News » Crime & Courts

Opening arguments on horizon in manslaughter trial involving driver wearing leg cast

by

4 comments
Accident scene: Gregg Wilcox is accused of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in the death of pedestrian William Cox, 59, after a crash in the Castro in 2011. - MIKE KOOZMIN/THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Mike Koozmin/The S.F. Examiner
  • Accident scene: Gregg Wilcox is accused of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in the death of pedestrian William Cox, 59, after a crash in the Castro in 2011.

Opening arguments are set to begin in the trial of a driver who was allegedly wearing a leg cast when he fatally struck a pedestrian in a Castro district crosswalk last fall.

Gregg Wilcox, 60, is charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter for the Sept. 6 collision at Noe and 14th streets that killed 59-year-old William Cox.

At the time, Wilcox was using his left foot to drive instead of his right, which was in a cast, Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said. That created unsafe driving conditions, he said.

Cox’s death was “preventable,” District Attorney George Gascón has said.

Wilcox has pleaded not guilty and has been out of custody on $100,000 bail. This week, jurors were being selected in preparation for opening arguments, which prosecutors said could begin as early as Monday.

Wilcox was driving a Ford Explorer southbound on Noe Street and struck Cox after making a left onto 14th Street, police and prosecutors say. Cox was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died. The case garnered public attention partly because it drew less outrage than recent cases against bicyclists who struck and killed pedestrians.

In one such case, 36-year-old Chris Bucchere is facing a felony charge for allegedly plowing into a pedestrian while speeding on his bicycle March 29. The 71-year-old man later died at the hospital. And in another incident, Randolph Ang, 23, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in connection with a July 15 collision at Mission Street and The Embarcadero that killed a woman.

As part of his plea agreement, Ang was sentenced to community service rather than jail time.

maldax@sfexaminer.com