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  1. #1
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    San Francisco cyclist kills pedestrian - Part 2

    On May 16, the San Francisco Medical Examiner declared that Sutchi Hui, the 71 year old pedestrian struck in a crosswalk by cyclist Chris Buchere, died from blunt force trauma to his head after being hit by Bucchere speeding through the Castro District last month.

    The District Attorney's Office has said they believe there's plenty of evidence to file felony vehicular manslaughter charges against 35-year-old Bucchere. However, they are waiting for police to formally present their case to the DA.

    This article describing the medical examiner's finding was published a week ago. So far, silence from the police and the DA's office.

    http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/...b.php#Comments
    - Stan

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    Yikes-
    the article claims the bike rider posted "the thing I learned from this experience was bike riders should always wear a helmet"
    Last edited by phoebeisis; 05-24-12 at 01:25 PM.

  3. #3
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Heh... I saw that and thought it's a shame Sutchi Hui wasn't wearing a helmet.
    - Stan

  4. #4
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    Not claiming that I am completely blameless, but here is video from part of my commute in to work earlier this week. In the video, I enter an intersection on a yellow light, which turns red just before I exit the intersection. At the instant that the light turns red, two pedestrians step into the crosswalk in front of me. I was travelling at about 15 mph, and was able to avoid them, but had I been travelling at the speed that Mr. Buchere was going, I probably would have hit one of the pedestrians. I don't know all of the facts in the Buchere case, but I can understand how a cyclist could hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk.


  5. #5
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
    On May 16, the San Francisco Medical Examiner declared that Sutchi Hui, the 71 year old pedestrian struck in a crosswalk by cyclist Chris Buchere, died from blunt force trauma to his head after being hit by Bucchere speeding through the Castro District last month.

    The District Attorney's Office has said they believe there's plenty of evidence to file felony vehicular manslaughter charges against 35-year-old Bucchere. However, they are waiting for police to formally present their case to the DA.

    This article describing the medical examiner's finding was published a week ago. So far, silence from the police and the DA's office.

    http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/...b.php#Comments
    Maybe, just saying, maybe they're realizing that despite their claim of:

    "The District Attorney's Office has said they believe there's plenty of evidence to file felony vehicular manslaughter charges against 35-year-old Bucchere. However, they are waiting for police to formally present their case to the DA."

    That the evidence that they have against Bucchere isn't as strong as they think that it is to warrant the felony charge. As CB HI has said in the other thread. Given that Bucchere wasn't charged, tried, and convicted of having run through red lights/stop signs prior to entering the intersection where he ended up crashing into Mr. Hui. Those actions can't be used against him in a criminal court case.

    As I've said before I don't think that Bucchere shouldn't be punished for what his part of what happened that day. It's just that in light of the fact that one of the last cyclists to be involved in a crash with a pedestrian that resulted in a fatality was only charged with a misdemeanor, as well as the fact that unless there is some sort of extenuating circumstances that when a motorist hits and injures or kills either a cyclist or pedestrian very few (again unless there are extenuating circumstances) are charged with anything more serious than a traffic violation and are "just" given a ticket.

    I would also be interested in seeing just what is on that surveillance video that the police claim to have. Does it show him entering the intersection on the yellow as he claims or does it show him entering the intersection when the light was red?

    Also I would have to think that if the evidence is as compelling as the DA claims then why haven't they already filed felony charges against Bucchere? What are they waiting for?
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  6. #6
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sauerwald View Post
    Not claiming that I am completely blameless, but here is video from part of my commute in to work earlier this week. In the video, I enter an intersection on a yellow light, which turns red just before I exit the intersection. At the instant that the light turns red, two pedestrians step into the crosswalk in front of me. I was travelling at about 15 mph, and was able to avoid them, but had I been travelling at the speed that Mr. Buchere was going, I probably would have hit one of the pedestrians. I don't know all of the facts in the Buchere case, but I can understand how a cyclist could hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

    I think this is in the category that light timing is not based on 15 mph bicycle speed but on what the speed limit is for the road. So cyclist entering on a yellow at lower speeds that the post speed limit could easily hit the cross walk as people are crossing. which means cyclists should be extra careful to stop...unless they are fast.

