Bicyclist takes plea in felony case over pedestrian death, will not serve any jail time
Posted Jul 23, 2013 11:40 AM CDT
By Martha Neil
In what is being billed as the first such conviction in California, a bicyclist has taken a felony plea after striking and killing a pedestrian in a crosswalk last year.
Chris Bucchere, 37, will plead guilty to vehicular manslaughter in the death of Sutchi Hui, 71, and is to be sentenced to 1,000 hours of community service, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
If he complies with his sentence terms, the felony conviction for the first offender could later be reduced to a misdemeanor by the judge in the case.
In an apparent post from his hospital bed last year, Bucchere told tthe members of a Google bicycling group that the light was turning yellow as he entered Market Street from Divisadero Street, which soon becomes Castro Street.
"I was already way too committed to stop," the post explains. "The light turned red as I was cruising through the middle of the intersection and then, almost instantly, the southern crosswalk on Market and Castro filled up with people coming from both directions. ... I couldn't see a line through the crowd and I couldn't stop, so I laid it down and just plowed through the crowded crosswalk in the least-populated place I could find."
Prosecution witnesses at a preliminary hearing said Bucchere sped through stop signs and red lights before he got to the scene of the fatal accident, and did not appear to slow down before the crash.
Bucchere's attorney, who had sought a misdemeanor charge, and the Hui family did not comment. However, District Attorney George Gascón said justice had been served.
This was not so much about Mr. Bucchere," the DA told the Chronicle. "This was about preventing future collisions and death."
San Francisco Chronicle: "Family of bicyclist's victim didn't want jail time"
Updated on July 24 to link to subsequent San Francisco Chronicle article.