Chris Bucchere, the cyclist who fatally struck a 71-year-old pedestrian after "plowing" in to a cross walk at Market and Castro Streets, could soon face charges of vehicular manslaughter, the Chronicle reports. According to the mustachioed duo of Matier & Ross and their sources inside the DA's office, District Attorney Gascón plans to file the felony charges that could result in up to 16 months in prison for Bucchere if he is convicted.
Last year, the DA's office leveled misdemeanor charges* against cyclist Randolph Ang, who struck and killed a pedestrian on the Embarcadero. As M&R's source explains, the charges against Bucchere are more severe because they believe he was grossly negligent in his bike riding that led up to the incident.
Speaking of which, a new witness has come forward during the SFPD's investigation in to the crash. The witness (a "motorist") reported seeing Bucchere running red lights on Divisadero Street where it turns in to Castro Street leading up to the scene of the incident. Prosecutors believe the light at the Castro & Market intersection may have been yellow when Bucchere sped through it, but will opt to make their case against the cyclist based on surveillance footage that showed he was traveling recklessly at an unsafe speed and failed to yield to the pedestrian in the crosswalk.
Meanwhile, all those posts Bucchere allegedly made on local cycling message boards will probably not factor in to the DA's case. Although they apparently know the postings originated from Bucchere's mailbox, SFPD Captain Denis O'Leary told the Chronicle it would be hard to prove that Bucchere actually wrote them.
(*Note: In that case, the victim's family asked for the lower charge, and Ang eventually got probation.)