Dionette Cherney, Pedestrian Hit by Cyclist, Dies

Categories: Local News, bikes
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Bus bike crash 014.jpg
This is not the actual bike involved in the crash
Dionette Cherney has been identified as the 68-year-old woman who died early this morning from injuries caused when she was hit by a cyclist last month as she crossed the street near the Embarcadero. Police say Cherney died at 5:20 a.m.

The Washington, D.C., resident was in the crosswalk at Mission Street at about 8:30 a.m. on her way to the Embarcadero when a speeding cyclist blew a red light and hit her.

Cherney suffered a major head injury.

Police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza told SF Weekly that the SFPD has forwarded the case to the District Attorney's Office, which will decide whether to file criminal charges.

Meanwhile, police are reminding cyclists that the rules of the road also apply to them.

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As a frequent pedestrian in West Los Angeles and a long time employee of UCLA, I practice a technique which I refer to as defensive walking for my personal safety  and which I beleve is an effective countermeasure to the presence of bicycles on the sidewalks and at crosswalks.

The three principles of defensive walking are: Exercise a constant 360 degree situational awareness and surveillance of the presence and location of bicyles on or near the sidewalk; Assume the presence of bicycles on the sidewalk and consider the sidewalk to be a roadway, an extension of the street; Exit the traffic pattern at the approach of a bicycle.

At crosswalks, whether they are signalized or not, marked or not, or whether or not I have the right of way as a pedestrian, do not assume that bicycles will stop, and act accordingly.


Jonathan D'souza
Jonathan D'souza

Wait... the DA has to determine if they are going to file charges? 

A personal vehicle ignored traffic safety laws, leading the the death of a pedestrian who was obeying the laws. How is this not a clear case of manslaughter. 

Sin Nombre
Sin Nombre

I believe a little Google searching will turn up some better information than I can give you, but basically the DA's office has limited resources and a constant glut of possible cases to wade through, so they have to determine which ones have the best chances of conviction and throw away the rest.  Unfortunately, from what I understand San Francisco juries are notoriously unwilling to convict people for causing injury or death through traffic violations, unless there's proof of intoxication.  I'd imagine given the local culture that it might be difficult to find a jury who would convict a bicyclist of doing the same, but we'll have to wait and see what the DA's office decides.  This is just the cold, hard reality of our justice system.  Don't like it?  Lobby to increase funding for the county DA's office, and figure out how to get the people of SF to give a sh*t about what happens to other people in their community.  Good luck with that.


Welcome to San Francisco -- Where the scenery is beautiful and the involuntary manslaughter laws do not apply


Utter disregard for legal precedence/protocol is a 'S'ci F'i'  tradition now..

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