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Monday, February 27, 2012

Why Our DA Probably Won't Press Charges Against Driver Who Plowed Over Pedestrian

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 8:50 AM

In the never-ending urban war between pedestrians and drivers, city walkers will be upset to hear about their latest defeat: The District Attorney's Office is not poised to press criminal charges against the shuttle driver who carelessly plowed over a man with a cane sauntering through a Tenderloin crosswalk two weeks ago.

Readers remember this not-so-pleasant video, which shows how quickly a pedestrian's stroll through our fair city can abruptly take a turn for the worst. Watch:



After watching this visceral image of man vs. shuttle, perhaps even San Francisco drivers would expect a grim fate for the driver.  But alas, the DA's Office tells the Ex this morning

that state law doesn't really call for criminal charges when a car hits a pedestrian,  unless the victim actually dies. And in this incident, the victim -- who was

pinned under the bus for more than 20 minutes -- miraculously survived, albeit with lots of broken bones.

Naturally, Walk SF, a pedestrian advocacy group, is demanding the DA file criminal charges, however, prosecutors explain that unintentionally causing a traffic accident that leads to injury is not a

crime under California law unless the driver acted recklessly.

"In

order to be found reckless, you must be acting in a willful disregard

for the safety of others," Assistant District Attorney Omid Talai told the Ex.

Being reckless is not the same as being negligent, Talai added. Well, that should be comforting ... to drivers.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Bio:
Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.

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