No criminal charges against driver whose garbage truck struck, killed bicyclist in Sullivan Square

A Suffolk County grand jury has declined to return an indictments against Ricky Prezioso, 42, of Swampscott, whose garbage truck struck and killed Owen McGrory of Chelsea in April.

The move surprised prosecutors at the Suffolk County District Attorney's office, which in a statement, says:

In light of the Grand Jury’s decision, prosecutors are essentially left without a criminal case, but we have already begun the process of providing [McGrory's] family with a copy of our investigative file to assist in any civil litigation.

Valerie Yarashus, attorney for the McGrory family, says her clients will sue:

We believe that there is overwhelming evidence of gross negligence on the part of the truck driver in this case. He ran over and killed a bicyclist who was in a marked bike lane and traveling within the speed limit. When truck drivers do not follow industry standards, such as properly using mirrors to check for pedestrians or cyclists, everyone is in danger when trucks are turning right. These "right hook" fatal collisions between trucks and cyclists are completely preventable when truckers follow well-established safety rules, which are incorporated into Massachusetts law.



Free tagging: 


No Surprise there

These are the same friends of the idiot Somerville cops that ticketed my husband for "passing on the left" after a driver pulled over in the bike lane. Instead of ticketing the driver, the cop made shit up and ignored the law that he cited on his ticket.

Should we expect this same legal system to do other than excuse motorists in more serious circumstances if they don't even know the laws to begin with?


Jerky knee

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This was a grand jury. Citizens picked to listen to only the prosecutor to determine that there's enough evidence (not that he's guilty) to go to trial.

How was the prosecutor SO incompetent that he couldn't convince the room to let him go to trial on this? He had to prove the guy likely left the scene of an accident that ended in death. Tada, he wasn't there when the ambulance arrived to find a dead bicyclist! Grand jury success!

This really makes me question the prosecutor's competence. The critique of a grand jury system is that it's just a rubber stamp for the prosecutor. This should have been open-and-shut and yet he couldn't convince his own grand jury to let him pursue this case? Wow.


minority group

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You really need to ask why they didn't indict?

Both this grand jury and the one that heard charges in Alexander Motsenigos's case were undoubtedly all drivers, and not cyclists. They looked across the courtroom through their windshields, and saw a fellow driver. They saw themselves there, "accidentally" hitting "one of those crazy cyclists." You see the hatred here in the comments, and you wonder why a grand jury doesn't indict?

Every minority outgroup has faced this problem. If you're easily shoehorned into some category that's an outgroup, and the accused is in the ingroup, the jury isn't going to indict.


What minority group?

MassBike and every other bike group has been claiming that cycling is doubling, tripling etc. so that more bike lanes and paths are essential. With all these stats they are throwing around in press releases and tweets, how can it be true that cycling is a minority activity? Unless of course, bike groups put as much spin into statistical claims as their wheels...nah.



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It's not mathematically impossible to double or triple a small number and remain a minority. But why am I even bothering?


Clearly math wasn't your strongest subject.

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If less than 1% of Americans bike to work and, in your words, that triples over the course of a decade to 3%, that is still clearly a minority.

Even in cities with a higher percentage of bicycle commuters, like Madison, WI at 8% or Portland, OR at 6%, it is still a minority group.

Bicycling is becoming more and more popular and will continue to grow. Walking and transit use are also continuing to grow as more and more people ditch their cars. In fact, licensed motorists under 18 years of age continues to decline and in many major cities including Boston, car ownership is also on the decline.

Enjoy your stressful stationary commute, I'll continue to enjoy the fresh air and physical nature of my morning bike ride. Next time you see a bicyclist on the road, note their smile... you could have one too.


You do grasp how the criminal justice system works, right?

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The accused is afforded a trial by his (or her) peers, so were the case to go to trial, having a jury with drivers on it would not only be acceptable, but in a sense encouraged.

