EVAN DUCHARME/S.F. Examiner File PhotoBay Area Bike Share's proposed expansion to more than 7

EVAN DUCHARME/S.F. Examiner File PhotoBay Area Bike Share's proposed expansion to more than 7

Driver in fatal collision with cyclist in San Francisco might face charges

The driver of the big-rig that struck and killed a young bicyclist earlier this month may face criminal charges, Police Chief Greg Suhr said Thursday.

Amelie Le Moullac, 24, was cycling to work in the bicycle lane on Folsom Street shortly after 7 a.m. Aug. 14 when a truck making a right turn onto Sixth Street collided with her.

Le Moullac later died from her injuries at San Francisco General Hospital. The driver — who has not been identified — was interviewed at the scene but not cited, prompting criticism from bicycle advocates.

Video of the incident — discovered by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition — led to the determination by the Police Department that the driver was at fault, Suhr told reporters Thursday.

California vehicle code states that making a right turn from an “improper position” is a violation.

It was not immediately clear when District Attorney George Gascón would make a decision to pursue charges. Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said late Thursday that the office had yet to receive the case.

The video from the incident will not be released to the public or media, according to attorney Micha Star Liberty, who has been retained by Le Moullac's family.

The family has yet to determine if it will file a civil lawsuit, which could follow any criminal charges, Liberty said.

Bicycle advocates have questioned the SFPD's seriousness in handling the investigation and an officer's conduct following the fatal accident.

The surveillance video was found at a nearby auto body shop – on the day the tape was to be erased — following a memorial for Le Moullac at the site of the collision that was interrupted by a police sergeant who told onlookers that the collision, and the two other fatal bicycle crashes in 2013, was the fault of the cyclist.

Suhr also apologized on Thursday for the sergeant's conduct at the memorial.

Bicycle-related traffic crashes are on the rise in San Francisco. In 2011, the most recent year from which data is available, there were 630 bicycle-related crashes, a 10-year high.

A spokesman for the District Attorney's Office could not immediately say how often bicycle-vehicle collisions result in charges or citations.

“In a tragic case like this, the best you can hope for is a thorough and fair investigation,” said Leah Shahum, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition, which has roundly criticized the Police Department's response to the fatal accident. “And there are serious doubts that this investigation has been thorough or fair.”

Unsafe streets

Ten cyclists have been killed in traffic accidents on San Francisco streets over the past four years.

2013: 3

2012: 1

2011: 4

2010: 2

Source: SFPD

Bay Area NewsSan Francisco Bicycle CoalitionSan Francisco bicycle deathsSan Francisco PoliceTransittransportation

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