Online Comments Reviewed As DA Weighs Charges In Fatal SF Castro Bike Wreck

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Prosecutors were deciding whether to file charges against a bicyclist who struck a pedestrian in a fatal collision in San Francisco’s Castro District last week, and are looking into comments the cyclist appears to have made online after the accident.

District Attorney’s office spokeswoman Stephanie Ong Stillman said prosecutors were weighing whether to charge Chris Bucchere, who collided with 71-year-old Sutchi Hui at Market and Castro streets shortly before 8:10 a.m. on March 29.

Police said witnesses reported that the bicyclist was traveling south on Castro Street and may have run a red light before striking Hui, who was walking east in the crosswalk.

Hui was taken to a hospital where he died Tuesday, according to police. The medical examiner’s office has not yet determined the cause of his death. Hui’s wife sat down with CBS 5 to discuss the accident and her 40 year marriage.

Bucchere was also taken to the hospital after the collision. Later that day, someone using the name Chris Bucchere posted a message about the accident in an online forum for Mission Cycling, a local cycling group.

“The light turned yellow as I was approaching the intersection, but I was already way too committed to stop,” the post stated.

“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,” he said.

Bucchere also wrote well wishes for the pedestrian, who was still alive at that point.

“I really hope he ends up OK,” he wrote.

However, he wrote that the moral of the story of his collision was the importance of wearing a helmet, eliciting critical comments from other members.

“Not sure that’s the moral of the story,” one member replied.

Another member wrote that the real moral of the story is to slow down, “especially when blasting through busy parts of town during rush hour.”

The posts on the forum have since been hidden from public view, and Bucchere could not be reached for comment.

The founders of Mission Cycling did not respond to requests for comment.

Stillman confirmed that the district attorney’s office is aware of the forum posts.

San Francisco police have not yet presented their information on the collision to the district attorney’s office, but the two agencies are consulting with each other on the case, Stillman said.

The district attorney’s office recently wrapped up a similar case involving a bicyclist who fatally struck a pedestrian.

Randolph Ang pleaded guilty last month to vehicular manslaughter after running a red light and striking a 68-year-old woman at the intersection of Mission Street and The Embarcadero on July 15, 2011.

The woman, Dionette “Didi” Cherney, later died at a hospital.

Ang, 23, was sentenced to three years’ probation, as well as 500 hours of community service and was ordered to pay restitution to Cherney’s family.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • james

    Being a bicyclist AND a car driver – I feel sorry for the family. YOU should NEVER go faster then you can stop(whether it is a car or a cycle). Since this cyclist CONTINUED into & through the intersection – (even though he states that ‘he laid the bike down’)..the fault is his and his alone. If this was a vehicle, vehicular manslaughter charges would have already been filed – the cyclist is NO DIFFERENT

  • bossman

    Yep, being both of those I have to agree with you. Sad story all around.

  • TheEnd

    Haven’t heard a peep out of the SF Bicycle Coalition.

  • Katie_SF

    I wish All cyclists had to take the kind of training I got when I did the AIDS Lifecycle in 2008. I learned skills I still use today. 1) Helmet. Always. 2) No earbuds or cellphone. 3) Stop at EVERY stop sign and light. That mean unclip, foot down. And 4) The California vehicle code applies to bikes. The Cops up in Marin enforce the law. I don’t see why SF cops can’t, or won’t, do the same.

    • djconnel

      All good lessons (except putting a foot down is overkill), but not directly relevant to this case, since it seems he entered the intersection legally. His mistake, most likely, was simply going too fast for the conditions.

      • kathgursky

        I was stopped at the light on Market when the bicyclist came speeding across Market,. He was well ABOVE the speed limit. He was clearly WRONG. As he flew by, I said aloud, “He’s going to kill himself.” Well, he wasn’t the one who died. He killed an innocent person. He had no respect for the safety of others. I’m so angry about this. It was such a horrible scene caused by someone’s arrogance and disrespect for the safety of others. I feel sorry for the victim and his family. It is just so unfair for his life to have been taken so unnecessarily.

      • JaneQPublic

        DID he enter the intersection legally?? What was his speed? Sounds like he exceeded the BASIC SPEED LAW by going too fast for conditions and possibly exceeded the speed limit as well. AND – even if he entered it legally (dubious), that does NOT give him the right to aim for ANY pedestrian….

  • Irv Sump

    It is time that anyone that uses public roads and travel have 1) a drivers lisence 2) insurance 3) a lisence plate. In Sonoma county a lady was stuck and knocked down on a trail. She has brain damage and Dr. bills. The cyclist kepted on going. Had he had a licence plate, he may have stopped or got caught. Share the road, share the responcabilty.

  • SF resident

    No different than driving a car. He should be charged with manslaughter.

    This is why i hate yielding for cyclist.

  • Bicycle Groups Condemn SF Cyclist’s Statements On Fatal Crash « CBS San Francisco

    […] on the day of the collision, someone using the name Chris Bucchere posted a message about the accident on Mission Cycling’s online […]

  • Loring Doyle

    I think it may be time to really set the bar for behavior like this and he should be facing manslaughter charges for his carelessness.

  • Angel

    The cyclist, Chris Bucchere is from Virginia and he is allegedly smart enough to own a company but doesn’t have enough intelligence or judgement to know San Francisco streets and crosswalks are full of pedestrians? Instead he had no compassion or respect for human life. In his writings he makes a joke about incident and talks more about his beloved helmet. He is obviously guilty like the other cyclist who killed a 68yr old but the district attorney seems to be afraid to charge Chris because he is an entrepreneur. He only killed an old man, right? Maybe Chris Bucchere wants to draw attention to his company.

  • Olly Yung

    He should definitely face man slaughter charges, if bicyclist constantly ask to be treated like automobile drivers (being allowed to ride directly on streets) they should be punished like drivers. 35 mph on bike is extremely dangerous and illegal.

    The way he described the incident, borders on arrogance and gives off a feeling of disrespect for the person who was injured. He could have at least visited the guy in the hospital or done something for the victim’s family. Even if they do not press charges, I hope Hui’s family sues this guy for a proper amount.

  • Classical Values » too committed

    […] really fascinated was to read the reasoning in the mind of the bicyclist. Here’s what he said allegedly at a biker site (which later […]

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    […] under consideration, a blog post allegedly written by Bucchere that details events leading up to the crash. In a statement released by his attorney last week, […]

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