Pedestrian Hit By Bicyclist In San Francisco Dies

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A woman who was badly injured when she was struck by a bicyclist in a crosswalk at Mission Street and The Embarcadero last month died Thursday morning, San Francisco police said.

Dionette Cherney died in the hospital at 5:20 a.m. from injuries she sustained when she was struck by a bicyclist on July 15, according to San Francisco police and San Francisco General Hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan.

Officers arrived to the intersection around 8:30 a.m. and found the woman with a life-threatening head injury, Officer Albie Esparza said.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth:

Detectives determined the bicyclist was riding recklessly, ran a red light, and hit the woman who was crossing the street legally, he said. The bicyclist was questioned and detained at the scene before being released.

Police will present the case to the San Francisco’s District Attorney’s Office to determine if charges will be filed.

“The San Francisco police investigation is still under way, and we have not formally been presented with the case to review for charging,” San Francisco District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Erica Terry Derryck said.

She said the office was communicating with police, but the district attorney will wait to receive all of the information before making a decision.

Esparza said after the collision the bicyclist would face the same potential legal repercussions as the driver of any car involved in a collision with a pedestrian.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • PeepsRepublik

    Wanna bet that NO charges are brought? Bicyclist should be charged with vehicular manslaughter and serve hard time when convicted. If the jury does not convict, the judge should set aside their verdict and convict.

    • susie

      Agree! Bicyclist should be charged with vehicula manslaughter.

  • vbtricky

    Maybe now bycyclist will realize that it’s not the cars that need to “share the road” it’s YOU. Hmm did that person get a ticket for running a red light like a vehicle would have? Are they going to have the same charges brought on them that a person driving a car would?

    • Dixie

      Unfortunately most bicyclists are too arrogant to obey the rules. It’s time for the police to start enforcing the law with bicyclists.

      • k

        bicyclists are always yelling and flipping motorists off

  • canna

    It’s called vehicular manslaughter with an enhancement for negligence for running the red light . Time to go to jail!!!!!!!

  • Chaka Chuka

    I am guessing there will be a critical mess this month.


    I too been yelling at any body that would listen! “( they) ride with out obeying traffic laws! go on sidewalks jump curves you name it? they all (well most) do it time and time again! all most never bother to make a full stop on red, and lots of times just keep on going! …. I see it every day! does the police do something about this problem? NO! it’s just a guy or woman on a bike ! at least until some one dies!

  • charlotte

    I can’t count the number of times I’ve almost been run down by by bicyclists.
    A few have even hit me and then not bothered to stop. I think they need to start getting tickets just like motorists.

  • Ellen

    I’m a cyclist and I’m tired of others on bikes abusing the laws of the road and assuming the laws don’t apply to them. They do. I see people on bikes in my end of Berkeley running stop signs, lanesplitting dangerously, running lights, some of them with kids in trailers behind the bikes. It takes a second to slow down and stop at the Stop Sign, a few minutes off your time to stop at the light, or wait for a pedestrian. The laws of the road apply to everyone for a good reason – it’s time to stop thinking you’re above the law if you’re on a bike – you’re not.

  • james

    GOOD – CHARGE him with VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER! Put them away for 3-5 YEARS!!!! Too often bicyclist RUN RED light, STOP signs – and who gets hurt??? ALWAYS the PEDESTRIANS!!!

    I BIKE and walk – I am getting REALLY really TIRED of CARS and Bicyclists running lights, driving in the BIKE lane, shooting into the PEDESTRIAN ZONE, etc., ETC!!!!

  • Ben

    What is it going to take to get some attention to this issue? Cycling has become a plague and all city and state officials do is ignore the issue and think of even more ways to accommodate them. I run regularly all over the bay area and I can tell you that cars CAN be a problem, but bicycles are ALWAYS a problem.

    Bicycles are far worse than skateboards ever were. Does anybody know of an organizion committed to getting control of this problem? I want to join.

    • Noahjohng

      Ben, you’re sounding a little genocide-ish there buddy. I’m incredibly sorry that this happened, and cyclists need to pay attention to the roads like everybody else, they are not above the law…that said, relativity is KEY. If you want to compare them to skateboarders, then yes, they kill far more people, and I am sorry for that. In terms of public destruction…well, no. But people are more important that parks! On the other hand, if you compare them to cars, then for every one of these stories, I can give you sixty more involving cars (if my math is correct), why just the other day I turned on the news and the first three stories were of cars killing people. The first was a little girl who went to get the mail, the second was a cyclist (whom was hit with a group, but only one had died so far) and the last one was another car (driver killed) what’s more, car drivers seem to make up roughly 40% of all car related deaths, which means that on average, every time a driver does something stupid, he kills himself and alteast one other person. Even if all 600 of bike related deaths people HIT and not the cyclists them selves (which…well, that’s just not the case seeing as it does actually take a LOT for a cyclist to kill someone) then cyclist deaths would still only make up 1/30th the innocent deaths caused by cars (that is, those whom weren’t responsible for whatever happened). Point being, cycling is trying to help, and this person is getting 3-5 years for doing something horribly wrong and terrible, but don’t pin this on other cyclists and certainly don’t call cycling a plague. I ride my bike because it’s my mode of transportation. Bikes aren’t skateboards ,they are kids playing around. They’re vehicles, and need to be treated as such. People need to learn the rules and people need to be more safe, it’s has simple has that.

