The Latest From

News, Events, Updates

Remembering Chris Weigl

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 07


First, Weigl wasn’t in his multi-media class Thursday morning. Then, a fellow classmate reported seeing a horrible accident on the way in.

“She said, ‘I accidentally looked over and I saw what happened and it was terrible and I didn’t mean to see it — I really didn’t want to see what happened. And she saw the bicyclist under the truck,” said Weigl’s professor, Peter Smith.

Minutes later, Professor Peter Smith told students the cyclist was their classmate.

“Everyone went into tears. Chris is one of the most loved students, one of the most brilliant grad students to come through here,” Smith said.

Weigl was a soft-spoken, talented photographer whom others admired.

“He was just a terrific person. He was so motivated and he really went out of his way to help anyone,” said Michael Cummo, a classmate.

Four weeks ago another BU student was killed when he was hit by an MBTA bus at Harvard Street and Brighton Street.

Read more:

Christopher Weigl was ready to submit his ­final project of the semester Wednesday for a multimedia class at Boston University when a technical glitch stole all his editing work.

It was the kind of thing that makes the average first-year graduate student crumble. Not Weigl.

He stayed up late Wednesday, finished the project, and sent it electronically to his professor, whose class he was scheduled to attend at 9 a.m. Thursday, said Peter Southwick, director of photojournalism at BU’s College of Communication.

Weigl never made that class. The 23-year-old photojournalism grad student was killed on Commonwealth Avenue at 8:36 a.m. Thursday after his bicycle collided with a tractor-trailer turning onto St. Paul Street.

Boston police said Weigl, who was riding in a marked bike lane, was wearing a helmet Thursday.
A bicyclist joined in the vigil for Christopher Weigl.

Barry Chin/Globe Staff

A bicyclist joined in the vigil for Christopher Weigl.

“He was a calm hand on the wheel, had tons of common sense, very aware of the risks of riding a bike,” said Charlie ­Maher, one of his three roommates. “He was smart. He wasn’t some reckless kid on a bike without a helmet. That’s not the way he is at all.”

The professor in Weigl’s multimedia class, Peter Smith, canceled regular class affairs Thursday, opting to honor Weigl’s memory by showing his final project and another student’s project, which happened to be a video profile of Weigl.

Dan Herard, Weigl’s roommate and friend since grade school, said Weigl was the glue that kept friendships together. A “goofy” guy who always had a smile on his face, Weigl enjoyed the outdoors, dancing to techno music, and seemed to befriend everyone he met, Herard said.

“He always kept a positive attitude,” Herard said. “He was one of those people. Drove some people nuts because he was always happy. He was just Chris; there’s so much that ­encapsulates that.”

Kuan Liu was aboard the Green Line’s B train Thursday morning when she came upon the chaotic scene on Commonwealth Avenue: a body covered in a white sheet under a tractor-trailer. A devastated Liu later learned the person under that sheet was the very first friend she made at BU, where she is enrolled as an international student. He was her assigned ambassador at the school, helping her navigate a new school and country.

Weigl would invite Liu to his Brighton apartment, as he did all his friends, to watch television. When Liu could not under­stand what was being said, Weigl would patiently ­explain it all.

“He would always help me. He would walk me home when I was by myself to make sure I’m safe,” Liu said. “I can’t imagine this person in my life is the person under the white cloth.”(via)

“He was one of the best graduate students I’ve had here; he took responsibility for all of his work and met every deadline,” senior lecturer Peter Smith told BU Today. “He was the kind of student you hope for.”(via)

Several years ago I was on a ride of silence (a memorial ride for people killed on bicycle). I came across the father of Mike Hunt. He was there giving out little cards with his sons picture on it, looking us each in the eye, hugging us, and telling each of us thank you for remembering his son.

Tears still come into my eyes when I remember this poor mans face. The natural order of the world had been revoked, and a father was morning the death of his son. I still have that little card, and on days like today, when another young cyclists life has been taken I sometimes look at it and think hard about all the times I have almost been killed while riding my bicycle.

