Chris Bucchere: Cyclist Pleads Guilty in Pedestrian Death

Categories: Law & Order, bikes

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Cyclist get a felony conviction
Prosecutors say it's the first for San Francisco: A cyclist pleads guilty to felony manslaughter.

On Monday, local cyclist Chris Bucchere pleaded guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter in connection to the death of 71-year-old Sutchi Hui who was walking with his wife in the Castro when Bucchere plowed into him with his bike.

But rather than spending any time behind bars, the 37-year-old will serve 1,000 hours of community service. If after six months he complies with the terms, a judge might reduce his sentence, according to the Chron.

Jail time or not, the message being sent is clear: negligent cyclists will be held accountable in San Francisco, said District Attorney George Gascón.

"I think it was important to get a felony conviction because the conduct warranted it," Gascón said. "On the other hand, he is a first-time offender, and we want to give him a chance for rehabilitation and redemption."

Although Bucchere's attorney was initially refusing to plead guilty to a felony, prosecutors claim to have plenty of evidence that shows Bucchere acting recklessly on March 29, 2012 as he allegedly blew through a red light at a high-rate of speed, hitting Hui who was walking through a crosswalk with his wife. Hui died a few days later.

However, Bucchere insists the light was yellow when he entered the intersection. After the accident, Bucchere (or at least someone purporting to be him) posted this online rant on a local cycling forum:

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," he continued. "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.

Bucchere will be sentenced on Aug. 16.




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19 comments
Lauren Gould
Lauren Gould

Yeah, I think this should have been treated the same as if he was driving a car. Such a shame, disgusting behavior. I nearly get hit by bikes everyday walking to work and thankfully the cops in our area are starting to ticket. It is not that I don't look out for bikes when I am crossing on my right-of-way, but you cannot see them between stopped cars as they barrel down on you at 40 mph. So dangerous, so inconsiderate of everyone around them.

Karen Opp
Karen Opp

I know drunk drivers who have gotten stronger sentencing and didn't even hit anyone. This is very sad.

Brish Bur
Brish Bur

I hate cyclists. They act like they're so much better than anyone else on the road because they're on a bike. Slow down. Stop for lights and move the fuck over for cars. Assholes.

Dave Nakamura
Dave Nakamura

WAY too light. If I were a relative, I would sue his shorts off in a civil suit.

aliasetc
aliasetc topcommenter

Throw his ass in jail. If it was a motor vehicle he'd go to jail. Screw these bicycle riders who think they are above the law. If the chickenshit cops would start ticketing the bicycle riders like they do cars it would help solve the problem of the kamikaze bicyclists.

Steven Python
Steven Python

That's an insanely dangerous intersection. And pedestrians are clueless, dimwitted, and walk around as though they have some kind of invisible force field. In addition, the victim died due as much to infirmity and old age as due to being struck by a bike. It seems like a lenient sentence to me, but not by much. Other factors are at work here.

Matthew Hodge
Matthew Hodge

I think he should be Kung Fu kicked in the groin repeatedly in public, while he's wearing those little tip toe shoes and biker shorts.....

Dixter Chauncey
Dixter Chauncey

Yes - his boasting after the death on social media shows he had with no remorse for his reckless killing.

Jan Simone
Jan Simone

Yes I do think his sentence was too light. But then again, since he pleaded guilty, it'll be easier for the deceased's wife and family to win a civil suit for wrongful death against the guy, which will end up being pretty expensive for him, so that is the real consequences he'll be paying.

Kim Kibler
Kim Kibler

wow- what an injustice. if he had been in a car he would have gone to jail. bicyclists need to register their bikes and get a license, just like a car. they need to be held accountable for obeying traffic signs, and be getting tickets for not following them. all these bike lanes in sf that WE all paid for, and yet they run stop signs, stay in the car lane, etc.- anyone that lives here can tell you that 99.9% of cyclists constantly disobey all of the traffic laws. if the city is so fucking strapped for cash- how about ticketing them??? this is a joke.

塞繆塞繆
塞繆塞繆

So the courts r saying its ok to kill a person while riding a bike! And you can get a slap on the hand for it! How wonderful!

Ed Menon
Ed Menon

I guarantee the sentence would've been much harsher if the killer (yes, killer) was in a car instead of on a bike.

Brandan Podestá
Brandan Podestá

I love this. Finally a cyclist is getting punished for acting like an idiot, albeit the sentence was too light.

Paul Varga
Paul Varga

FUCK YES the sentence was too light for that ignorant prick!!! He killed someone! He didn't just run a red light! He fucking KILLED someone!

Nimmi Solomon
Nimmi Solomon

This article leaves out the last and most important part of Bucchere's rant. The part that makes me believe this sentence is too light. "In closing, I want to dedicate this story to my late helmet. She died in heroic fashion today as my head slammed into the tarmac... may she die knowing that because she committed the ultimate sacrifice, her rider and live and ride on. Can I get an amen? Amen.'"

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