SAN FRANCISCO (BCN)
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 Tuesday.
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.
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