To bring your claim to a real world example, what you are asking would be akin to having a black man accused of raping a white woman being judged by white people. Now, what actually happens in the criminal justice system aside, were someone demanding such a jury in my theoretical case, loud shouts would be heard, and rightfully so.

And before any claim is made on my views on this case, I, too, am surprised that the grand jury didn't send it on for trial, and I drive a lot more than I cycle. However, justice cuts both ways, but in the end it should be blind.

Tra-la-la *BAM!* *TRUCK'D*

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well stress free, right up until that moment when you realize that bicycling in traffic is dangerous as hell :p.

I hear that's a great way to get hit by a truck :P

"They looked across the

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"They looked across the courtroom through their windshields..." Wait - we have drive-in juries now? You might want to re-examine your position here. This is akin to saying only people of the same race as a victim can serve on juries, or only rich people if the victim is rich and the accused is poor. Jury selection just doesn't work like that, and I'm glad it doesn't.

Also, I'm not seeing "the hatred here in the comments."

Or Lazy

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I've done the Suffolk County Grand Jury thing. The current jury is finishing up their three month stint, though they may be extended on a few complicated cases. We had one ADA who was clearly trying to get something through quickly, and brought us a real clunker. I asked one question, and he quickly withdrew it, probably to get more evidence and to present to the next jury.

If the prosecutor on this case did something similar, putting very little evidence up in front of a by-now experienced jury they may have actually handed back a no-bill. But yes, s/he would have to be really lazy and/or incompetent for that to have happened.

And if they weren't lazy?

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If they tried really hard and couldn't get their cheering section to cheer on what appears to be a very easy case to prove (remember, the defense doesn't get to even show up to a grand jury, so there was NO argument in opposition here)?

If the bike community wants to accomplish anything in this city, it had better start by calling Dan Conley to the mat on this one. Otherwise, if the prosecution can't get this simple of a charge drawn against this truck driver, it's open season on bikers in this city. Nobody would have any fear of killing another bicyclist and then leaving the scene because it's clear there's no way a grand jury would allow it to come to trial.


Neither Lazy Nor Incompetent

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Grand jury proceedings are by their nature confidential, but in general terms this one was handled by an experienced prosecutor supervised by senior prosecutors who have all had extensive experience with motor vehicle homicide. They introduced 19 physical exhibits over a period of weeks and called seven witnesses that included percipient witnesses from the scene and multiple Boston Police officers versed on the investigation and the rules of the road. They gave detailed instructions on the law and requested a vote -- not just on leaving the scene but also on motor vehicle homicide.

Respectfully, there is nothing more the prosecutor could have done short of changing the facts of the case.


Jake question.....

Any operating to endanger charge? Or was that trumped up to the MV homocide?

Did the special ops guys do the recon (scopa)? Or the traffic guys?


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We asked for a vote on motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation (no evidence of impairment, speeding, or other factors to suggest recklessness) and knowingly leaving the scene. It was investigated by the BPD Fatal Collision Investigation Team.

And yet he's still dead because a truck ran him over

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The question then, Jake (and thanks for coming in to weigh in on this), what DIDN'T they produce? Because clearly whatever they did wasn't enough to convince the grand jury to go to trial. That's still on the prosecutor. What did they leave out that the grand jurists said "you know, there's no probable way that truck driver killed that guy".

I don't get it. Is our law somehow out of whack with the rest of the world's version for the same offense? Is it that we ask too much of the prosecutor? I'd even be willing to entertain the idea that we have to rewrite the text of the law to make it easier to start prosecuting people who run over bicyclists and get away with it.


Sometimes witnesses hurt the cyclist.

