Cyclist Dies After Being Hit In Brookline

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 14

22 year old Tracy Milillo was involved in a crash on Sept. 9th and passed away Sept 11. It seems that she was hit by a car, but details are still coming in. My thoughts go out to her family and I urge you all to be careful. Cyclist deaths are a rare occurrence, but all the more shocking and sad because of it. It is even more tragic that such a young person has been killed.

A 22-year-old bicyclist has died of head injuries from a crash in Coolidge Corner last week.

Police say Tracy Milillo, a recent Emmanuel College graduate from Holbrook, N.Y., died around 1:35 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11. Millio never regained consciousness after the crash, police said.

Police are still investigating how the crash occurred. Though initial reports from witnesses indicated Milillo had been struck by a motorist, Capt. Michael Gropman said the vehicle may have never made contact with Milillo’s bike.

Police believe Milillo was near 30 Longwood Ave. when the crash occurred. She was not wearing a helmet, they said.

Gropman said police are examining the bicycle and vehicle for any mechanical defects. Forensic reports could come back as early as this week, Gropman said.

Police are asking anyone who may witnessed the accident, which occurred around 7:20 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 9, on Longwood Avenue, to contact the department.

Brookline Police can be reached at 617-730-2222.(via Wicked Local Brookline)

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Posted in news | 11 Comments »

11 Responses to “Cyclist Dies After Being Hit In Brookline”

  1. By Frankierays on Sep 14, 2009 | Reply

    I’ve heard she was not wearing a helmet. Maybe this time I will always wear mine. My condolences go out to Tracy’s friends and family.

  2. By Daniel on Sep 15, 2009 | Reply

    Yes, the article also said she was not wearing a helmet. Every day the majority of cyclists I see on the road aren’t wearing helmets, but you don’t have to be hit by a speeding car to be hurt or killed. One hard blow to the head can do it.

    I don’t care how much you like your hair. Helmets are a must.

  3. By Boston Biker on Sep 15, 2009 | Reply

    Dan: I have to disagree, I would say the majority of the people I see riding bikes do in fact have helmets on, but I also agree that they are very important, however lets not lose focus here, the fact that the woman didn’t have a helmet on had nothing to do with how the accident went down. If the negligence of a car driver was at fault, if she had a helmet on or not is not the issue.

    not wearing a seat belt doesn’t mean it’s your fault when someone runs through a red light and runs into your car. It simply means you are not being as cautious as you could be.

    It is a horrible tragedy that this young lady has died so early in life. The fact she didn’t have a helmet on is a distraction I think from that issue, but I will admit if she had been wearing one she might be with us still today, and this points out that being careful and cautious can help overcome the stupidity and carelessness of others.

    I simply don’t want this to boil down to a “she didn’t have her helmet on” discussion because I often feel like that is the same thing as saying “it was kind of her fault”

  4. By Matthew on Sep 15, 2009 | Reply

    No one is discussing about how the collision may or may not have been her fault besides you. A helmet does nothing to cause or prevent a collision, it only has a limited bearing on the end result of a collision.

    Much like every other safety feature. For instance seat belts don’t cause collisions, but they may have an effect on the outcome during a collision. In the event of a collision, doesn’t it make all the sense in the world to have some protection rather than none?

    Why do you feel it is necessary to justify someone’s choice to not use a safety device in an incident where if they had the outcome may have been different? Do you honestly think the minimal sense of security provided by a helmet is more dangerous than an otherwise, and sometimes freak, fatal blow to an unprotected head?

  5. By Boston Biker on Sep 15, 2009 | Reply

    I use helmets, and fully support the use of helmets, but so often the first thing I hear after a bike crash is “was the person wearing a helmet” and then people go on and on about how “it’s such a shame that they didn’t have a helmet on” if they were not wearing one, conveniently glossing over the fact that the reason they are dead is not because they didn’t have a helmet but because they were struck by a car, often while the car driver was doing something illegal or careless.

    I wish everyone would wear a helmet all the time.

  6. By DedhamTom on Sep 22, 2009 | Reply

    I wear a helmet every time I cycle. My wife … won’t. I wish she would, but I’m not her keeper. (Grown-ups get to make their own decisions, even if they’re wrong ones.)

    But I harbor no illusions about helmets. As I see them, they are only a third line of defense against cycling injuries — and they only protect one part of the body, albeit an important part.

    The first two lines of defense are these:

    1. Cycling properly. This means that I obey the same rules that motor vehicle operators follow. If I’m moving faster than other traffic, I prefer to pass on the left. If I’m approaching an intersection where right turns are permitted, and I am not planning to turn right, I move away from the right; this not only avoids the right-hook collision, but it also places me in the travel lane where I am more likely to be seen by left-turning motorists. That position gives me a much clearer view of them, too, because I’m not hidden behind a “wall o’ steel” created by queued-up traffic.

    2. Cycling skillfully. A skillful cyclist uses his/her brain and experience on the road to be alert to problem spots, and takes effective countermeasures when a motorist, pedestrian, or another cyclist makes a mistake. Knowing how to brake sudden without flipping the bike is one such skill. Understanding how to make a “quick turn” by snapping the handlebars momentarily away from the direction I plan to turn, and then leaning into the turn, is another. (Paradoxically, a quick snap of the bars to the left will actually cause a bike to lean to the right, and vice versa. Knowing this technique has helped me steer out of trouble a couple times when motorists have usurped the right-of-way.)

    I’ve been saved from head injuries a couple times when I’ve fallen on ice and on bad paving. The worst collision I ever had came from striking a wrong-way cyclist on a Sunday morning one December, when no motor vehicles were in my vicinity. That time, too, my helmet prevented a nasty lump.

    But when my helmet is needed to save me, it means that defense 1 and defense 2 have already failed. My goal is to avoid having to use my third defense in the first place!

  7. By Sean on Sep 23, 2009 | Reply

    This is a tragedy, and my condolences go out to Tracy’s family and friends. The wrong here came from the speeding car driver, however, I strongly believe that the bikers should follow the same rules and regulations of the road as the car drivers. I constantly have close calls with bikers biking down one way roads, running red lights, stop signs, and speeding across cross walks. If I were a police officer I would make my quota by pulling over bikers making such traffic violations. ITS UNSAFE FOR EVERYONE!

  8. By mark on Sep 25, 2009 | Reply

    I actually read about a study (which I no longer have a link to, unfortunately, but maybe you can google it) done in Europe that found that drivers leave less room for bikers wearing helmets (and actually less room for women, also). the study suggested that drivers assume people who are wearing helmets will be more careful riders and thus drive closer to them.

  9. By Frances on Apr 8, 2010 | Reply

    I recently saw the police report & it said that she was wearing a helmet.

  10. By i love espresso on May 29, 2010 | Reply

    i think it’s similar to fatal car accident reports that state whether victims were wearing a seatbelt (such as the mother and child who were recently ejected through their windows b/c of not wearing seatbelts, how tragic). it should not be seen as a diversion from fault in an accident, but rather as a public safety reminder that a helmet may (apparently not in this case) prevent a tragic outcome. does the final police report ascribe a cause to this accident?

  11. By bikingapples on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Any updates on this topic? Hopefully, the advocacy group got the police to change their mind..

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