Truck driver charged with fleeing fatal collision with bicyclist in Sullivan Square

UPDATE: Authorities have identified the victim as a 30-year-old man from Chelsea. They have yet to publicly release his name to allow for family notification.

Ricky Prezioso, 42, of Swampscott, told police he thought he hit a pothole at the intersection of Cambridge and Spice streets while making trash pickups around 1:40 p.m. yesterday, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

Prezioso was arraigned today in Charlestown Municipal Court on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident causing death, because, officials say, his truck struck and killed a bicyclist.

His bail was set at $5,000, the DA's office reports, adding the judge in the case denied requests to cancel his bail on an outstanding assault and battery charge and to order him to wear a GPS device.

Prezioso was allegedly behind the wheel of a white dump truck that hit and killed a bicyclist.

After finding the truck in a recycling firm's parking lot in Revere yesterday:

Boston Police obtained the truck driver’s name and traveled to his Swampscott home. In a post-Miranda statement, he allegedly told them that he made a right off of Cambridge onto Spice and thought he hit a pothole. He allegedly stated that he exited the truck on Spice Street, inspected the truck, and proceeded to the next stop on his route. As he left that stop, he allegedly told investigators, he intended to turn right onto Spice Street to get back on Cambridge Street but was told by officers at the scene to turn left on Spice Street.

The DA's office adds investigators are still trying to learn the bicyclist's name.

The Globe reports his lawyer argued the bicyclist hit the truck, rather than the other way around, and successfully asked for Prezioso to be allowed to continue driving to support six children - three of his own and his fiancee's.

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

Max sentence

a charge of leaving the scene of an accident causing death

What's the maximum on this?

GL c. 90 s. 24

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imprisonment in the state prison for not less than two and one-half years nor more than ten years and by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars or by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not less than one year nor more than two and one-half years and by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars

https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXIV/Chapter90/Sect...

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"Knowingly" is important here

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The statute reads:

and without stopping and making known his name, residence and the registration number of his motor vehicle, goes away after knowingly colliding with or otherwise causing injury to any person not resulting in the death of any person

Now, whether "otherwise causing injury" is subject to the "knowingly" part is something for a lawyer to clarify. But it seems the truck driver could play the whole "hey I didn't see nothin'" defense here. Of course, I'd assume that even in a large-wheeled dump truck would feel more than a "pothole" hitting a cyclist they'd just passed.

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Opinion

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Accidents happen, but it is criminal to escape without help.

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Innocent until proven guilty?

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How do we know the driver saw what happened, and it wasn't the usual case of a random hipster on a fixie with no brakes riding like a moron? Driver of a ten ton garbage truck won't feel anything when his truck hits a 150lb soft object, and he certainly won't hear anything over engine noise.

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We don't know

But obviously the authorities feel there may be something to this. That's all we have to go by for now.

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What the hell?

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random hipster on a fixie? The people who have died while riding bikes over the past few years have come from all walks of life.

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So?

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How do you know it wasn't some wannabe badass bike messenger who tried to skitch, hit a pothole and fell under the rear wheels of the truck? I've seen plenty of morons on bikes grabbing onto trucks, it's only a matter of time until one of them gets killed.

How do you know he wasn't

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a professional acrobat who was actually trying to practice his daredevil jump-over-the-speeding-dump-truck move in the middle of traffic on his Colnago? Yeah...

Honestly...someone is dead. Someone's son, dad, boyfriend, husband. And if the reports are true, this guy got out of his truck, saw what he'd done and took off, and you're...attacking the dead cyclist? Nice.

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Something needs to change

We need laws that protect vulnerable road users and are pro-active instead of reactive to the incidents caused by drivers. We need laws that define a minimum safe passing distance rather than an ambiguous "general" safe distance. Until drivers are held to an actual standard of safety and we implement laws with some teeth, they will continue to drive aggressively and arrogantly in the face of vulnerable road users.

Call your state senator and rep https://malegislature.gov/Bills/188/Senate/S1639

Or perhaps we can look at some of the strict liability laws that have been incorporated elsewhere: http://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/strict-liability-in-the-net...

Real enforcement of the current laws would help too.

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Looks like it's still ambiguous to me

We need laws that define a minimum safe passing distance rather than an ambiguous "general" safe distance.

Maybe I missed something in the text of the law, but there's nothing in it that defines what a "a minimum safe passing distance" is. Some states have a 3 foot law, but this law doesn't seem to go that far. It says this:

(1) It is unlawful for a person in a motor vehicle to intentionally pass a vulnerable user, as defined in Section 1 of Chapter 90, at an unsafe distance or at an unreasonable or improper speed, follow a vulnerable user at an unsafe distance...

