As rare as it is, there have been cases of a cyclist killing a pedestrian. For some reason, it seems to happen more in the United Kingdom, but there was a recent case in the U.S. that lead to big headlines.
In March of 2012, Chris Bucchere, 37, hit Sutchi Hui, 71, in San Francisco. The injuries sustained by Hui after Bucchere hit him with his bicycle caused his death four days after the incident.
Apparently, Bucchere was trying to break his own speed record for a certain route. The court sentenced Bucchere to three years probation and 1,000 hours of community service. Bucchere plead guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter.
Those who witnessed the accident said that Bucchere rode straight through two red lights before approaching Hui. After the accident, Bucchere wrote about his interpretation of the incident. “I was already way too committed to stop,” he wrote. He claimed that the light had just turned red for him and the crosswalk quickly filled with pedestrians. Because he was “too committed to stop,” he looked for the least crowded area and hoped for the best.
Bucchere initially plead not guilty to the crime of vehicular manslaughter, but the San Francisco District Attorney argued that Bucchere’s negligence rose to a criminal level. Bucchere did not help himself with writing about his interpretation of the facts. When he stated that he ran the red light, it caused the prosecution to seek more serious penalties.
Then there is the issue of Strava. Strava is a website and mobile app that is used to track an athlete’s activity through GPS. Apparently, Bucchere was using the mobile app when he collided with Hui. Because he was using Strava, the prosecution took this to mean that Bucchere was competing with himself and that contributed to his negligence.
The prosecution offered video evidence, as well. It shows that Bucchere was riding at about 30 mph when he hit Hui. Although he was convicted of vehicular manslaughter, the court concluded that sending Bucchere to jail was not the appropriate punishment. Even Hui’s son stated that jail would not be the best fit.
The prosecution had wanted a conviction, in part, to send a message to others like Bucchere. A message stating that whether you are riding a bike or driving a car, you are responsible for injuries you cause to another person.
While pedestrians are not commonly killed by those on bicycles, it is a possibility. Of course, it is more common for severe injuries and deaths to be inflicted upon cyclists by motor vehicles. According to NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) reports, in 2010, 618 individuals died from bicycle/motor vehicle crashes.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident or have been injured as a pedestrian, contact the attorneys at Las Vegas Defense Group. We have worked with many people who have brought pedestrian injury lawsuits and have seen great success. It is important to work with the right people in order to achieve the best outcome possible. This is not the time to put your trust in the wrong person!