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Ten months after Christopher Weigl, a 23-year-old graduate student, was killed on his bicycle in Allston, the man’s family has sued the truck driver and trucking company involved in the crash, arguing that the company has a responsibility to train drivers to watch for cyclists in dense urban areas.
The lawsuit reflects frustration within Weigl’s family and the Boston cycling community at the lack of criminal charges in the case and channels the growing sentiment among bike advocates that the trucking industry should be proactive in preventing bicycle crashes.
In a complaint filed in Suffolk Superior Court, Weigl’s family contends that the crash in December was the result of negligence on the part of the driver, John A. Brothers of Uxbridge, and the company that employs him, New Hampshire-based Ross Express.(Via)
Some very interesting things could come from this lawsuit. Having large trucks in an urban center requires that the large truck operators be highly trained. I hope the family gets some justice.
Tags: Christopher Weigl, death, lawsuit
Posted in news | 6 Comments »
Apparently she was struck by a dump truck.
This afternoon, MIT visiting scientist Dr. Kanako Miura, 36, died in a bicycle accident in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Miura was a native of Japan and had been at MIT since the fall of 2012. Within MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Miura worked in the laboratory of Russ Tedrake, an associate professor of computer science and engineering. (via)
At about 3:34pm, on Sunday, May 19, 2013, officers from District D-4 (South End) responded to an accident involving a motor vehicle and a female bicyclist. On arrival, officers located a female victim suffering from what appeared to be life threatening injuries. As a result of injuries suffered in the accident, the bicyclist, a female in her early twenties, was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Detectives – assigned to the Boston Police Department’s Accident Reconstruction Team – are currently investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding this accident. At present, the cause of the accident is still under investigation and no violations have been issued at this time. (via)
On Sunday afternoon at about 3:30, a 20-year-old woman was either riding her bicycle or walking beside it when she was struck by a truck, police said. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. There was a mangled bike found about a mile from the crash scene on Bay State Road. “It’s really a bad intersection, ” one resident said, describing the corner of Beacon Street and Charlesgate West, where the crash occurred. There is a bike lane on Beacon Street, but police said the woman was hit by a truck that did not stop. Investigators are trying to identify the driver of the truck involved in the incident. “People just don’t care anymore,” another resident said. “They are in such a hurry; they don’t care who they hit at all.” Police pulled over two trucks after the crash but they would not confirm whether either vehicle was involved in the incident. “It’s very scary; I live right next-door. I hope they honor the victim by making the road safer,” a resident said. As of Sunday night, police had not made any arrest or issued any violations.(via)
our hearts go out to her family and friends, more information when I get it. Of all the cyclist fatalities in the last two years, nearly all of them have been caused by large trucks. Perhaps its time the city does something about this.
Tags: cyclist killed, death
Posted in news | 21 Comments »
The globe had a front page article today about the lack of an indictment for Dana McCoomb, the truck driver who killed cyclist Alex Motsenigos last year.
It’s a common refrain among local cyclists: Want to kill someone and get away with it? Run them over while they’re on a bicycle.
Within Boston’s growing cycling community, a perceived lack of criminal prosecution of motorists involved in fatal bike crashes has been a regular source of outrage in recent years. That ire came to a fever pitch last week, when a grand jury investigation of a Wellesley bike crash with seemingly copious evidence — video footage, witnesses defending the deceased bicyclist, a truck driver who had fled the scene and had an extensive history of driving infractions — came back with no charges.
The grand jury’s decision, bicyclists contend, is evidence of a wider problem: Most people do not respect the rights of bike riders.
“The message that we got from this particular case,” said David Watson, executive director of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, “is that, clearly, members of the general public still don’t care enough about bicyclists’ safety.”
As if to prove the entire point of the article, the comment section is a wasteland…depressing.
Tags: cyclist, death, globe, news
Posted in news | 8 Comments »
VIA MassBike’s Website:
Earlier this week, we learned that a grand jury decided not to indict the driver of the truck that stuck and killed bicyclist Alexander Motsenigos in Wellesley last August. We are outraged at this result, and our hearts go out to the Motsenigos family who must suffer this injustice on top of their loss. We are trying to understand how this happened, in what would appear to be a clear case of motor vehicle homicide. Here is what we know:
- The Wellesley Police Department performed a thorough investigation beginning immediately following the crash. They interviewed witnesses, collected evidence at the scene, reviewed traffic camera video, executed a search warrant at the company that owns the truck, impounded the truck, and performed extensive forensic analysis on the truck. Police tracked down the driver and interviewed him at his home the next day, and concluded that he was not being truthful in his account of the incident. They performed a simulation of the crash using the truck, a bicycle, and an officer the same size as the driver to determine what the driver could have seen. You can read the entire report of the investigation here, but be warned that it is graphic and disturbing.
- The police filed a variety of charges against the driver, including motor vehicle homicide. The driver was also charged for Unsafe Overtaking of a Bicyclist, a law passed as part of MassBike’s 2009 Bicyclist Safety Act.
- Prosecutors presented the case to a grand jury, which, in December, declined to indict the driver, effectively bringing an end to the investigation. Grand juries are county-wide, and closed to public view, so we will never know who was on the jury, what evidence was presented, or what was said in jury deliberations. The grand jury would have been composed of citizens from multiple communities in Norfolk County.
- The Motsenigos family has filed a civil lawsuit against the driver and the companies that own and operate the truck.
So what went wrong? Based on the information available to us, it appears that the police and prosecutors took this case very seriously, and performed a thorough and professional investigation. Ultimately, the decision was in the hands of the grand jury and we cannot know what was in their minds. We can and should assume that the grand jurors took their job seriously – they are constantly reminded of the gravity of their decisions. But we can assume that many of them, perhaps all of them, are not cyclists – we represent a growing, but still small proportion of the population. We can be certain that most of the jurors, probably all of them, are drivers – most people, including most bicyclists, are.
