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Claude Wyle
Claude Wyle
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San Francisco Tour Bus driver Cited for Manslaughter in San Francisco City Hall Pedestrian Death

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The tour bus driver who allegedly killed a city worker in the crosswalk outside City Hall has been arrested this past Thursday on suspicion of manslaughter, according to the San Francisco police.

The driver, Raymond Lucas, a 65 year old Menlo Park resident, was cited, but not yet arrested, on Tuesday, October 23rd in connection with the deadly pedestrian accident that killed Priscilla “Precy” Moreto.

Moreto was a staff member of the City Controller’s office, and a matriarch of her family.

The morning of the accident Moreto was returning to City Hall, crossing the street in the clearly marked crosswalk, when the tour bus struck her at approximately 5 miles per hour. Sadly, Ms. Moreto was pronounced dead upon arrival at San Francisco General Hospital.

Lucas was released, and has not yet been charged by prosecutors. He has a clean driving record.

This is not the first time this particular crosswalk has been the subject of an accident investigation and potential prosecution. In fact, it has gotten so bad that plans to install a traffic signal have been in the works for months. Why does it take so long to implement safety improvements to our city streets? I am sure that this question will be put to the SF Supervisors  at the next meeting focused on pedestrian safety.

The signal light is scheduled for installation midway through 2015.

Classic Cable Car Charters, the tour company for which Lucas was driving for released the following statment:

“Our team offers our heartfelt condolences to the family of Mrs. Moreto,” the firm’s general manager, Chris Conners, said in a statement. “We are committed to working with the authorities in their investigation, and we are conducting a parallel investigation within our company to understand what happened.”

Lucas is facing a potential maximum sentence of one year in jail.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. This crosswalk entirely visible. In fact, it’s one of the widest and most easilynotable crosswalks in the city. There’s no mistaking it.

Although learning that the District Attorney’s office will prosecute the driver who is responsible for this woman’s death will provide some comfort to the grieving family, I think that we need to investigate why this driver was distracted and why he failed to see Mr. Moreto. Is there something about the policies and procedures of this tour company that made this driver’s job more difficult? Was this driver expected to play tour guide and bus driver at the same time? It is the Civil Justice System that will most likely help this family to resolve important questions of fact surrounding this tragic loss. This family should immediately retain a pedestrian accident attorney who can help them to investigate and who can help them with some degree of closure.

 

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Hello, I’m Claude Wyle, a San Francisco pedestrian accident attorney. Have an idea for a topic you’d like to see covered here? Feel free to contact me or visit www.ccwlawyers.com