San Francisco Cyclist to Face Manslaughter Trial

In what San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon believes is a first of its kind case in the state of California, a 36-year-old bicyclist has been ordered to stand trial on a felony vehicular manslaughter charge.

At a preliminary hearing that concluded on Thursday in San Francisco, Superior Court Judge Andrew Cheng ruled that Chris Bucchere will indeed go to trial. On the morning of March 29, 2012, Bucchere was involved in a collision with a pedestrian at Castro and Market streets. That pedestrian, 71-year-old Sutchi Hui, died of his injuries a short time after the collision.

Prosecutors allege Bucchere ran multiple red lights and a stop sign before striking Hui, showing gross negligence prior to the crash. In the preliminary hearing, they also said he showed a lack of concern for the victim, dedicating a story in an online forum to his “late helmet” that was destroyed in the crash, rather than the victim.

Bucchere’s attorney argued that surveillance video shows his client had entered the intersection before the light turned red and that pedestrians, including Hui, entered before they had the walk sign.

Bucchere is scheduled to return to court for formal arraignment on March 21, although Judge Cheng said he hopes the two sides can reach an agreement privately before the arraignment.



Photo Credit: Jamezcd, via Wikimedia Commons