      • RealityCheck

        The bottom line is so many people riding bikes behave like a##holes, just as so many people driving cars behave like a##holes. People need to slow down (cars) and pay attention (bikes). Just because you have the right of way does not mean you should take it. Personally, I would rather avoid becoming road pizza but judging by the number of people on bikes who try to ASSERT their rights they do not. So maybe they will become organic debris dissipating with traffic.

    • Equal Wheels

      Check out Equal Wheels on Facebook.

  • Mark

    I am a cyclist in San Francisco. I stop ar red lights and don’t go the wrong way down one way streets, etcetera. I’ve said for years that many cyclists show extreme lack of responsibility. I’d have no problem with the laws being enforced across the board. That said, I have almost daily near death experiences because of how some motorists behave and the jaywalkers who walk into the street in front of me–in the middle of the block, against red lights, whatever–often without even looking to see if someone is coming. EVERYONE needs to learn to be more considerate of others.

    • Darwin

      If we would allow all roadway users to run down jaywalkers without any consequence the world would be a better place.

  • Equal Wheels

    This is so sad. For all of you who posted here check out the Facebook page called “Equal Wheels” it’s a group dedicated to seeing that traffic laws are enforced equally. We need to do MORE and just wait to see if the judicial system and the law makers get it right. There are too many Pro-cycle PAC’s in California that will argue the rules should be different.

  • Tony G

    ey I agree with all the above comments. The sad part is that the board of stoopervisors and the other political figures of this city don’t feel the same way and if they did it would be because its an election year. Most of them are big supporters of the S.F. bicycle coalition (Critical mass organizers) and are ok with them being hooligans and taking over the streets and ruining peoples commute for their rights and their rights only which in the past this has been my argument because they are allowed to not to have to follow the laws of the road yet they share it and its the drivers responsibility not to hit them when thbreak the law or its the pedestrians responsibility to really watch out for THEM and them not to have to worry about watching out for us. They are always the ones to cry about how unfair it is and how if they had more miles of bike lanes that they would be safer. Which more bike lanes I do support but what about the rest of us? The politicians of this city wont give this Death much thought other than an im sorry it happened and then its back to business and that’s sad. I’m sure this person had a family to. The bicyclist that committed this CRIME should be held responsible and yet he or she is not even getting a running a red light ticket or man slaughter charges. Not fair! if this was a person driving a car they would have been in jail. That’s my two cents

  • kira d clark

    Unfortunately the only way cops will take notice of illegal biking is to bring a lawsuit against the city of San Francisco. Really appalling to see this video and the obvious disregard for pedestrian safety.

    • Equal Wheels

      Not “just” a lawsuit, a high profile one that the city looses!

  • Matthew

    Why has this guy not been arrested yet ?? While this woman was dying — he’s still out functioning in society. It’s sickening.

  • Marcia D

    I almost got hit by a bike who ran a light this morning, as I was walking to work. The bicyclists run the lights all the time – they are too lazy to stop & dismount. I think it is time they get licensed too – they should pay something back into the system that provides all the amenities for them. I am sure MUNI ridership is down partly due to the cheapskate bicyclists. They need to contribute something besides attitude to the system.

    • Equal Wheels

      I’d love to see more folks with your voice speak up.

  • irritated

    Cyclists routinely ignore traffic laws. I never see them stop for a red light or stop sign and I never see them stopped by police for anything so it doesn’t surprise me that they keep on doing it. Yet the car driver must share the road with them. There are lots of cyclist where I live and I have to be very careful about looking out for them.

    • Cintia

      Ah, segregation! I mtosly see elitist, anti-egalitarian thinking for HOV carpool lanes, express-bus lanes, RFID Easy-Pass tolls, and carpool parking. That bicyclist separation is no more protection than flush median refuges are for pedestrians! Calling it a barrier isn’t even an illusion of safety.The traffic light attachment is also unlike any in the US. If you look at the rubber on the nearest pavement, it looks like an oncoming vehicle lane was removed to make room for the two bike lanes, thus no longer two lanes each way.

      • Herbert Weiner

        My understanding is that the bicyclist, responsible for the pedestrian death, was not prosecuted and walked. In the least, his bicycle priviledges should have been suspended for a year.

  • Herbert Weiner

    This problem has been going on for years without its being addressed. The Municipal Transit Authority has pandered to the bicyciists and rolled out the red carptet for them with bike lanes all over the city. The Board of Supervisors rely upon them as an electoral base of support. Bicyclists consider themselves progressive, because they don’t pollute the atmosphere. But they do pollute the intersection. To date, the Coalition has considered themselves impervious to any criticism when they should be bringing renegade cyclists to heel. The police have told me that some bicyclists have been pulled off their bikes and beaten by angry pedestrians when the former have crashed the red light. This is a form of vigilante street justice which we would prefer not to occur. But some people, seeing no other alternative due to lack of law enforcement, will do this in desperate rage. The arrogance of some cyclists will have a heavy price if something isn’t done to rectify these preventable accidents.
    I am a senior citizen, aged 72, who wishes to see people cross the street safely without incident.
    There should be a dialogue between the police, pedestrians and the Bicycle Coalition to prevent these horrible incidents. The Bicycle Coaltion should be concerned about the above incident which was bound to occur, given its neglect and sense of invulnerability.

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