On August 16, 2013, a San Francisco, California-area bicyclist was convicted of felony vehicular manslaughter by bicycle in what is believed to be the first such conviction in the United States.
The conviction stems from a tragic fatal bicycle accident in March 2012. The bicyclist, Chris Bucchere, 37, was riding his bicycle downhill when he entered a crowded intersection in San Francisco’s Castro District and collided with 71 year-old Sutchi Hui, who had been crossing the street with his wife. Bucchere had been riding at about 30 miles per hour at the time of the bike crash and was using a GPS-based application that allows cyclists to compare speed records on a route and to set personal records. Furthermore, witnesses of the collision told authorities Bucchere ran through a red light before slamming into Hui.
According to the San Francisco District Attorney, George Gascón, those witness accounts were a tie-breaking factor in the decision to prosecute the case as a felony.
Gascón further stated that the case was the first felony vehicular manslaughter conviction in the United States against a bicyclist. Under California law, such a conviction would carry a maximum sentence of 6 years in prison. The son of Hui, however, said that he did not want Bucchere to go to prison for the death of his father.
The district attorney has reached a plea deal with Bucchere so as to avoid jail time. The deal provides Bucchere with a sentence of 1,000 hours of community service and 3 years of probation. A judge can decide in six months whether Bucchere’s conviction can be reduced to a misdemeanor.
If you or a close family member or friend have been injured or if a loved one was killed in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to significant personal injury damages or wrongful death damages. For a free and confidential consultation regarding your potential bike crash claim, please contact our Boston, MA bicycle accident lawyers, Boston, MA wrongful death lawyers or Boston personal injury lawyers today at 617-787-3700. You can also email our expert Massachusetts attorneys at email@example.com.
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