cyclist charged with manslaughter
“San Francisco cyclist to face felony charges in pedestrian death”
In speaking with a Pittsburgh Public Safety guy several weeks back, I gained a bit of useful insight that all cyclists should know. He imparted to me that aside from the right-of-way legality, there’s also a ‘reasonable expectation’ or some phrase like that, that means no matter if you’re a ped or cyclist or whatever, you have an obligation to be sure you give any motorist due consideration before stepping out into any street, no matter if there’s a crosswalk or what have you. It makes sense but I’d never heard of it before. He said any motorist -if they can build an argument you didn’t give them time to stop- can beat you in traffic court….
I almost clobbered a pedestrian last night, and I’m not sure who was at fault. It was quite unusual. I was on Liberty, westbound, between 7th and 6th Streets, when my chain popped off. I knew the only way I was going to get home was to catch a bus, so I hopped off and started “skateboarding”, my term for having my right foot on my left pedal, and my left foot on the ground, propelling myself along.
Since I was hardly up to traffic speed, and my bus stop was on the opposite side, I got across at the first break in traffic both directions, which was just short of 6th/Market. Westbound Liberty still had the green. But a pedestrian waiting to cross Liberty also saw that same break in traffic, and, not expecting a cyclist to be coming from the wrong direction, stepped right in front of me.
I locked up both brakes and slapped my left foot on the ground to stop, and I was only going a jogging pace at best, so I didn’t hit him, but it was darn close. I think the sound of my foot hitting the pavement startled him.
I shouldn’t have been there, and he should have looked both ways and not tried to cross against the light.
I think it counts as your fault just because you were on a bicycle and he was on foot. But I don’t think you were “really” at fault.
Well, he was found guilty.
San Francisco cyclist guilty of manslaughter in legal first
Aside from the obvious lesson of riding safely, a lesson for everyone who posts details of a crash online:
The incident drew widespread attention and criticism after Bucchere, while in hospital with his injuries, posted his thoughts online on the Google group Mission Cycling AM Riders.
Gascon said prosecutors argued during a preliminary hearing in March that the post did not show any remorse, as defence lawyers had argued.
“It gave us a window into his state of mind at the time,” Gascon said.
Bucchere said in the posting that the traffic light was turning yellow as he approached the intersection.
“I was already way too committed to stop … 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,” the post said.
It later added: “I hope he ends up OK,” in an apparent reference to Hui.
“Under the unusual plea deal last week, Chris Bucchere, 37, would not serve any jail time but would be sentenced to three years probation and 1,000 hours of community service following the death of Sutchi Hui of San Bruno, district attorney George Gascon said.”
If it were a driver who hit & killed a cyclist, would the sentence cause an uproar? Or would we be satisfied with “well, it’s better than nothing”?
the article says that it’s on the request of the victim’s families. they didn’t want to see him in jail.
He probably deserved more, although it’s still more of a sentence than drivers ever get.
On the other hand, most drivers don’t track their speed online, and write blog posts about their accidents.
salty wrote:He probably deserved more, although it’s still more of a sentence than drivers ever get.
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