Gascon: Son Of Man Struck And Killed By Cyclist Approves Community Service Sentence

A bicyclist who struck and killed a man walking in San Francisco’s Castro District in March 2012 has pleaded guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon announced today.

Chris Bucchere, 37, agreed to the plea deal Thursday after he was ordered to stand trail in March of this year for the death of Sutchi Hui, 71, who died four days after Bucchere hit him at Castro and Market streets on March 29, 2012.

Hui was crossing the street in a crosswalk when Bucchere came riding down Castro Street and struck him.
Under the plea deal, Bucchere will be sentenced to three years’ probation and will serve 1,000 hours of community service.

After six months, the case will be reviewed by a judge to determine whether the conviction should be reduced to a misdemeanor, Gascon said.

Prosecutors are calling the felony conviction the first of its kind in the state and nation.

“Our goal is to send a message” to cyclists, Gascon said. “The rules of the road still apply to you, you have to be responsible.”

“Often, bicyclists feel they are above the law,” he said.

Gascon said Hui’s family indicated that they are satisfied with the plea bargain.

“His son made it very clear that sending (Bucchere) to prison wouldn’t do anything for the community,” Gascon said.

Calls to Bucchere’s attorney were not immediately returned.

Bucchere is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 16.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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  • mikesonn

    Gascon’s comments highlight why this case, and not the dozens and dozens of driver vs cyclist/ped cases, got his full attention. This isn’t about safety, it is about some sort of odd vendetta against cyclists. I want to see stiffer penalties for all road infractions, not just when it makes splashy headlines.

    • baklazhan

      Meanwhile, in Palo Alto, Deputy DA Duffy Magilligan has decided not to file charges against the unlicensed speeding driver with meth in his system who ran over and maimed a kid.

    • 1Corith6-9

      All cyclist are considered a vehicle according the DMV rules. A stop is a stop with one foot one the ground. This city is what is wrong with the country ass a whole, ska flaws, self righteousness and entitlement. Yes I ride and I teach my children commonsense when on the road. With all the frivolous laws in S.F. Cyclist should be getting fines left and right if not following the rules of the road.

      • playhem

        As soon as cars start treating cyclists as “other cars” then the rules apply. Until then, my safety comes first, which might mean taking a lane, or getting to the front of a light to be seen. If you have a problem with that, well, fuck you asshat! My survival comes first. Let’s focus on the problem in this country: cars killing pedestrians and cyclists in obscene numbers and getting hardly any jail time for it.

        • SFGuy

          Thats the way, put the blame on someone else so you dont have to live up to your responsibilities. Everyone should do their part, even if others are not.

          • You don’t quite get it. Rules of the road ENDANGER the cyclist at times more often than protect. For instance, it is is illegal to ride two abreast in some states, and anyone who cycles knows that it is far safer to take the lane, especially in certain areas where traffic is notoriously oblivious to cyclists and ped traffic (read: 90% of America). That is one law I am going to break, you can ticket me all you want. My survival comes first! Again, let’s quit with the silliness of blanket laws, they don’t help. Idaho stop FTW. Let’s focus on the problem: Drivers of motorized vehicles are doing all the killing. Stats show they are responsible for the vast majority of the “accidents”. They are getting away with murder…and until they aren’t, don’t come near me with that “hey! you blew that stop sign at a whopping 5mph!”. Christ, I cannot believe I have to even make this argument.

          • SFGuy

            Dude, you realize that your dramatic comments are part of an article where a cyclist killed a pedestrian. And on a day where another pedestrian was struck by a cyclist in Golden Gate Park. There is no denying the obnoxiousness of auto drivers and the danger they pose. But cyclists can be the same way and should follow the laws. Simple as that! I’m sorry you are so self centered that you place your safety at the expense of others.

          • Dramatic? Hardly. The thread hit a tangent that I was responding to. Imagine that happening on the internet. There is no “simple as that” SFGuy. You can wish for it all you want, but it is anarchy out there, thanks to decades of bad urban planning and vehicular-centric thought. One rule does not fit all…and in advocating that, I am not advocating “just go crazy” – quite the contrary. I’m saying cyclists have to bend rules in order to be safe sometimes, the opposite of your bad deduction. This isn’t that difficult to grasp. That said, of course it’s terrible on the very rare occasions when a cyclist kills someone due to negligence and they should be punished accordingly.

