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.
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