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In a U.S. first, bicyclist found guilty of vehicular homicide

Georgia readers may take an interest in a recent court ruling believed to be the first of its kind in the United States. A bicyclist has been found guilty of felony manslaughter. The cyclist struck and killed a pedestrian in San Francisco in 2012.

The bicyclist was riding through a busy intersection when he hit a man crossing the street with his wife. He had run through at least two stop signs prior to the accident, according to the district attorney's office. In addition, they believe that the light was red before the cyclist entered the intersection where he ran into a group of people who were crossing the street. The man hit by the cyclist died four days after the accident occurred. The family of the man who died have filed a civil suit against the bicyclist. If they choose to do so, the family could file a wrongful death lawsuit.

The cyclist's attorney told a San Francisco newspaper that the bicyclist believed that the light was yellow when he went into the intersection. The cyclist pleaded guilty to the charge of vehicular manslaughter charge which is a felony conviction. According to a San Francisco prosecutor, this is the first time in history that a bicyclist was convicted of felony vehicular manslaughter. The prosecutor stated that the goal was to send a message to cyclists that the rules of the road apply to them as well.

Losing a loved one to an accident caused by the careless or reckless behavior of someone else, may be financially and emotionally devastating for family members. A Georgia lawyer may be able to help the surviving family members pursue a wrongful death claim.

Source: ABC News, "Bicyclist First in U.S. Guilty of Vehicular Homicide", Colleen Curry, July 24, 2013

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