Chris Bucchere, the bicyclist charged in the death of 71-year-old pedestrian Sutchi Hui, pled not guilty today to charges of felony vehicular manslaughter.
Bucchere made no comment after appearing in front of a San Francisco judge this afternoon. However, Bucchere’s attorney handed out the following statement to members of the media gathered outside of the courtroom.
“Chris anticipates the day when he may express his deepest condolences to the Hui family for their tragic loss. But for now, while the case is ongoing, he will continue to cooperate with the authorities and to respond responsibly to the charges in court.”
Bucchere’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 27.
A bicyclist who hit and killed an elderly pedestrian in a San Francisco crosswalk earlier this year has been charged with felony vehicular manslaughter.
Chris Bucchere, 36, faces up to six years in prison if found guilty of “gross negligence” in the death of 71-year-old Sutchi Hui.
Charges stem from an incident on March 29 in which Bucchere allegedly ran a red light, hitting Hui as he was crossing the street in the city’s Castro District. Witnesses report seeing Bucchere run red lights and stop signs on his bicycle just before the accident. Hui died from his injuries on April 2.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced the charges last week, saying “This tragic death caused by a bicyclist illustrates the worst case scenario when traffic laws are not obeyed.”
Bucchere’s lawyer said in a statement that his client believed “he entered the intersection lawfully and that he did everything possible to avoid the accident.”
On the day of the accident, someone identifying himself as Chris Bucchere posted on a local cycling blog, saying that “the light turned yellow as I approached the intersection, but I was already way too committed to stop.” The post went on to say that he hoped Hui would be all right, and that the accident should serve as a reminder of how important it is to wear a helmet while riding. The post has since been taken down.
In a statement, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition said “We encourage people to resist drawing conclusions linking any one incident to impressions about all bicyclists’ behavior.”
Bucchere will be arraigned in San Francisco on Wednesday.