Amelie Le Moullac was riding her bike to Caltrain "following all the rules of the road" on the morning of Aug. 14, 2013, in San Francisco's South of Market district, when she was fatally struck by a 26,000-pound delivery truck whose driver made an unsafe right turn, the attorneys for the young woman's family argued in court Wednesday.
Gilberto Alcantar "failed to follow all the rules of the road and crushed and killed Amelie Le Moullac," attorney William Veen told jurors at the start of a civil jury trial in the wrongful death lawsuit against the 47-year-old truck driver and the company he works for, Daylight Foods of Milpitas.
At first, police blamed Le Moullac, 24, for her death, but later faulted Alcantar after a San Francisco Bicycle Coalition staffer did some simple detective work and uncovered surveillance video of the crash, something the police had failed to check for. An attorney for Le Moullac's family has said it shows the truck making an unsafe lane change, overtaking the bike lane with Le Moullac in it.
Le Moullac's death and the shoddy investigation by police galvanized safe streets advocates, who demanded the San Francisco Police Department reform its procedures for handling collisions involving drivers and bicyclists and pedestrians. The advocates said it was typical of the way investigators handle these types of crashes, and explains why drivers are rarely charged.
Despite the video evidence, San Francisco prosecutors declined to file charges, saying it would be difficult to land a jury conviction for vehicular manslaughter. The attorneys for Le Moullac's family say the lawsuit is "their last chance for justice."