Birmingham bicyclists may be interested in learning more about an unprecedented case against a bicyclist in San Francisco who has just pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter. While allegedly riding recklessly through several city intersections, the bicyclist struck a pedestrian who later died from his injuries. According to media sources, the resulting vehicular manslaughter charge, which is believed to be the first of its kind filed against a bicyclist, is intended to send a safety message to all cyclists that the rules of the road apply to bicycle riders as well as to those driving motor vehicles.
Prosecutors say that the San Franciscan bicyclist ran three red lights before striking a 71-year-old man who was crossing a busy street with his wife. Although the woman was not hurt, four days later her husband succumbed to the injuries that he suffered in the accident. The cyclist was also injured in the collision.
While hospitalized, he posted his account of the crash on an online Internet cycling group’s site. Prosecutors claimed in a preliminary court hearing that his written account showed little remorse even though the bicyclist added a hope for recovery directed toward the victim shortly after he posted his original story. The cyclist also claimed that he believed that the light was turning yellow at the time of the accident.
The bicyclist is expected to be sentenced to three years probation and 1,000 hours of community service on August 16. The victim’s family has filed a civil suit in the case.
When a loved one’s life is unexpectedly cut short by the negligence of another, families may choose to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Although no amount of litigation will reverse the course of a fatal accident, an experienced attorney may be able to help Birmingham residents find relief in holding responsible parties accountable for the loss of life as well as assist grieving families regain the solid financial footing that is often vital to their own recovery.
Source: Huffington Post, “Chris Bucchere, Bicyclist Pleads Guilty To Manslaughter Death Of Suchi Hui In California”, Terry Collins, July 23, 2013