A local cyclist is facing vehicular manslaughter charges after a serious Castro Street pedestrian accident that killed an elderly pedestrian. Prosecutors allege that the 36-year-old cyclist was speeding through local streets and running red lights in attempt to break a speed record for that particular bike route.
The cyclist’s speed was being tracked by a device on his bike and authorities say that cyclist was going up to 35mph when he hit the 71-year-old pedestrian.
The pedestrian, who was walking with his wife at the time of the crash, sustained catastrophic injuries which resulted in his death four days after the accident.
This accident sparked considerably controversy in the San Francisco area. Posts on an online biking message board appeared to be authored by the cyclist and showed a nonchalant attitude toward the accident. The author of the posts said that he was “too committed” to running through the light and attempted to navigate to the area of the crosswalk with the least pedestrian traffic.
Bike traffic has increased 71 percent in San Francisco during the past few years and three people have been killed by cyclists within the last year. Authorities have charged the cyclist with felony vehicular manslaughter and plan to introduce witness testimony confirming that the man ran several lights before hitting the pedestrian. His next court date is at the end of July.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “San Francisco cyclist pleads not guilty in fatal crash,” Emmett Berg, June 20, 2012