Published 4:00 am, Friday, April 6, 2012
A bicyclist who could face vehicular manslaughter charges for plowing into a pedestrian in San Francisco’s Castro district admitted in an online post that he sped into a crowded crosswalk, prosecutors believe.
The post’s author writes of the pedestrian, “I really hope he makes it,” and at the end dedicates his retelling of the incident to his “late helmet” that “died in heroic fashion today.”
The cyclist, Chris Bucchere, hit Hui at the intersection of Market and Castro streets just before 8 a.m. March 29, authorities said.
Bucchere, who was also hospitalized for injuries in the crash, apparently posted his thoughts on the accident at 5:16 p.m. the same day to the Mission Cycling AM Riders Google group.
Bucchere and his attorney, Ted Cassman, declined to comment when contacted by The Chronicle.
Account linked to e-mail
Prosecutors are treating the post as having been written by Bucchere, said district attorney’s spokesman Omid Talai. The post’s author is listed as “Bucchere Chris,” and the poster’s account is linked to Bucchere’s e-mail address.
“We’ve seen it,” Talai said of the post, which has since been removed from the forum. “It’s troubling.”
The post states that the author was traveling south on Divisadero Street, which becomes Castro just north of Market, and was about to cross Market when the traffic light ahead of him turned yellow.
“I was already way too committed to stop,” the post states. “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. … I couldn’t see a line through the crowd and I couldn’t stop, so I laid it down and just plowed through the crowded crosswalk in the least-populated place I could find.”
The author describes losing consciousness and coming to five minutes later and being told a 71-year-old injured pedestrian had been taken to the hospital.
“I remember seeing a RIVER of blood on the asphalt, but it wasn’t mine,” the author writes. “I really hope he ends up OK.”
The author dedicates the post to his helmet, which “died in heroic fashion today as my head slammed into the tarmac. … May she die knowing that because she committed the ultimate sacrifice, her rider can live on and ride on. Can I get an amen? Amen.”
Investigators said Bucchere was traveling south on Castro and hit Hui, who was crossing Castro heading east.
The medical examiner has not publicly stated if Hui’s death was a result of his injuries from the accident.
Prosecutors have not officially been presented with the case but are discussing the investigation with police, Talai said.
2nd fatality in year
It was the second fatal collision between a bicyclist and a pedestrian in San Francisco in less than a year.
In July, Randolph Ang, 23, ran a red light on the Embarcadero on his bicycle and hit 68-year-old Dionette Cherney, who later died of her injuries. Ang pleaded guilty last month to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.
He was sentenced to three years’ probation and 500 hours of community service and was ordered to pay Cherney’s family $15,375 in restitution.
‘Hierarchy of responsibility’
Elizabeth Stampe, executive director of Walk SF, called Hui’s death a “tragedy.”
“We expect cars to present a danger, and almost excuse them of that, but don’t expect that of bicycles,” Stampe said. “Everyone needs to watch out for everyone who’s on the street who’s more vulnerable than they are. There’s a hierarchy of responsibility.”
In 2011, 17 pedestrians were killed by collisions with cars in San Francisco, and Cherney was the one pedestrian who died from a collision with a bicycle, according to police data given to Stampe. One cyclist died after colliding with a pedestrian in April 2011, Stampe said.