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Cyclist In Fatal San Francisco Pedestrian Crash May Face Felony Charge

SAN FRANCSICO (KCBS) – The bicyclist who fatally struck an elderly pedestrian in San Francisco will likely be charged with a felony in connection with an accident last month in the Castro District.

District Attorney George Gascón is gearing up to file felony vehicular manslaughter charges against Chris Bucchere, who slammed into 71-year-old Sutchi Hui on March 29th.

KCBS' Margie Shafer Reports:

Prosecutors believe the 35-year-old cyclist was grossly negligent in his riding before he ran into Hui in a crosswalk at Market and Castro streets. Prosecutors think the light was yellow when Bucchere rode into the intersection, but before that, police said that a driver reported seeing Bucchere ride through several red lights and stop signs.

Bucchere's attorney Ted Cassman was not immediately available for comment Wednesday but said earlier this month that Bucchere, who was also injured in the accident, gave a statement to police while he was in the hospital and is cooperating fully with the investigation.

"Chris believes he entered the intersection lawfully and that he did everything possible to avoid the accident," Cassman said on April 6.

However, later on the day of the collision, someone using the name Chris Bucchere wrote about the accident on 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.

He said he hoped Hui was OK, and ended by saying the moral of the story of his crash was the importance of wearing a helmet, eliciting critical comments from other members of the forum.

The post has since been hidden from public view.

A tracker on the man's bike allegedly shows that he was riding faster than 35-miles per hour in a 25-mile per hour zone.

In addition, a video taken from a surveillance camera at the intersection reportedly shows the cyclist hunched over, speeding, and making little or no attempt to stop before hitting Hui. No comment yet from Bucchere's lawyer.

KCBS' Phil Matier Comments:

Mission Cycling released a statement following the crash, saying

Bucchere is not a member of the group and was riding alone at the time of the accident.

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition officials also released a statement saying they were "deeply troubled" by the account of the crash.

Leah Shahum, the coalition's executive director, said in the statement that the growing number of bicyclists in San Francisco "must follow the rules of the road."

Shahum said, "Those who put others in danger should be held accountable for their actions."


(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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