Cable car operator struck by drunk motorcyclist dies

A San Francisco cable car operator who was seriously hurt by an allegedly drunken motorcyclist in June died from his injuries Tuesday, city officials said.

Reynaldo Abraham “Avy” Morante, 51, died at 6:15 a.m., the city medical examiner’s office confirmed.

In the weeks after the June 11 crash, Morante remained in a coma. Prosecutors said he suffered a brain injury and had to have a portion of his skull removed to relieve intracranial pressure.

Police said Morante was getting off his cable car near the corner of Taylor and Francisco streets in the North Beach neighborhood at about 10:30 p.m. when a motorcyclist, identified as 22-year-old William Makepeace, struck him from behind.

Morante was rushed to a hospital and Makepeace was arrested at the scene after police discovered he had a blood alcohol content of .12 percent.

Within days Makepeace was charged with two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury. He pleaded no contest to those charges in June, but could be facing even more serious ones in wake of Morante’s death.

District attorney’s office spokesman Max Szabo said in a statement:

“We are in the process of evaluating what additional charges may be appropriate in the wake of the victim’s death. Our thoughts are with the family.”

Makepeace was released on $100,000 bail shortly after his arrest and ordered not to drive any motor vehicles.

Morante had worked for Muni for decades and had recently switched from being a driver to a cable car operator, according to his family.