San Francisco consists of many different modes of transportation. The weather is good here, and that means that there is a large population of bicyclists as well as pedestrians on the roads at any given time. Sharing the roads sometimes becomes dangerous, as the many bicycle and pedestrian accidents that occur in the city prove.
A recent pedestrian accident is somewhat different because of the severity with which the criminal justice system is handling it. The fatal accident involving a walking couple and a racing bicyclist has resulted in a felony manslaughter charge.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that a bicyclist is now in a serious legal battle following a serious accident that he allegedly caused in March. Sources report that the cyclist was trying to beat his own speed record when he crossed a crosswalk in the Castro district and ran over an elderly pedestrian who was walking with his wife at the time.
In his defense, the bicyclist argues that he couldn't have stopped in time when the light turned yellow and he sped up and tried to take the clearest path through the crosswalk. The timing doesn't seem to match up, however, since the elderly couple was already crossing, plus, a fellow cyclist reportedly had time to stop and not cross.
The pedestrian who was hit was 71 years old. His wife didn't get injured in the incident but is now left mourning the unexpected loss of her husband. Whether she plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit in response to her loss has not been disclosed. If prosecutors have enough to move forward with a felony manslaughter case against the cyclist, however, the widow could find the confidence to seek damages.
When there is a development in this matter, we will post an update.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Manslaughter charge for cyclist in Castro crash," Ellen Huet and Justin Berton, June 15, 2012