That's still vague.

Is there other text elsewhere that I missed?

Oh I agree

I think thats my issue with the current law and even this proposal to re-write the law. They do not define the what the minimum distance is, instead its just "safe passing distance" which to some drivers means 3 inches.

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Change the culture, Fix the problem.

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Yes, the key to solving this is more lawyers, and people suing more.

How about. Cyclists get better at obeying traffic laws? Maybe they don't try to pass a large truck (isn't this like the 3rd - 4th time this occurred in the last two years?) because they have blind spots?

It is hard to get sympathy when I see, at least weekly, someone on a cycle violating laws, or common sense, here are a few examples

-Pedaling their bike slowly across a crowded sidewalk / cross walk as opposed to getting off and walking it for 20 feet like everyone is taught in fourth grade (at least here)
-Actually stop at stop lights and don't try to blow through them
-Constantly turning without hand signaling
-Not rent a Hubway and ride on the street if you're an idiot and can barely ride a bike
-Nearly run down people who are crossing when they have the signal as you breeze through the cross walk and curse at that
-Complain about pedastrians (isn't the first bylaw of cycling to not endanger peds?
-Not scream at people pushing strollers on the side walk and call them 'breeders'
-Get indignant when the building you work in bans bikes, so you come in anyways tracking mud everywhere - if you're afraid it will get stolen, take the bus or get a job in a safer area
-Never bring you bike in an elevator unless you are giving it to your kid as an xmas present
-Stop acting like you're saving the world

That's all I ask. For me, I don't drive - I take the T and I walk or bike, but I will punch the next dude in the throat who tries to run me down in a crosswalk.

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Weekly?

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You're complaining about something that happens weekly? Really? I don't believe you are ever actually a pedestrian in the city of Boston if your biggest problem is bicyclists going through crosswalks weekly. Cars going through crosswalks with pedestrians happens all the freaking time, regularly, daily, hourly. It's an epidemic. It's the norm. It's completely unenforced.

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Is this really the time for a lecture...

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about what assholes bikers are? First off, thanks but we've heard it before. We read it here at least once a week about how your great aunt Bessie almost got mowed down by a bike messenger on Congress St. and how you've never, ever seen anyone stop for a red light and they all ride on the sidewalk--blah blah blah. Do you think that a day after some poor guy was crushed by a f'ing dump truck while on his bike you could just lay off? Just for one day?

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" Maybe they don't try to

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" Maybe they don't try to pass a large truck (isn't this like the 3rd - 4th time this occurred in the last two years?) because they have blind spots?"

It's called a "right hook." It happens when a driver suddenly slows and turns, usually without signalling, usually without looking, and as any cyclist will tell you - typically RIGHT AFTER THEY JUST PASSED YOU.

"I will punch the next dude in the throat who tries to run me down in a crosswalk."

Enjoy your assault charge and court-ordered anger management.

Also, nobody is "trying to run you down." Here's a fun fact: your rights in a crosswalk are not absolute. You are, in fact, required to NOT step into the crosswalk unless an approaching vehicle has time/distance to stop. Bicycles are required to be able to stop within 50 feet from 15mph.

Ask any cyclist - pedestrians will look RIGHT AT YOU and step out into your path even if there's no way you can stop in time, and then get RIPSHIT when you don't.

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How about. Cyclists get

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How about. Cyclists get better at obeying traffic laws?

When was the last time a cyclist violating traffic laws hit and killed somebody?

And how many people do motorists violating traffic laws kill each year?

Please find a hobby to make you feel manlier that doesn't involve blaming the victim and get your priorities and facts straight.

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Real enforcement of the

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Real enforcement of the current laws would help too.

That's the problem. We have all sorts of laws on the books now that go completely unenforced. It's rare for a day to go by when I don't see one or more drivers blow past pedestrians in crosswalks (or, the latest fad, honking at them to get out of the way), yet in ten years living in Boston proper I've seen a driver pulled over for doing that exactly once, and who knows if he actually got ticketed. There are intersections that are rarely not boxed yet in ten years I've haven't once seen a cop ticket anyone for doing it.

My district commander said in almost so many words that he doesn't have the manpower to enforce traffic laws. Somebody has decided it's not a high priority but there aren't a lot of things more important to me than getting around without getting run down. We need to let our officials know that we're not going to tolerate it before we add more laws for them to ignore.

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Enforcement

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I get the idea that we should tamp down on the gang violence before focusing on crosswalk scofflaws.