I investigated a bike crash a few years ago on comm ave (inbound near BU) where a car took a right (at a green light) and a cyclist hit the side of the vehicle and went over. Witnesses all said the cyclist was going too fast, and the car was waiting to turn right (with a blinker on) several seconds/feet before the cyclist made it to the intersection. These witnesses were going to back up the driver if it ever went to trial, fortunately the cyclist wasnt hurt bad, and the driver was cited (can't remember if he was charged with the criminal or just the civil fine, but I never went to court with it)

This is what I'm confused about

As both a driver and occasional cyclist. Who has the right of way when making a right turn? If I'm driving and there is a bicyclist behind me, and I have my blinker on, shouldn't they have to slow and allow me to turn, just as a car would? Or do I have to wait for them to cross the intersection, as if they were a pedestrian, and then make my turn? Because, I normally don't look in my rear view window before making a right turn.

From Boston's bike lawyer, Josh Zisson & MA Gen. Law

"Here in Massachusetts (proud home to America’s best bike laws), we have just such a law on the books. General Law Chapter 90 Section 14 states, in part, that “no person operating a vehicle that overtakes and passes a bicyclist proceeding in the same direction shall make a right turn at an intersection or driveway” unless it is safe to do so."

Drivers must wait for a bicycle to pass before making a turn. Overtaking a cyclist doesn't allow a driver to turn just because they're further down the road, unless it is safe.


So, if I pass a cyclist 4 blocks ago

Then at subsequent blocks the cyclists passes some motorists while I wait to turn right with my blinkah on, I am still wrong for turning right without yielding to cyclists passing on the right? That's pretty stupid. Cyclists ought to be aware of turn signals and slow accordingly.

Indeed you are

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You are expected to swivel your effin neck and use ya effin mirrahs!

Piloting a death machine = responsibility for where ya aim it!


> Cyclists ought to be aware

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> Cyclists ought to be aware of turn signals

Lol. Drivers ought to be aware of things they might hit.

Turning vehicles yield. It's not that complicated. A turn signal doesn't give you the right of way.


Here's what happens in the real world

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I can't speak at your hypothetical, but in the real world drivers are perfectly content to speed way up, get slightly ahead of you (basically get their rear passenger door even with my bicycle seat), then jam their car to the right. I've had it happen a dozen times or more. In such a situation, there's zero chance I would see the blinker, if infact the negligent driver bothered to use it.


That's an important clause

“no person operating a vehicle that overtakes and passes a bicyclist proceeding in the same direction shall make a right turn at an intersection or driveway”

This makes an important distinction.

If I as a driver am driving slowly approaching a light, put my blinker on for a right turn and turn right in front of a cyclist gutter-balling down on the right, and the cyclist hits me, it looks like I am not at fault because I didn't pass the cyclist. The law looks like it's intended only for right hooks.

You're likely in violation of

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You're likely in violation of 720 CMR 9.06 (9) and/or a similar local law:

the driver of any vehicle before starting, stopping, turning from a direct line, or backing shall first see that such movement can be made in safety. If such movement cannot be made in safety or if it interferes undulywith the normal movement or other traffic, said driver shall wait for a more favorable opportunity to make such a movement.

The text of MGL 90 sec 14 just puts particular emphasis on protecting cyclists from these sorts of things.

Two things

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MGL Ch90 Sec14

When turning to the right, an operator shall do so in the lane of traffic nearest to the right-hand side of the roadway and as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of roadway. No person operating a vehicle that overtakes and passes a bicyclist proceeding in the same direction shall make a right turn at an intersection or driveway unless the turn can be made at a safe distance from the bicyclist at a speed that is reasonable and proper.

It shall not be a defense for a motorist causing an accident with a bicycle that the bicycle was to the right of vehicular traffic.

In your postulated scenario you have not moved your vehicle "as close as practicable to the right-hand curb" and therefore not followed the letter of the law. In addition, you cannot claim a defense by saying that the bicycle was to your right. I am not a lawyer and I don't know off-hand if this has been really tested in court, but that's what it says.

You have to make sure that

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You have to make sure that there is enough space to safely turn right, or else wait until there is space. See quotations below.