    I know that under CA vehicle code you are legal as long as you enter the entersection under the yellow, but as best as I can tell that does not give you a right of way if people start legally in the crosswalk.... things like reckless driving can be considered.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sauerwald View Post
    Not claiming that I am completely blameless, but here is video from part of my commute in to work earlier this week. In the video, I enter an intersection on a yellow light, which turns red just before I exit the intersection. At the instant that the light turns red, two pedestrians step into the crosswalk in front of me. I was traveling at about 15 mph, and was able to avoid them, but had I been traveling at the speed that Mr. Bucchere was going, I probably would have hit one of the pedestrians. I don't know all of the facts in the Bucchere case, but I can understand how a cyclist could hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

    Agreed, and even though in most places it is legal to enter an intersection under the yellow it isn't always the wisest or safest thing to do.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member kalliergo's Avatar
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    The video shows that you entered the intersection legally and therefore had the ROW. The pedestrians entered the intersection illegally, because they were obligated to wait for traffic in the intersection when the light changed to clear it before they entered (citations available).

    That said, at 15 mph, it looks like you had plenty of time and space to stop safely -- and, as a matter of safe practice, you really should have.
    "What if we fail to stop the erosion of cities by automobiles?. . . In that case, we Americans will hardly need to ponder a mystery that has troubled men for millennia: What is the purpose of life? For us, the answer will be clear, established and for all practical purposes indisputable: The purpose of life is to produce and consume automobiles."

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    I think this is in the category that light timing is not based on 15 mph bicycle speed but on what the speed limit is for the road. So cyclist entering on a yellow at lower speeds that the post speed limit could easily hit the cross walk as people are crossing. which means cyclists should be extra careful to stop...unless they are fast.

    I know that under CA vehicle code you are legal as long as you enter the intersection under the yellow, but as best as I can tell that does not give you a right of way if people start legally in the crosswalk.... things like reckless driving can be considered.
    IF it is legal to enter the intersection in Ca under the yellow then shouldn't any vehicle that has entered under the yellow but are still in the intersection when the light turns red still have the right of way. And as such shouldn't pedestrians have to wait until the intersection is clear of ALL forms of traffic, be it an automobile, or a bicycle, or a horse and buggy?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalliergo View Post
    That said, at 15 mph, it looks like you had plenty of time and space to stop safely -- and, as a matter of safe practice, you really should have.
    Agree - I should have stopped, however, as I approached the intersection, I saw a green light, I then was looking for traffic on the cross streets, and for pedestrians at the near side of the crosswalk (much more common at this intersection), so by the time I looked back at the light, and it was yellow, it was too late to stop. The point that I was trying to make was that after this incident, it became much easier for me to understand how a cyclist could hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

  11. #11
    Senior Member kalliergo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    I know that under CA vehicle code you are legal as long as you enter the entersection under the yellow, but as best as I can tell that does not give you a right of way if people start legally in the crosswalk.... things like reckless driving can be considered.
    That's incorrect. As should be obvious, vehicles legally entering the intersection do have the ROW as they proceed through it. And pedestrians entering the crosswalk before traffic has cleared are not entering it legally, regardless of the signal phase.

    I think this is thoroughly covered in the first thread in this incident.
    "What if we fail to stop the erosion of cities by automobiles?. . . In that case, we Americans will hardly need to ponder a mystery that has troubled men for millennia: What is the purpose of life? For us, the answer will be clear, established and for all practical purposes indisputable: The purpose of life is to produce and consume automobiles."

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    I dont know all the specifics in this case but it sounds like we have another example of an all too common event in America. We have a grandstanding DA who wants media attention. We have a DA who is used to just bullying and intimidating suspects into a plea deal with the threat of spending most of their remaining life in jail.

    If the cyclist has guts and money he could fight this and most likely not be convicted.

