A 37-year-old San Francisco cyclist was sentenced to three years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service for fatally striking an elderly pedestrian.
Authorities say that the man was speeding on his bicycle through the intersection of Castro and Market streets when he plowed into a 71-year-old pedestrian. The elderly man fell and hit his head, dying four days later.
In agreeing to plead guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter, the cyclist avoided a jury trial which could have exposed him to prison time.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that this is the most serious prosecution of an American cyclist involved in a fatal pedestrian accident. District Attorney George Gascon noted that the victim’s family did not see any value in jailing the cyclist.
The family requested that the cyclist’s 1,000 community service hours be spent building houses for impoverished people, helping brain injury victims, and caring for the elderly. The family also called the cyclist out for writing insensitive online comments in which he expressed more grief over the loss of his helmet than injuring a pedestrian.
“Please don’t squander the second chance you have to become a good and compassionate person, not to be the narcissistic person you were when you wrote the insensitive Web posting about my father,” the victim’s son told the cyclist in court.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, “Bicyclist sentenced for fatal S.F. crash,” Ellen Huet, Aug. 15, 2013