There is something profoundly wrong with the way our transportation system is set up. It doesn’t work for pedestrians, cyclists, or motorists. Car driving is a dead end activity for urban areas. There is nothing good about owning a car in a major city that can’t be supplanted or surpassed by good public transportation, walking and cycling. Our cars are literally going to be the death of us, either through crashes, health problems, or global warming.

The death toll from crashes, asthma, obesity, global warming, and heart attacks must stop. It’s time we stop planning our infrastructure around how best to accommodate current conditions, and start planning our infrastructure around what we want our cities to look like. We need to set goals, and work our way towards them.

Its time we take a hard look at when and how we let large vehicles use our streets. Its time we start decreasing the number of cars that use our streets. Its time we dramatically improve the cyclist and pedestrian infrastructure in our city. Its time we get creative with how we fund public transportation.

We shouldn’t accept a single death from driving a car, walking, or cycling. Its simply unacceptable that people die while just trying to move from point A to point B.

My heart breaks for the family of Chris Wiegl. I think about him and and I worry about what my own mother would have to go through had I been the victim of such a senseless act of carelessness. We must find a way to end this.

submit Remembering Chris Weigl to Add to Reddit.

Tags: , ,
Posted in bostonbiker, news | 9 Comments »

The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Pewter Cast “Gem” Earrings March 9, 2018
      Carved, cast and made these pewter (lead free) “gem” earrings.  They have a lovely faceted surface that catches the light and has a lot of depth and interesting texture.  My first real effort at making my own beads.  If you lik... Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Silver “Rock” Earrings March 9, 2018
        I carved and cast these silver “rock” earrings for my partner. The hardest part was getting those little jump rings soldered to the top of the “rock” without melting them or the rock…but I did it and she loved them. Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Hubway Is Dead Long Live Blue Bikes March 8, 2018
      TweetBlue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts will pay nearly $20 million to turn the Boston area’s Hubway bike share system into Blue Bikes and expand the program with more than 1,000 new bikes and more than 100 new rental stations … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Very Complicated Tribal Wolf Vinyl Decal February 22, 2018
      You ever just do something to see if you can?  That’s what this vinyl decal was about. Just wanted to see how complicated a decal I could cut out, as well as how patient I could be while weeding it. Designed and put into great cut. Starting the cutting process It took a long time… […]
      Boston Biker
    • Quincy Is Co-Hosting Traffic Skills Cycling Course With MassBike February 8, 2018
      TweetFrom the email: Hello Quincyclists, I would like to announce that Quincy is co-hosting a League of American Bicyclists’ Smart Cycling Traffic Skills 101 class on April 7 and 8. Please join us! Register here: This Traffic Skills 101 Cycling … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Last all To Submit Comments For Allston I-90 DEIR February 7, 2018
      TweetFrom Livable Streets: Are you willing to wait 22 years for your train to show up? Now is the time to let state leaders know that we can’t afford to wait. The Allston I-90 Interchange project can transform access and mobility for … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Hubway Winter Update February 2, 2018
      TweetFrom Hubway:   Hubway had a winning January! This past month, Hubway riders took over 40,000 trips, more than double the January record. Want to try out winter riding? You don’t need to be tough — you just need to be … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Speak Up For Zoning Reform In MA! February 1, 2018
      TweetFrom Livable Streets: Did you know that the last time Massachusetts updated its zoning laws was in 1975? We need your help today to ensure that our future includes responsible planning for great neighborhoods! Contact Massachusetts legislators and let them know that we … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • My e-mail in support of West Station January 31, 2018
      TweetAlexander Strysky is the reviewer for the Massashusetts Environmental Protection Agency reviewer for the I-90 Interchange project in Allston. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has backed off from plans for prompt construction of  anew West Station on the Framingham-Worcester commuter-rail … Continue reading →
    • My letter to the Globe about the Kurmann fatality January 31, 2018
      TweetI’ve read the Op-Ed piece by Andrew Fischer and Alan Wright, “Killing Bicyclists should be a crime” in the Sunday, January 28 Globe. I agree with Wright and Fischer that a charge of involuntary manslaughter against the trucker in the … Continue reading →