    However, the government knows that they strike fear into the lives of citizens and most citizens plea to lessor charge.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalliergo View Post
    The video shows that you entered the intersection legally and therefore had the ROW. The pedestrians entered the intersection illegally, because they were obligated to wait for traffic in the intersection when the light changed to clear it before they entered (citations available).

    That said, at 15 mph, it looks like you had plenty of time and space to stop safely -- and, as a matter of safe practice, you really should have.
    Agreed, if there are any pedestrians near the intersection and the light is yellow it is the best course of action to stop even though the light is yellow.

    That being said, I will admit that there are times when I have "hammered and sprinted" through an intersection when the light is yellow, but there are also times when I have stopped even though the light is/was yellow. Usually the deciding factor is when I approached the intersection relative to the light having turned yellow.

    Such as if the light turns yellow just as I'm approaching the intersection or am only about a 1/4 of a block from it I'll sprint through. IF on the other hand if I'm mid-block or further back and the light turns yellow then I'll slow and stop at the intersection.

    Also let's not forget that at some intersections that just because the crosswalk light countdown timer has hit zero that it doesn't mean that the light is going to enter it's yellow phase. And that it may be several more seconds (or longer) before it turns yellow and then red.

    It is a judgement call, and it isn't always as black and white as some people are trying to make it.

    IF as Bucchere claims that he entered the intersection under the yellow (and it would appear that at least someone in the DA's office agrees with him) then shouldn't the pedestrian(s) have waited until the intersection was totally devoid of traffic?

    Just yesterday while I was riding with a friend we observed another cyclist going the opposite direction to us who was riding on the MUP. He was waiting to cross the street, but he crossed the street before the crosswalk light turned white giving him the right of way. Which considering that he was on the MUP and in the crosswalk he should have waited for the crosswalk light to turn white.

    Also on a distressingly regular basis I see way too many pedestrians who cross the street without waiting for the light to change giving them the right of way. I also see too many pedestrians crossing the road mid-block outside of the crosswalk even though there is a crosswalk just a few feet/yards away from them.

    People need to take responsibility for their actions. If one is walking and are approaching an intersection and the crosswalk light is still red then don't cross the street it's really that simple. Even if the crosswalk light has turned white (at least that's the color giving pedestrians the right of way to cross where I live) but there is traffic in the intersection then again wait until said traffic has cleared the intersection before entering the intersection.
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  14. #14
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    Per the California Driver's Manual: "Pedestrians have the right-of-way in marked or unmarked crosswalks."
    "A yellow signal light means "CAUTION." The red signal is about to appear. When you see the yellow light, stop if you can do so safely. If you cannot stop safely, cross the intersection cautiously."

    link here: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/driver_handbook_toc.htm
    Last edited by randomgear; 05-24-12 at 01:17 PM. Reason: added link to drver's handbook

  15. #15
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalliergo View Post
    That's incorrect. As should be obvious, vehicles legally entering the intersection do have the ROW as they proceed through it. And pedestrians entering the crosswalk before traffic has cleared are not entering it legally, regardless of the signal phase.

    I think this is thoroughly covered in the first thread in this incident.
    I think much of what was expressed in the previous thread was opinion, not fact. (including me ) I will see if can get a better info on the details of this (have a cop neighbor), but if you speed through a yellow you can still get a speeding or reckless driving citation while not getting a red light citation....if you hit a person while speeding or driving recklessly that will be taken into consideration in terms of what you are charged with.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
    Such as if the light turns yellow just as I'm approaching the intersection or am only about a 1/4 of a block from it I'll sprint through. IF on the other hand if I'm mid-block or further back and the light turns yellow then I'll slow and stop at the intersection.
    [...]
    It is a judgement call, and it isn't always as black and white as some people are trying to make it.
    No. It is black and white. That's why there is traffic law. It is illegal everywhere I have heard of to enter an intersection on yellow if it is possible for you to safely stop. If you have to "sprint" to make the light, you are obviously capable of stopping (certainly a quarter block is plenty) and are in violation of the law.

