SF Cyclist Convicted of Manslaughter in Ped Fatality
San Francisco, CA–August 16, 2013
The bicyclist who fatally struck a pedestrian in San Francisco was sentenced to community service and probation on
Thursday, after pleading guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter in what is believed to be the first such conviction in the United States.
Chris Bucchere, 37, struck a deal to avoid jail time, according to reports. He then was sentenced to 1,000 hours of community service and three years of probation for the death of 71-year-old Sutchi Hui last year, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement.
“Mr. Hui was a loving husband, father, and grandfather who tragically lost his life in an incident that could have easily been prevented,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “Motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists must share the road in a responsible way because there are dire consequences when traffic laws are disregarded.”
“The Hui Family would like to thank the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, District Attorney Gascón, Chief Assistant District Attorney Sharon Woo, SFPD Inspector Lori Cadigan for their work and support for my father’s case,” said Terry Hui, Sutchi Hui’s son.
On the morning of Thursday, March 29, 2012, Hui was crossing the street with his wife on Market and Castro when he was struck by Bucchere, who was riding his bicycle through the intersection of Market and Castro. Hui sustained blunt force trauma injuries from the collision that led to the cause of his death on Monday, April 2.
Bucchere’s trip down the hill in San Francisco, and his speedy passage through the intersection where he struck Hui had been documented on the Strava, the online tracking system for cyclists. At the time the event caused a ripple through the cycling community, with many taking aim at one of their own for endangering the lives of others by riding too quickly.
Other cyclists pointed out the hypocrisy of the Attorney General’s office which they said do not prosecute drivers with the same strength, including those who run red lights and kill or maim pedestrians .
A judge can determine in 6 months if Bucchere’s conviction can be reduced to a misdemeanor.
After Bucchere struck Hui, he also was taken to the hospital for his injuries. Later the cyclist wrote on the Internet,
Around 8 a.m. I was descending Divisadero Street southbound and about to cross Market Street. 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. The intersection very long and the width of Castro Street at that point is very short, so, in a nutshell, blammo.
The quote/unquote ‘scene of the crime’ was that intersection right by the landmark Castro Theatre – it leads from a really busy MUNI station to that little plaza where The Naked Guy always hangs out. It was commuter hour and it was crowded as all getup. 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 don’t remember the next five minutes but when I came to, I was in a neck brace being loaded into an ambulance. I remember seeing a RIVER of blood on the asphalt, but it wasn’t mine. Apparently I hit a 71-year-old male pedestrian and he ended up in the ICU with pretty serious head injuries. I really hope he ends up OK.”