San Francisco man Chris Bucchere, 37, has pleaded guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter after he hit 71-year-old Sutchi Hui with his bicycle at a crosswalk.
Prosecutors argue that Bucchere, a former bike-riding instructor, was riding recklessly past several red lights when he struck Hui at Castro and Market streets. Hui was walking with his wife, who was unharmed.
Bucchere argued he was in the intersection before the light turned red and that the pedestrians had entered the crosswalk too soon.
Eyewitness accounts reveal that many thought the cyclist was passing too quickly with some estimates of 32mph in a 25mph zone. Some reported that Bucchere also ignored traffic signals and road signs.
"His selfish motivation, his need for speed and his behavior were completely horrible," said District Attorney George Gascon.
Bucchere originally pleaded not guilty to the felony charges when they were first filed and has now said he was devastated by the death of Hui.
Gascon said Bucchere was a first time offender and therefore the court felt that he should be given some slack in consideration of punishment. However, Gascon also said Bucchere’s conduct warranted the felony charge.
As part of the plea deal, Bucchere has been ordered to perform 1,000 community service hours and could have his charge reduced to a misdemeanor. His sentencing is set for August 16.