San Francisco prosecutors have brought relatively rare felony vehicular manslaughter charges against a bicyclist who allegedly hit and killed an elderly man, 71-year-old Sutchi Hui in a crosswalk. Chris Bucchere, 36, allegedly ran a red traffic light before hitting Hui who died later of his injuries. His trial could feature a highly inadvisable blog posting that he allegedly published after the fatal accident — bemoaning the loss of his helmet.
Bucchere was viewed as reckless in biking at high speed down Divisadero Street and then entering the intersection on a yellow light. Witnesses said that they saw him running both red and yellow lights before the accident. The tracker on his bike showed him going 35 miles per hour. That is actually ten mph over the posted speed limit for cars. His ride was also captured on security cameras — giving the prosecutors a remarkably strong evidentiary case with a variety of different forms of evidence from witnesses to his own speedometer to video.
To make matters worse, Bucchere reportedly appeared on the website of local bicycling group MissionCycling.org discussing the crash – never a good idea for a criminal defendant:
The light turned yellow as I was approaching the intersection, but I was already way too committed to stop. 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.
I remember seeing a RIVER of blood on the asphalt, but it wasn’t mine. I really hope he ends up OK.
He then reportedly dedicates the post to his now-broken helmet, the author wrote, “may she die knowing that because she committed the ultimate sacrifice, her rider and live and ride on. Can I get an amen? Amen.” I have more of an “Oh God” than an “Amen” to offer. If Bucchere did write that entry, he rivals Jerry Sandusky in dumb public statements.
Beside the callous aspects of the posting, Bucchere seems to acknowledge that he was going too fast to control his bike or protect pedestrians. His sense of loss over his helmet may fade in time as he faces up to 16 months in prison.
Source: SF Gate