But... wouldn't more aggressive ticketing be revenue neutral or even positive? Wouldn't handing out just a few tickets per hour cover the OT costs for that cop?

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No, revenue negative.

Many bicycling tickets are only $20. Cyclists don't have to pay any because there is no penalty for not paying them, unlike other states where their driving license can get suspended.

No reason to ticket cyclists

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They don't kill anybody.

Motorists breaking laws kill people regularly.

Better to ticket motorists who don't follow laws - like that crank in Arlington who guns his engine, tailgates, and harasses cyclists with his horn if they have to take the lane and don't pull completely off to let the Big Man With Big Balls Own The Road.

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You are a liar and a coward

I do none of those things. You imagined them and are too cowardly to identify yourself because you know it is a lie. Crawl back into your hole and stay there until you gain enough self respect to identify yourself, support and take responsibility for your claims.

If he hadn't fled...

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He would've been totally exonerated.

The open secret in America: If you want to kill someone, do it with a car.

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What Liam Wrote

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was "If you want to kill someone, do it with a car." None of the people in your links seem to have wanted to kill anyone, whereas the guy serving life did. So you can either continue to call accidents murders or you can try harder to find an example.

Stop using the word "accident"

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Even the professional insurance folks and the DOT refer to them as collisions because true "accidents" are rare and, usually, somebody did something stupid that resulted in the collision.

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Wow

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Welp - that changes everything.

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$5,000 bail

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Suffolk County DA's office says Judge Lawrence McCormick denied a prosecutor's request his bail on an outstanding assault-and-battery case out of Woburn be revoked. Also denied a request that he be required to wear a GPS device.

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What?

A&B and leaving the scene of an MVA causing death? And he's out with no GPS? Are you freakin' kidding me? I don't even care if he truly had no idea. Sounds like those two charges together at least warrant a stupid little GPS tracker.

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Has 6 kids to support

3 of his from past relationship(s), 3 kids of his fiance', hence a truck driver needs his license to keep working and support his families.
[edit] A Brady Bunch, 3 kids of his, 3 of her's.
His driving record was better than average. In 25 years of driving, he had 1 at fault accident and 2 speeding tickets.

Aw, that's rough

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I wonder if the person he mistook for a pothole also had a family to take care of.

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With assault charges pending

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I'm not betting he mistook the guy for anything other than somebody he could gleefully harm.

If having kids to support

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were a reason to keep someone out of jail, no one would be in jail. But nice to see you're so tenderhearted all of a sudden. We won't tell your friends over at the Herald.

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Maybe he should have thought about all those kids

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When he chose to operate his vehicle in a negligent manner, and flee the scene, while currently involved with court action regarding his assault and battery charge.

You know, if you can't pull out, then don't pull out.

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Duh

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Do you know why you don't need stricter laws for "hipsters on bikes" or cyclists in general? Because we all know what the penalty for doing something stupid is. It's death. And none of us are actively trying to die. But are the motorists (of which the majority of cyclists also are) actively trying not to kill us?

As someone who rides for a living and does 10,000 + miles a year in both my car and on a bicycle, my experience tells me that while things are improving locally, the answer is still a resounding no. Someone nearly kills me literally every single day I ride my bicycle.

If you have your foot on the gas pedal of a car and there's a cyclist near you, you're the only one who can kill that cyclist. Period. They're not throwing themselves under your car or truck. In fact, despite what it might look like to you from your car, they're generally doing exactly the opposite.

Unless you spend some time on a bike as well as in your car, you don't have the full perspective. So quit it with the victim blaming here. A cyclist is dead because a person driving a truck ran him over. Period.

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. For the most part you have

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. For the most part you have got two sides of a complex issue trying to blame the other side for being stupid. As long as the Squirrelly's and the Marxxx of the world choose to take an extremist approach to this nothing will get fixed. Acknowledge the problem and try to come up with a workable solution. Stricter laws wont bring a person back from the dead. Telling cyclists not to ride on the street is not viable either. So many of you just want to bitch on one side or the other and just a few offer thoughts on a solution to the problem.

Flame away on the internet all you want while lives are ruined and people die...does it make you feel better?

Telling cyclists not to ride

Telling cyclists not to ride on the street is not viable either.

Um, yeah, especially because the law says you're supposed to ride in the street.

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Boston roads are horrendous.