    It's also incredibly stupid to run a red, even if you rationalize it by saying you entered the intersection on a yellow, since it might not be a pedestrian jumping off the line on green, but automotive cross traffic.
    My speculation was that it applies to some degree in cycling, and I used the previous proof as my reasoning, but I can't prove how exactly it applies to it and to what degree. That, I have admitted, is speculation based on reasoning, but not at this point provable.

  17. #17
    Senior Member kalliergo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corvuscorvax View Post
    No. It is black and white. That's why there is traffic law. It is illegal everywhere I have heard of to enter an intersection on yellow if it is possible for you to safely stop.
    That's completely wrong. The law varied between the states and, in California, there is no legal requirement to stop, slow or do anything else on a yellow. The only meaning of that phase is to indicate that the next phase is red. The only red light violation consists of entering an intersection after the light turns red.

    If necessary, we can dig out the citations, but it would be more helpful if people would do a little research before confidently asserting what they imagine the law is.
    "What if we fail to stop the erosion of cities by automobiles?. . . In that case, we Americans will hardly need to ponder a mystery that has troubled men for millennia: What is the purpose of life? For us, the answer will be clear, established and for all practical purposes indisputable: The purpose of life is to produce and consume automobiles."

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  18. #18
    Senior Member kalliergo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    I think much of what was expressed in the previous thread was opinion, not fact. (including me ) I will see if can get a better info on the details of this (have a cop neighbor), but if you speed through a yellow you can still get a speeding or reckless driving citation while not getting a red light citation....if you hit a person while speeding or driving recklessly that will be taken into consideration in terms of what you are charged with.
    Well, if it's still going on when I get back from my appointments, I'll post the CVC sections. There is no question about this.

    Cops aren't legal authorities. The CVC is online.

    Of course you can be cited for other violations. The points I was making are that entering an intersection on a yellow is not a violation in California, that a vehicle doing so has the ROW, and that pedestrians may not legally enter a crosswalk, regardless of the color(s) of the signal(s) until it has cleared of traffic.
    "What if we fail to stop the erosion of cities by automobiles?. . . In that case, we Americans will hardly need to ponder a mystery that has troubled men for millennia: What is the purpose of life? For us, the answer will be clear, established and for all practical purposes indisputable: The purpose of life is to produce and consume automobiles."

    ~Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

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    Quote Originally Posted by kalliergo View Post
    If necessary, we can dig out the citations, but it would be more helpful if people would do a little research before confidently asserting what they imagine the law is.
    It would be helpful if other people did a little research before pontificating about other people's imaginations.

    http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/traff_lgts_sgns.htm

    " When you see the yellow light, stop if you can do so safely. If you cannot stop safely, cross the intersection cautiously."

    The California vehicle code does not explicitly mention this. (http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc21452.htm), However, it is not unreasonable at all to interpret due caution as not entering the intersection when you can safely stop. And certainly if you're still in the intersection when the light turns red, you're in violation, in a car or on a bike.
    Last edited by unterhausen; 05-24-12 at 02:47 PM.
    My speculation was that it applies to some degree in cycling, and I used the previous proof as my reasoning, but I can't prove how exactly it applies to it and to what degree. That, I have admitted, is speculation based on reasoning, but not at this point provable.

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    Interesting video-
    Really odd how that fish eye type lense makes the distances seem much greater.
    The light goes yellow mid 20 seconds red roughly mid 24 seconds.
    At 15 mph- 22fps- you traveled 88 feet in those 4 seconds.

    average braking-figure .33g 2 seconds to zero - traveling just 22 feet-figure 11 feet extra reaction time-33 feet total.
    Squirtdad makes a good point-bikes lower speeds mean we take a LOT longer to get thru intersections-2x as long-
    So we-bike riders- are more likely to be crossing the pedestrian crosswalk when they have the green light-and they think they are safe.