I'm not sure why you claim that a car would have to wait to let you make a right turn in a car. For example, a similar case is when you are driving in the middle lane and you want to make a right turn. You have to look and make sure that nobody is driving (or riding) in the right lane before changing lanes and then proceeding making your right turn. In both cases, it is required that the lane-changing or turning vehicle yield to the vehicles traveling straight.

A bicycle lane is like any other lane, except that motor vehicles are not allowed to use it for thru-travel. When crossing it, you need to make sure that you are yielding to any travelers already in the lane, just like any other lane.

I think that it is wise to get accustomed to looking in your right rear view mirror when making a right turn. Certainly, just being aware of the fact that you just passed a slower-moving vehicle (a.k.a. cyclist) is required by law, but being aware of your right-side blind spot is good practice.

Some selected quotes from law:

MGL Ch90 Sec14

No person operating a vehicle that overtakes and passes a bicyclist proceeding in the same direction shall make a right turn at an intersection or driveway unless the turn can be made at a safe distance from the bicyclist at a speed that is reasonable and proper.

It shall not be a defense for a motorist causing an accident with a bicycle that the bicycle was to the right of vehicular traffic.

MGL Ch89 Sec2

Except as herein otherwise provided, the driver of a vehicle passing another vehicle traveling in the same direction shall drive a safe distance to the left of such other vehicle and shall not return to the right until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle; and, if the way is of sufficient width for the two vehicles to pass, the driver of the leading one shall not unnecessarily obstruct the other. If it is not possible to overtake a bicycle or other vehicle at a safe distance in the same lane, the overtaking vehicle shall use all or part of an adjacent lane if it is safe to do so or wait for a safe opportunity to overtake.


>If I'm driving and there is

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>If I'm driving and there is a bicyclist behind me, and I have my blinker on, shouldn't they have to slow and allow me to turn, just as a car would?

The general rule of the road is that turning vehicles yield to those going straight. A car turning right must yield to bikes traveling straight.

Of course, you can be both right and dead. As a cyclist, I never pass a car turning right on the right unless I am 1000% certain that they see me and will yield. As you say, it's not common to check your right mirror/blind spot when turning right.


"Right but dead"

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Of course when I am coming up behind a driver that might throw open the door or turn across my lane, I am cautious of that. Just simple common sense. That applies whether I am biking or driving. This is relevant to merlinmurph's above postulated scenario too.

But speaking of "right but dead" I have to say that it also applies to those obnoxious goody-goodies always yap about "follow the law, no exceptions." Um.... the law is very imperfect when it comes to bicycling and there are many instances where "following the law" will put your life at higher risk than not. It would be nice if it weren't the case but that's how it is.

I always say, follow the law, but to a point. If it is safer to go against the law, then do what's safer. Rather to be a "living scofflaw" than a dead goody-goody. A ticket is cheaper than a funeral.

Left turns at dangerous intersections are a good example. Bicyclists will often use the exclusive pedestrian phase to make those left turns. Hey, technically it's illegal, but I'm not going to tell someone that they gotta face down angry semis bearing down at 50 mph with some freak in an SUV honking you from behind.

I think there's a good case to be made for getting an early start at an intersection too, if there's no cross traffic and the cars near you are lined up and ready to floor it, or turn over you, then you probably want some buffer space. Bike boxes help with this a bit but they're rare.

you're supposed to move as far to the right

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as possible in order to turn - you're actually supposed to merge into the bike lane - usually there are dashed lines indicating this (if the city is correctly using national standards) - Cambridge and a few other cities unfortunately put in solid white lines which causes confusion and conflict with right turning cars because you're not supposed to be straddling two lanes while moving. Anyway - If you are turning across the bike lane, you are essentially turning across a lane of traffic - and you need to yield to traffic in that lane.

check your mirror and your blind spot

I'm glad you asked this question. My two cents, as an everyday cyclist and occasional driver.

Thank you for using your blinker. Always check for bicycles before you turn.