          • Forthright

            typical bs minimalization of bad behavior. Not surprising at all here in SF

        • Playhem: You are one eloquent user of language. ( I know,
          justifiable umbrage, etc.)

          I think that, on the whole, motorists extend the “due courtesies” to bikers, than the reverse.
          I am a biker, as well as a motorist.

    • Forthright

      Oh YAWN give it a rest Mikesom

  • mikesonn

    Gascon’s comments highlight why this case, and not the dozens and dozens of driver vs cyclist/ped cases, got his full attention. This isn’t about safety, it is about some sort of odd vendetta against cyclists. I want to see stiffer penalties for all road infractions, not just when it makes splashy headlines.

    • baklazhan

      Meanwhile, in Palo Alto, Deputy DA Duffy Magilligan has decided not to file charges against the unlicensed speeding driver with meth in his system who ran over and maimed a kid.

    • 1Corith6-9

      All cyclist are considered a vehicle according the DMV rules. A stop is a stop with one foot one the ground. This city is what is wrong with the country ass a whole, ska flaws, self righteousness and entitlement. Yes I ride and I teach my children commonsense when on the road. With all the frivolous laws in S.F. Cyclist should be getting fines left and right if not following the rules of the road.

      • playhem

        As soon as cars start treating cyclists as “other cars” then the rules apply. Until then, my safety comes first, which might mean taking a lane, or getting to the front of a light to be seen. If you have a problem with that, well, fuck you asshat! My survival comes first. Let’s focus on the problem in this country: cars killing pedestrians and cyclists in obscene numbers and getting hardly any jail time for it.

        • SFGuy

          Thats the way, put the blame on someone else so you dont have to live up to your responsibilities. Everyone should do their part, even if others are not.

          • You don’t quite get it. Rules of the road ENDANGER the cyclist at times more often than protect. For instance, it is is illegal to ride two abreast in some states, and anyone who cycles knows that it is far safer to take the lane, especially in certain areas where traffic is notoriously oblivious to cyclists and ped traffic (read: 90% of America). That is one law I am going to break, you can ticket me all you want. My survival comes first! Again, let’s quit with the silliness of blanket laws, they don’t help. Idaho stop FTW. Let’s focus on the problem: Drivers of motorized vehicles are doing all the killing. Stats show they are responsible for the vast majority of the “accidents”. They are getting away with murder…and until they aren’t, don’t come near me with that “hey! you blew that stop sign at a whopping 5mph!”. Christ, I cannot believe I have to even make this argument.

          • SFGuy

            Dude, you realize that your dramatic comments are part of an article where a cyclist killed a pedestrian. And on a day where another pedestrian was struck by a cyclist in Golden Gate Park. There is no denying the obnoxiousness of auto drivers and the danger they pose. But cyclists can be the same way and should follow the laws. Simple as that! I’m sorry you are so self centered that you place your safety at the expense of others.

          • Dramatic? Hardly. The thread hit a tangent that I was responding to. Imagine that happening on the internet. There is no “simple as that” SFGuy. You can wish for it all you want, but it is anarchy out there, thanks to decades of bad urban planning and vehicular-centric thought. One rule does not fit all…and in advocating that, I am not advocating “just go crazy” – quite the contrary. I’m saying cyclists have to bend rules in order to be safe sometimes, the opposite of your bad deduction. This isn’t that difficult to grasp. That said, of course it’s terrible on the very rare occasions when a cyclist kills someone due to negligence and they should be punished accordingly.

          • Forthright

            typical bs minimalization of bad behavior. Not surprising at all here in SF

        • Playhem: You are one eloquent user of language. ( I know,
          justifiable umbrage, etc.)

          I think that, on the whole, motorists extend the “due courtesies” to bikers, than the reverse.
          I am a biker, as well as a motorist.

    • Forthright

      Oh YAWN give it a rest Mikesom

  • Holy Christ!! Kill a man in a crosswalk, in your speeding car,, you, deservedly, get some real jail time… A year or more… Do it on a bike, and you do “1,000 hours of community service”…. That is totally absurd.!!!