I will speculate that some, perhaps all, of the jurors put themselves in the place of the truck driver and asked themselves the question “should I face felony criminal charges if I accidentally hit a bicyclist?” And in the world as it exists today, with bicyclists forced to mix with cars and trucks on roads that were not designed to be shared, and inadequate education of both motorists and bicyclists, those jurors might have decided it would not be fair to hold the truck driver accountable. The system did not fail us, but our fellow citizens did.
This is a cultural issue, where most people still view bicyclists (if they think about us at all) as daredevils and people on the fringe of society. They do not yet see us as vulnerable individuals sharing the road, people like them who deserve greater protection and vigilance. We need to get past this cultural divide, get more rapidly to the point where bicyclists are as accepted and respected as any other person on the road. We are working on this culture shift at MassBike, and we are thinking hard about how to accelerate it. We need your help, first with your ideas, and later with your participation as we move forward.
Massbike is a great organization, and you should support them so they can continue their work to make us all safer.
Tags: death, massbike, no justice
Posted in advocacy, news | 18 Comments »
From The BPD Website:
The victim has been identified as 21 year old Chung-Wei Yang.
The facts and circumstances surrounding the accident are as follows:
On November 12, 2012 at 6:36pm officers from D-14 (Brighton) responded to a motor vehicle accident involving a bicyclist at Brighton Avenue and Harvard Avenues.
Upon arrival officers found a seriously injured male victim. EMS transported the 21 year old victim to Beth Israel Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
Update: Preliminary investigation suggests an MBTA bus did come in contact with the victim. There is no indication that the driver or any of the passengers on the bus knew anyone was struck. At this time, no charges have been filed
The Boston Police Department is continuing to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident. Anyone with information is asked to call Homicide Detectives (617) 343-4470.
Community members wishing to assist this investigation anonymously can do so by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1(800) 494-TIPS or texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of those who wish to remain anonymous.
I am going to wait until more information comes out before I pass judgement, but I am very suspicious. I can only hope that these incidents of cyclists being killed by large vehicles leads to some serious change in the way things are done in this town. The killing must stop.
Tags: Allston, Chung-Wei Yang, cyclists killed, death
Posted in advocacy, news | 4 Comments »
From the Herald:
A woman in her mid-30s riding a bicycle home yesterday with a friend was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer in South Boston, police said.
Tanya Connolly of South Boston immigrated from Ireland 14 years ago, friends and family said. She had lived and worked in the city ever since.
“She was full of life,” said her distraught brother, Carl Connolly, who spoke briefly after he walked out of the police station on West Broadway, where witnesses were being interviewed. “She was the glue that held her friends together. She’s definitely going to be missed”
Tags: cyclist killed, death, tanya connolly
Posted in news | 5 Comments »
“It appears the TT was turning left from A St on West Broadway when the accident occurred ”
Another in a series of horrific and tragic events…more information when I get it. I hate posting these things, we must do better at protecting cyclists. My thoughts go out to her friends and family.
Boston Police Investigate Fatal Pedestrian Accident in the area of W. Broadway & A Streets in South Boston
At about 3:50pm, on Monday, September 17, 2012, officers from District C-6 (South Boston) responded to an accident involving a bicyclist and a tractor trailer truck in the area of W. Broadway & A Streets. On arrival, officers located a female victim suffering from what appeared to be life threatening injuries. The victim, who had been riding a bicycle, was pronounced deceased at the scene. The operator of the vehicle remained on the scene and did make his identity known to responding officers.
The Boston Police Department is actively investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident. No citations have been issued at this time.
More news here (warning graphic description of crash)
Update more video here
They reveal that it was a woman in her 30′s. Tragically young. (note they mention this website, it pains me greatly that this is the sort of event that draws reporters here, and not the hundreds of happy events that occur all year long. Be safe out there everyone).
more video here:
Tags: crash, cyclist killed, death, tragic
Posted in news | 22 Comments »
In sad news a man was killed on his bicycle this morning, the herald reports.
State police say a 63-year-old man riding his bicycle along Morrissey Boulevard has been struck and killed by a vehicle.
Authorities say the victim was on the outbound side of the road at about 12:30 a.m. Friday when he was struck by a pickup truck.
The bicyclist was thrown from his bicycle and suffered severe injuries and was declared dead at the scene.
The pickup trucks driver, a 47-year-old man, called 911 for assistance and stayed at the scene. He was eventually taken to Boston Medical Center with minor injuries.
No names were immediately released.
The crash remains under investigation and no charges have been filed.
A sad day. My thoughts go out to his friends and family. More info when I get it. As always feel free to post details in the comments.
The driver has been charged with drunk driving via DotNews:
Michael Ahern, 46, of Dorchester, is scheduled for arraignment today on charges he ran over and killed a man riding his bicycle down Morrissey Boulevard early Friday, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office reports.
Doan Bui, 63, was pronounced dead at the scene following the 12:30 a.m. crash near Malibu Beach.
According to DA Dan Conley’s office, Ahern was arrested at his Adams Corner home on Sunday after a State Police investigation. Ahern called 911 from the scene of the Morrissey Boulevard crash and remained there until police and EMTs arrived. Ahern was also transported to Boston Medical Center and released shortly thereafter.
Prosecutors will formally charge Ahern with motor vehicle homicide, operating under the influence of alcohol, operating to endanger and speeding.
Ahern is a well-known building contractor who — along with his wife— recently opened a new restaurant, The Sweet Life, in Lower Mills. Ahern has also been a key partner in another popular Lower Mills eatery, The Ledge.
Tags: crash, cyclist killed, death, tragic
Posted in news | 8 Comments »