Bicycles are essentially in a right-hand lane, across which you must cut to make a right turn. You need to always check for them (and for pedestrians & runners).

Ideally, you use your blinker and the cyclist behind you does not try to pass you on the right. In reality, cyclists will sometimes ignore your signal, or see it too late, and they can get into your way as you are turning. Many of them will then flip you the bird as you blare your horn.

Also, try to avoid passing a cyclist and then making a right turn in front of them. This is common, and is what we call "the right hook." The driver sees the cyclists, passes them, and then pretends they no longer exist. This scenario happens daily in the Boston area and causes a lot of accidents.

It's your responsibility, as a driver, no matter what the circumstances, to avoid hitting people, be they in front of you or to your right as you turn. Even if they shouldn't be there.


More to the point

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If you read above, the Somerville cops have decided that cyclists must pass on the right.

Thanks everyone!

For the clarification! (And for not attacking or delving into some of the cyclist/driver wars that go on here at UH! YAY!)

I have experienced right hooking first hand as a cyclist- but when I'm yards behind a car I see trying to take a turn, I yield, as if I were in a car behind them in the same lane. It just seems safer, if not technically the letter of the law.

When I'm driving I do notice if I've passed a cyclist, so I take care if I happen to be turning ahead, but it's those rare occasions when a cyclist comes out of nowhere and you had no idea was behind you is where I was iffy as to what to do- because the last thing I hope any driver wants to do is to hit someone with their car.

Bear One Thing in Mind

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The critical element of motor vehicle homicide (aside from death) is negligence, not mere involvement. That is, it's most certainly not enough to prove that a driver is involved in the fatal collision: it requires proving that the driver failed to exercise the degree of care that a reasonable person would have under similar circumstances. Likewise, for leaving the scene, the critical element isn't just leaving but with the knowledge that you hit someone.

We believe the evidence supported both of those charges.


And you're reasonable people

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So, is this an indictment of the grand jury as a bunch of unreasonable ignoramuses? If you believed the evidence supported the charges, then why didn't the grand jury? Isn't it your office's responsibility to get the grand jury to believe what you believe?

Here's another tact at the same question, Jake: How many times in the history of the Suffolk County's DA office have you had a dead body and been unable to secure an indictment from the grand jury? What percentage of cases where the victim is dead, did the DA attempt but were ultimately unable to get into the court room to gain justice for the victim?


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Isn't it your office's responsibility to get the grand jury to believe what you believe?

No -- it's to put forth the facts and evidence as carefully, thoroughly, and honestly as they can be put forth. We don't skimp on evidence, and to a certain extent that cuts both ways: if there's something exculpatory, for example, we don't withhold it because we're afraid the grand jury (or, later, the trial jury) might not believe what we believe.

It's a human system, with some of the most important decisions left by specific design to people who aren't police or prosecutors but rather everyday people who draw at least in part on their own experience. We give them as much evidence as we can and instruct them on the law as best we can. We request an indictment when we believe the evidence supports it. Is it frustrating on the rare occasion that we don't get one? Yes. It is much worse for the victim's family? Absolutely. But should we hold back on facts or misrepresent evidence to ensure the outcome that we alone choose? I really don't think so.


100 years ago

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and the disability thing is there, too.

To give credit where credit is due, Kaz edited his comment.


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The original context is a classification of Mongolia/Chinese/NE Asian physical features no different than caucasoid to describe caucasian looks. No inherent insult. Early research on Downs Syndrome linked some of the same physical features seen in Downs patients with that of the mongoloid appearance (particularly eye folds). So, it became a derogatory term insinuating mental retardation, not due to race, but similarity to the mongoloid racial features.

I intended it as an insult to the grand jurists, so I should have used a different term.

"Left without a criminal case?" Why?

Unless MA has some weird rule, I think double jeopardy doesn't attach until much later in the process. MA grand jury terms last 3 months, let's say there's a 6-year statute of limitations, that gives the state another 23 tries. And the indictment rate when I did my grand jury service was north of 95%.

