The Marin County bicyclist who fatally struck a pedestrian crossing the street in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood was sentenced Thursday to three years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service.
About a dozen family members of the victim, 71-year-old Sutchi Hui, were present. Terry Hui, son of the victim, read a statement in court.
“Please don’t squander the second chance you have to become a good and compassionate person,” Hui said to Chris Bucchere in the statement. He called Bucchere’s notorious blog post about the incident, where the cyclist wrote about crashing into a pedestrian but lamented the loss of his bike helmet, “narcissistic and insensitive.”
Terry Hui asked that Bucchere’s community service involve working with the elderly, building housing with groups such as Habitat for Humanity, and working with groups that help victims of head trauma recover.
Judge James Collins said he would give his “strong recommendation to the probation department that they follow” the request of the victim’s son.
Bucchere, 37, did not speak during the sentencing and refused to talk to reporters. Apart from his attorney, he was alone.
Bucchere cut a deal with prosecutors last month, pleading guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter and avoiding a jury trial that could have sent him to prison if he were convicted. The charge was the most serious ever brought in the U.S. against a cyclist in a fatal crash with a pedestrian, according to District Attorney George Gascón. At a press conference with Sutchi Hui’s family, he called on the public to work together to prevent traffic fatalities.
The case has drawn enormous attention in San Francisco, where tensions among cyclists, pedestrians and car drivers are often high. Bucchere noted in his blog post that he was going too fast to stop in time. He hit Hui, a San Bruno resident, as Hui was crossing Castro Street at Market Street on March 29, 2012. Hui died from head injuries four days later.
Read earlier KQED coverage here:
- San Francisco Cyclist to Get Probation, Community Service in Pedestrian Death
- San Francisco Cyclist Must Stand Trial in Pedestrian’s Death
- Pedestrian Deaths Bring Bicyclist Safety Issues to the Fore