.m. on December 31, 2020. According to the Chronicle, the grey 2017 Honda HR-V involved in the incident was reportedly stolen on December 29, by McAlister from a woman he was on a date with in Daly City.

McAlister has been identified as a convicted felon who was on parole at the time of the incident. He has since been arrested on charges of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit-and-run, gun possession, and vehicle theft.

The incident has drawn significant criticism of the San Francisco District Attorney and state parole offices, as well as the Daly City and San Francisco Police Departments. In a statement issued on Monday, District Attorney Chesa Boudin called the incident “an example of many different agencies each failing to intervene effectively.”

While the San Francisco Police Officers Association has been one of the loudest critics of Boudin’s handling of McAlister’s case, the organization’s president Tony Montoya said in a media advisory that tonight’s memorial is a time to “pause and focus on the life of the victims” and “help their families remember their loved ones and grieve together as a community.”

But District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani escalated the issue yesterday, calling the New Year’s Eve hit-and-run only “the most egregious example” among several “recent reports of serial repeat offenders whose release from custody precipitated dangerous incidents in which innocent bystanders were killed.”

Stefani sent a letter to Boudin, Police Chief Bill Scott, Sheriff Paul Miyamoto, Chief Parole Officer Karen Fletcher, and Chief Probation Officer Katy Miller asking for detailed information about what occurs when someone who is on parole is arrested for new offenses, and the rearrest rates in San Francisco. She is calling for a hearing before the Board of Supervisors to discuss the responses to her request publicly.

Anyone interested in attending Wednesday afternoon’s remembrance vigil is asked to arrive at the site by 3:58 p.m., wear a mask, and observe social distancing for other participants’ safety.

Update: ABC 7 met Hiroko Abe at SFO today as she arrived for the vigil. 

Update: January 6, 2021, 4 p.m.: Today's vigil was postponed on the request of one of the victims, Hanako Abe's, mother. After arriving in San Francisco, Hiroko Abe was reportedly too distraught to participate. Still, several people showed up at the site as planned, and left wreaths and flowers in memory of the two women who were killed during the New Year's Eve hit-and-run. It is unclear at this time if the vigil will be rescheduled. 

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