Is it more along the lines of "we respect the jury's decision and don't want to go through it all over again?"

Long winded

They introduced 19 physical exhibits over a period of weeks and called seven witnesses that included percipient witnesses from the scene and multiple Boston Police officers versed on the investigation and the rules of the road.

Perhaps the grand jury was annoyed by having to sit through weeks of proceedings for a simple story of a truck driver running over and killing someone. Can't the DA save some for the trial?

and yet....

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Nobody would have any fear of killing another bicyclist and then leaving the scene

...and that's exactly what has been happening in disturbing frequency all over the US.

Doesn't the saying go "A

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Doesn't the saying go "A grand jury will indict a ham sandwich"?

Yeah, but

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There has got to at least be some ham presented!

If I had to guess.....

I'd say over 95% of grand juries return indictments.

But grand juries ask dumb questions all the time, and aren't required to know the law.

That being said, the DA had to prove that the driver "knew" he hit someone. Many people probably put themselves In the drivers shoes and felt that a reasonable person might do the same if they were at fault (or not at fault) with a large truck and a cyclist.


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So unless you're dumb enough to have one of these on your car:


Then you're safe from prosecution.


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So, if you drive a large noisy truck, no worries...kill away. No responsibility when overtaking a bicyclist to be sure you can observe him in your rear view and he didn't get up under the tires when you hit that "pothole" right after passing him. Just go about your business, I'm sure it was just a bump in the road, happens all the time.


Well I'm not sure you can kill away......

But sometimes the bike doesn't even hit the truck full speed. Sometimes the biker has to ditch the bike and slide under the truck, making it just as dangerous.

And it has nothing to do with overtaking a cyclist. What if e cyclist ran a red light and wen under the side of the truck, would you automatically hold the driver responsible for leaving the scene then as well? Are you willing to put him in jail for 2.5 years on that?

Lots of what-ifs...

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What if the bicyclist was really a hitman and the driver was able to hit him with the truck before he could get a shot off?

We could do this all day. Can we focus, please?


Focus on what?

I saw 3 cyclists go through red lights today, 2 were probably going faster than they should have. I also saw two drivers texting, one take an illegal left, 2 double parked in bike lanes, and no, I did not see any hitmen that I know of.. You can bet those on the grand jury have similar experiences that I do when observing traffic Or driving or riding bikes.

Courts are about "what-ifs" and reasonable doubt, suspicion, hunches, and how reasonable something may or may not happen. Hitmen go beyond that "what-if" stage.

Grand juries are probable cause

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Reasonable doubt is a bridge too far. The grand jury just had to believe it was probably the case that this guy drove recklessly or negligently. Seeing as how he ran over someone on a bike who was in the bike is it reasonable for them to think that so improbable? All of your red herrings about how badly bicyclists drive is immaterial. THIS bicyclist was where we've told him it's safe to ride. THIS bicyclist is dead. THIS truck driver wasn't aware enough of his surroundings to know he'd struck and killed the bicyclist or realize after he "felt a bump" that he couldn't determine where the cyclist was any more and kept driving away.

That's what I mean by focus.


Again, two issues here.

The driver pulls up to an intersection, puts on his blinker to take a right. He sees a cyclist hundreds of feet behind him in the bike lane, so far back, that any reasonable cyclist with eyesight wouldn't even need to slow down to let the truck take the right. So the truck takes the right, and can't see anything to the side of his truck, or at the moment of impact. We are just to assume that the cyclist was paying attention the whole time, and wasnt distracted by something else like a car door or something?

The other issue was leaving the scene, and I'm still not sure a reasonable person would np know he hit someone, especially in my experience where most people stop when they hit another car/cyclist/pedestrian. If most other times people stop, why does it make it "more likely then not" (probable cause) that this driver just kept on going?

