By Erin Sherbert
Thu., Jun. 14 2012
Not surprisingly, the District Attorney’s Office announced this morning that it will charge 36-year-old Chris Bucchere with felony vehicular manslaughter after he allegedly ran a red light in the Castro, hitting and killing 71-year-old Sutchi Hui.
District Attorney George Gascón had already indicated in April that prosecutors had plenty of evidence to file felony charges against the local cyclist, who they say acted with “gross negligence.”
For starters, a surveillance camera on 17th and Market streets caught Bucchere blowing through the intersection at Market and Castro, making little or no attempt to stop before hitting Hui. What’s more, witnesses also reported seeing the cyclist plow through red lights and stops signs minutes before the accident.
“Mr. Hui was a husband and a father and he was killed because of a bicyclist’s need for speed,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “This incident could have been avoided and we can do better as a city to avoid these tragic consequences. In order to preserve our diverse transit community, everyone has to follow the rules of the road.”
On March 29, Hui, a San Bruno resident, was crossing the street with his wife on Market and Castro streets when he was hit by Bucchere, prosecutors say. Hui was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with blunt-force trauma. He died on April 2.
Gascón said his office can prove that Bucchere broke plenty of traffic laws leading up to the fatal accident. Of course, Bucchere’s online rant probably didn’t help his case. Shortly after the accident, someone claiming to be Bucchere logged onto a local bike forum and defended his actions in the accident.
“This tragic death caused by a bicyclist illustrates the worst-case scenario when traffic laws are not obeyed,” Gascón said.
Bucchere is scheduled to appear in court for his arraignment early next week.