The five people were taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, where one person died and one was in critical condition, said hospital spokesman Brent Andrew. The three others were in serious or fair condition.
"We do not believe the general public is at risk," San Francisco police spokesman Robert Rueca said at a news conference, calling it an isolated incident.
The driver was later arrested, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, citing unnamed sources.
The newspaper, based on sources familiar with the investigation, also reported the people who were hit had been trying to steal the driver's vehicle.
Police declined to immediately provide details on what might have led to the incident or confirm that a suspect had been arrested. They initially said the driver ploughed into the five people after a physical altercation.
Paul Lim, who works at a business in the area, told the San Francisco Chronicle he saw the aftermath of the incident.
"I saw two lifeless people from across the street," Lim told the newspaper. "Another one was being consoled by a friend screaming for help. And another one was moving very slowly."
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles and Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Tom Brown and Grant McCool)
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Get Breaking news, live coverage, and Latest News from India and around the world on NDTV.com. Catch all the Live TV action on NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.