My argument

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Is that if you see a bicyclist hundreds of feet behind you and you make a right and you "feel a bump" and you even GET OUT TO CHECK YOUR TRUCK!, then if you don't also have the intellectual curiosity and moral capacity to look back to the intersection where the bicyclist is laying dead in the road, whether he flung himself haphazardly under your wheels or not, then you drove negligently at best.

You don't see the cyclist before turning? Driving negligently.
You see him and don't consider his whereabouts after you hit a "pothole"? Driving negligently.
You get out to check your truck, but don't look back to where you came from? Driving negligently.

Which of these scenarios is it like "whoops! Who could have known someone died?" and you get to shrug it off and walk away?


So you assume the person is lying?

What is the intent/motivation in getting out of a vehicle, looking around and then leaving? That is the most important question for a leaving the scene charge.

Do you think the driver saw the person on the ground and then left? Did the driver know he hit someone, but pretended to look half-ass around the car so he could pretend not to see the person? How can you prove any of those things? Were there witnesses?

If you don't see the cyclist before turning, then maybe the cyclist was behind you and then tried to pass you on the right. A driver of a vehicle can't turn and look in his mirror at the same time, that is where the reasonableness comes in.

I dunno. Maybe it's because I've seen tens of thousands of layers ask tens of thousands of questions that make you think twice about proving someone's intent to do something criminal, and then seeing those juries also decide on what a person would do in that same situation.

Grand jury

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Only lawyer is the prosecutor. Only job is to decide to let him go to trial.

For Real?

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If you were in the grand jury on a crash case but the DA wanted you to indict a biker for causing damage to a car that you thought actually caused the crash, you would do it because there was no defense attorney to tell you not to?

That would be a civil matter

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Unless you are asking about malicious damage, at which point if the evidence said he might have done it with malice, then I'd let him go to trial.

Somerville cops do not do

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Somerville cops do not do their job at all with regards to pedestrian and bicyclist safety. I was doored on Beacon St and the offenders wouldn't give me their info and just walked away. So I took down their license plate number and went to Somerville PD, who said they found the license plate number in their system matching the driver, but didn't do anything. They have no problem living off our tax dollars but can't be bothered to do their job, just look out for the rich people in their SUVs.


sounds like

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Most police departments.. They could care less about the little things.. but if its a big king pin drug dealer or a murderer, its all hands on deck. (Sorry Pete, but its IMHO)

One day I'll tell the story of the conversation I had with Chelsea 911 dispatch and Fireworks last year. Frightening answer I received from them.

That's nice

Now explain the laws to the cop who doesn't get them - the citation says "passing on the left", then cites a statute that says that it isn't illegal.

He obviously is the dunce of the group, demoted to mall cop and all, but still carrying a badge and a grudge and a fundamental lack of good sense.

courts accept that wording.

You don't need to put the exact wording on the citation down, as long as you have the correct chapter and section. you see this with Ch. 89 4A all the time (unsafe lane change).

If I'm driving a car in a right lane and another car is illegally parked in the right lane. I can't just change lanes to the left without being safe. That would fall under 89 4A even though there is nothing in the statute which says "unsafe left passing" although judges are fine with officers putting that on the citation. The registry always puts a default heading on the charge anyway, even though that might not be the correct charge the officer intended (statues don't have actual 'titles')

how about providing the files to the public

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Adam, can you get a copy of the files? They should be public record.

It'd be nice to show proof the cyclist was doing nothing wrong, to all the haters.


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As a commuting cyclist, I'm just as angry as you are by this injustice. But blocking a busy intersection isn't going to get us any sympathy or justice. It's just going to turn LOTS of innocent people against us.



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I've always heard that the DA could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. Be nice to know what evidence they presented.

as Jake Wark said

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the DA's office presented their case, and the grand jury decided there wasn't enough evidence to support an indictment. that's it folks. case closed. this is a teachable moment for bicyclists, who do not feel the need to exercise caution while operating their bikes on roads meant for motor vehicles.


