Mary Ziegenbein

Public Affairs Officer

California Highway Patrol

Marin Area

53 San Clemente Drive
Corte Madera, CA 94925
(415) 924-1100

Mary Currie

Public Affairs Director

Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District

P. O. Box 9000
Presidio Station
San Francisco, CA 94129
(415) 923-2222


Good Samaritan Averts Possible Crash on Golden Gate Bridge

On November 27, 2007, at approximately 6:50 AM, a 62-year woman from Tiburon was traveling southbound on the Golden Gate Bridge (US-101), in the #2 lane, south of the south tower, just prior to the Toll Plaza. Another commuter, Mr. John Beatty of Mill Valley, was traveling behind the woman’s black Jeep Grand Cherokee and observed that the speed of the Jeep was considerably slower than the flow of traffic. Mr. Beatty drove up to the right of the Jeep and observed the driver slumped over the wheel. The woman suffered an apparent medical emergency which caused her to lose consciousness. Mr. Beatty acted quickly by positioning his vehicle, a Ford F-350 Super Duty utility truck, in the path of the moving Jeep and slowly and safely guided the Jeep across two lanes of traffic to the right where his truck and the Jeep eventually came to rest in the #4 southbound curb lane. He accomplished this while numerous other motorists, oblivious to the emergency, passed.

Mr. Beatty’s immediate and selfless action likely prevented what could have been an extremely serious traffic incident. Within minutes, CHP officers and Golden Gate Bridge Highway & Transportation District patrol officers arrived on scene. As the officers approached the Jeep, they observed the unresponsive woman slumped over the wheel. Presidio Fire Department paramedics were dispatched and transported the woman to California Pacific Medical Center where she was later pronounced deceased. The southbound lanes were interrupted for approximately 10 minutes to facilitate the emergency response vehicles. All traffic lanes were opened at 7:15AM.

According to Golden Gate Bridge Manager Kary Witt, "Due to the action of this Good Samaritan, a potentially worse situation was averted and we are all thankful for that aspect of the traffic incident this morning."