    I kinda doubt that having ROW (if we ever have right of way over pedestrians) means we won't be at fault for hitting a pedestrian who is in the crosswalk with the light in his favor. I suspect we are required to have enough control over our vehicle to brake or steer around the peds-careless driving reckless driving etc-or whatever catch all cops have to nail folks who don't adequately control their vehicle.

    sauerwald-did have control over his vehicle-so he steered around them-no harm no foul.If he was doing 20 mph- he would have been past them before the 24 second mark.
    Wide intersections are really tricky for bike riders-those peds could be 35mph cars.

    Oh-it does seem the DA is overcharging the foolish reckless bike rider.He wasn't drunk-just speeding, somewhat reckless-has no extensive traffic history?? Usually felony charges are reserved for drunk drivers-repeat offenders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sauerwald View Post
    Notice how the pedestrian didnt even look before he stepped into the street. I see that about a million times a day.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    Interesting video-
    Really odd how that fish eye type lense makes the distances seem much greater.
    The light goes yellow mid 20 seconds red roughly mid 24 seconds.
    At 15 mph- 22fps- you traveled 88 feet in those 4 seconds.

    average braking-figure .33g 2 seconds to zero - traveling just 22 feet-figure 11 feet extra reaction time-33 feet total.
    Squirtdad makes a good point-bikes lower speeds mean we take a LOT longer to get thru intersections-2x as long-
    So we-bike riders- are more likely to be crossing the pedestrian crosswalk when they have the green light-and they think they are safe.

    I kinda doubt that having ROW (if we ever have right of way over pedestrians) means we won't be at fault for hitting a pedestrian who is in the crosswalk with the light in his favor. I suspect we are required to have enough control over our vehicle to brake or steer around the peds-careless driving reckless driving etc-or whatever catch all cops have to nail folks who don't adequately control their vehicle.

    sauerwald-did have control over his vehicle-so he steered around them-no harm no foul.If he was doing 20 mph- he would have been past them before the 24 second mark.
    Wide intersections are really tricky for bike riders-those peds could be 35mph cars.

    Oh-it does seem the DA is overcharging the foolish reckless bike rider.He wasn't drunk-just speeding, somewhat reckless-has no extensive traffic history?? Usually felony charges are reserved for drunk drivers-repeat offenders.


    Agreed, if as the DA's office is claiming that they have "compelling" evidence then why haven't they filed felony charges already? What are they waiting for?

    If they're going to charge this cyclist with a felony then they need to charge ALL motorists who hit and injure/kill cyclists/pedestrians with felony's as well.
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    Randomhead
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    please don't let this thread get heated like the last one did.

    The whole issue of who gets away with running people over and who doesn't is pretty interesting. There was this incident where three people were injured by a car and no charges were filed. No details, but if you hit 3 pedestrians with your car you aren't taking due care no matter what they did. Then there was this incident where 4 people were killed and the two people in the car got life sentences for that (they were getting away from a robbery).

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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    I kinda doubt that having ROW (if we ever have right of way over pedestrians) means we won't be at fault for hitting a pedestrian who is in the crosswalk with the light in his favor. I suspect we are required to have enough control over our vehicle to brake or steer around the peds-careless driving reckless driving etc-or whatever catch all cops have to nail folks who don't adequately control their vehicle.

    Note that a part of care in this case would be in lane positioning, and to move closer to the left of the lane to provide more reaction time for traffic (or pedestrians) entering the intersection before you have time to clear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    please don't let this thread get heated like the last one did.

    The whole issue of who gets away with running people over and who doesn't is pretty interesting. There was this incident where three people were injured by a car and no charges were filed. No details, but if you hit 3 pedestrians with your car you aren't taking due care no matter what they did. Then there was this incident where 4 people were killed and the two people in the car got life sentences for that (they were getting away from a robbery).
    One has to wonder in your second link if the defendants hadn't already committed a crime before hitting the pedestrians if they would have been charged with anything for hitting the pedestrians.

    And sadly, this is one of those topics where the discussion will probably end up getting heated (again).
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