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That is clearly not the case - all truck drivers have to cover their entire truck with cameras so they can see what's happening everywhere around them, they can never exceed 2.5mph on city streets, and they have to stop, get out and examine their truck every time the hit a pothole. Sieg bike!!!

What is it about "marked bike lane..."

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That you shameless a**holes don't understand? Honestly--are you that stupid? These are two of the most disgusting posts I've seen here in a while. A young guy is dead--and the guy who killed him didn't even stop--and this seems to you like a great time to exercise your pathetic attempts at sarcasm and Hitler humor? Honestly--I usually avoid cussing on UHub, but go screw yourself.



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What she said.

#SaferStreets & a #VisionZero for Boston

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This is a tragedy that could have been prevented. People have been injured and killed by reckless behavior and dangerous conditions on Boston’s streets. We saw it in Sullivan Square, and we saw it last week on Beacon St in Boston.

At LivableStreets, we envision a city where people who walk, bike and drive can safely co-exist, and children and adults can travel freely without risk of harm – where no loss of life on our streets is acceptable. This is why we have started our Safer Streets campaign, in which we advocate for a city-wide commitment to bring the number of traffic deaths in Boston down to zero.

The number one recommendation of Mayor Walsh’s Transportation Transition Team was a commitment to a “Vision Zero” policy. In addition to what’s happening in Boston, similar policies and advocacy are happening across the country and world. New York City and Chicago have already committed to a “Vision Zero” policy for safer, more livable streets. Now it’s time to Boston to commit to this as well.

Show your support of a #VisionZero commitment here:

and then spread the word of the #SaferStreets campaign and #VisionZero.

so he got away with murder,

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so he got away with murder, but what was the reason he wasn't charges with fleeing the scene? instead this had to be investigated through important recourses all for nothing

This is why you will find me on the sidewalk

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all the time. Pedestrians have the right of way to bikes. I always let them go first. I hate pedestrians who do the ""deer in head lights" stopping for me. JUST KEEP MOVING. Pedestrians you don't have to adjust for me. I have your trajectory figured and out and I will adjust for YOU. I am always telling pedestrians to keep moving and don't stop. I can balance at a complete stop on my bike. This is key to city riding.
A bike is more similar to pedestrian than a car. They should have speed limits on sidewalks. Joggers are allowed on sidewalks why aren't bikes going jogging or walking speed allowed on sidewalks? Until Boston has more cycle tracks you will find me on the sidewalk where it is safest.
I also think bikes should have "yield" rights cars do not have. Bikes get where they are going under their own power exposed to the elements and not polluting. I think there needs to be added benefits to that of the privileged in cars . Example would be that bikes should be able to yield at red lights. For the motorists protection If the bike get hit yielding at a red it its automatically the bikes fault.
Anyway I don't want to die.

But sidewalks with cyclists

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But sidewalks with cyclists on them are not safest for pedestrians - for whom the sidewalks are intended. First, you aren't going at their speed. But second, and more importantly you aren't moving in nearly the same way they are. Because wheels don't work like legs, bikes simply maneuver differently than people and are unpredictable.

That's why you get the "deer in the headlight" pedestrians. Why do you hate them so much? They're just looking out for themselves when faced with something unpredictable. It's unpredictable because it doesn't belong there.

I say this as a cyclist who now lives in a city much more hostile to bikers than Boston (one just got killed yesterday - by a cop driving a cruiser). I understand the need to stay safe, and agree Boston isnt there yet in providing safe bikeways or driver/cyclist training.

But that's not a reason to take over areas intended for pedestrians.



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I feel safer on streets with cars than on sidewalks with pedestrians. Drivers have rules they are expected to follow. With pedestrians, it is a crapshoot. I ride in town regularly, and one of the most stressful stretches is the Dudley bike path. You have people walking six dogs wearing Walkmans, people running full out who will just stop and take a breather along with cyclists. In the end, it comes down to understanding your surroundings and riding defensively.