The criminal trial of a 60-year old San Francisco man began this week. The man is charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charges for killing a 59-year-old male pedestrian. The fatal pedestrian accident occurred last September in San Francisco's Castro District.
Apparently the defendant was driving his Ford Explorer at the intersection of Noe and 14th Streets when he started to make a left-hand turn. The driver hit the pedestrian who was walking in the crosswalk. The victim was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
The trial opened with the testimony of police and emergency medical staff who responded to the scene. A police officer testified that the defendant was driving his car while wearing a large plastic walking boot on his right foot. He had received a stress fracture a month prior to the car accident. According to the man's physician, he did not advise his patient whether or not to drive with the boot on. However, the man says he was driving with his left foot at the time of the accident and had become very accustomed to driving with this left foot.
The man then testified later in his own defense. He called the event a tragic accident but claims he was not criminally negligent.
While police officers say the driver was extremely shaken, upset and remorseful of his actions at the scene of the accident, just as he was in court, it still does not make up for his terribly regretful behavior. Once the criminal trial is completed, the victim's family will most likely file a wrongful death suit to garner monetary damages for the loss of their loved one.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Driver denies negligence in crosswalk fatality," Vivian Ho, July 12, 2012