Truck driver negligent in bicyclist’s death
A San Francisco Superior Court jury Thursday found the driver of a big rig truck negligent for striking and killing a 24-year-old woman riding her bicycle in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood in 2013.
Amelie Le Moullac, who lived in The City and worked at the San Francisco office of the marketing firm Voce Communications, was killed during her morning commute on Aug. 14, 2013 when a truck made a right turn and struck her at the corner of Sixth and Folsom streets.
Wednesday, the trial of a wrongful death suit file by the Le Moullac family against Milpitas-based Daylight Foods Inc., the produce company using the truck, and its driver, Gilberto Alcantar, concluded with a jury verdict in favor of Denis Le Moullac, the father of Amelie Le Moullac. Judge Newton J. Lam presided over the trial.
Following the collision, the driver was not initially cited. However, a San Francisco Bicycle Coalition member found surveillance video of the crash and turned it over to investigators leading the driver later to be found at fault.
The SF Bicycle Coalition released a statement following Le Moullac’s death saying:
“These tragic crashes are not accidents. With thoughtful engineering of our streets, data-driven enforcement of the most dangerous behaviors, meaningful education and through investigation and prosecution, we can reduce and eventually eliminate all traffic fatalities.”
The SF Bicycle Coalition said it was “deeply troubling” that charges were not filed by the District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney’s Office said that they were unable to prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt due to a lack of resources.
The bicycle advocacy group called on city leaders to fund the San Francisco District Attorney’s proposed Vehicular Manslaughter Unit, which would have consisted of a prosecutor, an investigator and a paralegal.
The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office proposed a specialized Vehicular Manslaughter Unit in last year’s budget, but it was not included in San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s budget, according to San Francisco District Attorney spokesman Max Szabo.
After Le Moullac’s death, the San Francisco Police Department was criticized for how it handled the investigation and for apparently derisive remarks aimed toward bicyclists that a police sergeant made at a memorial event a week after Le Moullac died.
San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr apologized on behalf of the sergeant in the weeks after the fatal crash and said the incident would be reviewed by the city’s Office of Citizen Complaints, which handles reports of police misconduct.