    • Your outrage is miscalibrated because you’ve got it backwards. Speeding motorists who cause such fatalities (which happens once every 3 weeks in this city) rarely face any charges at all.

      • ANYBODY who flies through stop signs/ lights…like the biker on Castro Street… has to do hard time…

        Lets look at the particulars of each incident…

        • There’s no “has to” when it comes to the majority of motorists who kill, including the one who killed a bicyclist yesterday.

  • Holy Christ!! Kill a man in a crosswalk, in your speeding car,, you, deservedly, get some real jail time… A year or more… Do it on a bike, and you do “1,000 hours of community service”…. That is totally absurd.!!!

    • Your outrage is miscalibrated because you’ve got it backwards. Speeding motorists who cause such fatalities (which happens once every 3 weeks in this city) rarely face any charges at all.

      • ANYBODY who flies through stop signs/ lights…like the biker on Castro Street… has to do hard time…

        Lets look at the particulars of each incident…

        • There’s no “has to” when it comes to the majority of motorists who kill, including the one who killed a bicyclist yesterday.

  • Peter Chu

    News reports citing an unreleased surveillance video say Chris Bucchere did not appear to try to stop, countering his “laid it down” online claim. The Castro/Market intersection is much wider than a residential one, ~5-6 lanes wide effectively from north crosswalk to south crosswalk. As a “bike safety instructor” he should have been able to easily execute a weight back emergency stop in that distance. He chose to run the yellow/red light on a very wide intersection. Amped up on adrenaline, perhaps seeking a Strava PR/KOM, he chose to try to thread the gap and failed.

    • MarkinArl

      The idiot cyclist was going too fast in a 25 mph zone during commuting hours at a very busy intersection with many pedestrians using the transit station. He, like many cyclists go too fast for their brakes and headlights. Are drunk drivers who kill people only wrong for not having the skilz to drive drunk well? No, Don’t ride like an asshat. Public roads are not closed race courses and too frequently are treated that way, including with the use of racing vehicles and uniforms. Rent time on a race track for that. Racing behavior has NO place on public roads, playing bike messenger or drag racing. Stupid movies and web media are irresponsible for promoting such wreckless behaviors.

  • Peter Chu

    News reports citing an unreleased surveillance video say Chris Bucchere did not appear to try to stop, countering his “laid it down” online claim. The Castro/Market intersection is much wider than a residential one, ~5-6 lanes wide effectively from north crosswalk to south crosswalk. As a “bike safety instructor” he should have been able to easily execute a weight back emergency stop in that distance. He chose to run the yellow/red light on a very wide intersection. Amped up on adrenaline, perhaps seeking a Strava PR/KOM, he chose to try to thread the gap and failed.

    • MarkinArl

      The idiot cyclist was going too fast in a 25 mph zone during commuting hours at a very busy intersection with many pedestrians using the transit station. He, like many cyclists go too fast for their brakes and headlights. Are drunk drivers who kill people only wrong for not having the skilz to drive drunk well? No, Don’t ride like an asshat. Public roads are not closed race courses and too frequently are treated that way, including with the use of racing vehicles and uniforms. Rent time on a race track for that. Racing behavior has NO place on public roads, playing bike messenger or drag racing. Stupid movies and web media are irresponsible for promoting such wreckless behaviors.

  • native

    There is more then enough evidence for a civil case. That will hit him were it hurts . In his software engineer pocket.
    He also should not be able to ride a bike for the three years of probation

    • Elizabeth Frantes

      Uh, no more wheels of any kind for him. Let him walk or take the bus or a taxi.

  • native

    There is more then enough evidence for a civil case. That will hit him were it hurts . In his software engineer pocket.
    He also should not be able to ride a bike for the three years of probation

    • Elizabeth Frantes

      Uh, no more wheels of any kind for him. Let him walk or take the bus or a taxi.

  • Elizabeth Frantes

    Talk about getting away with murder . .. SF is the place to do it, our DAs all pretend to be PDs . .. they will plead down anything.

  • Elizabeth Frantes

    Talk about getting away with murder . .. SF is the place to do it, our DAs all pretend to be PDs . .. they will plead down anything.