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Boston roads are horrendous. dangerous for pedestrians, bikers, and cars alike. Unfortunately we are not on a grid system and we have 6 months of crappy weather that causes the road to deteriorate faster.
New roads should all be built with biker and pedestrian on par with the car.
Would love to see all the highways have one full extra lane dedicated to pedestrian/bikes. Imagine being able to ride your bike straight from the Braintree Split all the way into boston along side the highway! Ah to dream.

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Now that's what I'm talking

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Now that's what I'm talking 'bout, a poster actually putting some thought toward a solution and not just taking a side and vilifying the other extreme!

I think you are onto something Anon, nice idea...and dreams can become reality.

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But requiring cyclists to

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travel only in bike lanes (where they're provided) and to pass other traffic on the LEFT (like all other drivers are required to do under the law) might do much to prevent these types of crashes in the future.

Instead the cyclist lobby continues to push for idiotic "minimum 3 foot passing space" and "let us treat red lights like stop signs" laws.

"Instead the cyclist lobby

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"Instead the cyclist lobby continues to push for idiotic "minimum 3 foot passing space" and "let us treat red lights like stop signs" laws."

The 3 foot law is a formalization of existing law, which says you have to pass a cyclist safely (read your driver's manual.) "Safely" is subjective. "3 feet" is not. This is important because the top cause of injury outside urban areas is rear-ending, and if trying to prosecute someone for running into a cyclist, now the judge can say "well, you were required to give them three feet, and you hit them, so obviously you weren't..." Before, they could say "I thought I was being safe!" and the judge would say "sounds good, case dismissed."

The "let us treat red lights like stop signs" law is called an "Idaho stop." Idaho state law has, for about half a century, allowed cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs. Red lights for bicycles are treated as stop signs would be for cars (ie, stop, then proceed if safe.) In both cases, the cyclist is still required to yield to any other traffic. There has been no ill consequences of the law since it was enacted. Other states are considering implementing the same.

Here's the actual law. You may want to get the vapors ready, because it's just absolutely TERRIFYING. Cats and dogs living together, children running naked in the streets, etc.

49-720. Stopping -- Turn and stop signals. (1) A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a stop sign shall slow down and, if required for safety, stop before entering the intersection. After slowing to a reasonable speed or stopping, the person shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the person is moving across or within the intersection or junction of highways, except that a person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping.
(2) A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a steady red traffic control light shall stop before entering the intersection and shall yield to all other traffic. Once the person has yielded, he may proceed through the steady red light with caution. Provided however, that a person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if required, may cautiously make a right-hand turn. A left-hand turn onto a one-way highway may be made on a red light after stopping and yielding to other traffic.

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Tell your fellow motorists

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LEARN the laws
FOLLOW them
BEHAVE yourselves

... and there will not be any need for a "bike lobby" to rally to create conditions that FORCE you to OBEY the laws of the road through traffic engineering.

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When motorists stop killing people

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Then we can talk about cyclist behavior.

Only then.

Because cyclists do stupid in proportional amounts to pedestrians and drivers.

But only drivers kill people by the thousands.

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Um

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I'm trying to figure out how your awesome plan would actually work:

Bike in right-hand bike lane (unless you are planning to move those somewhere) > Traffic to left is slow/stopped because congestion > Bike does not pass traffic on right even though that's where the bike lane is and there is no room to merge left through multiple lanes of gridlock??

Perhaps I'm missing something obvious.

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Same old crap from biker riders

It's never the bike riders fault. Bad, bad people in cars never look out for us while we ride recklessly along. God forbid a cyclist actually take responsibility for their own safety. What? He missed seeing a garbage truck on the road.

Bad, bad people in cars never

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Bad, bad people in cars never look out for us while we ride recklessly along.

So you know for a fact that this dead person was riding recklessly? Please tell the police because apparently they now have a witness that they were unaware of before.

He missed seeing a garbage truck on the road.

You've obviously never been on a bicycle on the street so let's just say your opinion means very little to me. You can hear a truck like that over the ambient noise pretty easily once it's within a distance where it could cause harm.

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Didn't say that I did

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We don't know what happened.

I never said that I did, other than hearing the truck.

My point was that whether he saw the truck or not is irrelevant. Unless the guy was deaf, I'm confident that he heard that truck when it was within striking range and that's quite enough. It's impractical and impossible to turn your head to see every vehicle around you at all times. In this situation, your ears become the extension of your eyes.

Same old crap from drivers who can't be bothered to read

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Go to massrmv.com. Read the manual.

Then, please explain, for the class, exactly how many people have been killed by cyclists this year. Then explain how many people motorists have killed.

Then learn the frigging laws and FOLLOW THEM. Or, be forced to by enforcement and restrictions built into the roadways.

Simple.

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