Man dies after car plunges into bay

The Associated Press
Thursday December 27, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO — A man died and his wife was rescued from the San Francisco Bay after their Jeep Cherokee careened into the chilly waters Tuesday afternoon. 

Abdel Laarif, 37, of San Francisco was pronounced dead at the scene near the St. Francis Yacht Club along the waterfront, according to the city medical examiner’s office. The cause of his death had not been determined. 

Laarif’s wife survived the crash, pulled to safety by passers-by, according to the medical examiner’s office. She was transported to a hospital and was being treated for hypothermia late Tuesday. 

The accident occurred at about 2:45 p.m. Witnesses say the car seemed to behave normally until it suddenly sped toward the wall lining the yacht club parking lot. 

“The car was going maybe five miles an hour and the next thing you know it was accelerating at 20 miles an hour and lurched up and over the curb and down over the brick wall, which was 12 feet to the ocean,” said Michael Keenan, one of three people who dove into the water to pull the couple out. 

San Francisco police Sgt. Paul Morse called the quick actions that saved the woman’s life heroic. 

Morse said emergency crews would have to wait until low tide to pull the battered car out of the water.