Cyclist seriously injured in Back Bay hit and run

WBZ reports the crash happened at Commonwealth Avenue and Clarendon Street around 3:30 a.m.




Free tagging: 



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I hope this cyclist was wearing a helmet. More than half the cyclists I see on the streets are not wearing helmets nor do they have any safety gear. Cars are equipped with safety gear and drivers must pass a test to drive safely. No such standards for bicycles. Even though its the law to wear a helmet, if a bicyclist is not wearing one it is never enforced by police. It seems like its a free for all. Everyone on the road-- bicyclists and drivers alike need to have safety equipment-- lights, helmets, horns. Additionally, I am totally concerned about both drugged driving and drugged bicycle riding. Until there are requirements that are enforced, Boston is not a safe city for cyclists unless there is a designated area to ride. I have cyclists in my family. When something happens to a cyclist, it is personal.

it was a hit and run? care to

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it was a hit and run? care to mention the car at all, or problems with drunk driving, texting and driving? or is this just victim blaming? a helmet doesn't save cyclists from oblivious drivers.

Speaking about both

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I was speaking about both of them... I say drugged driving and drugged cycling. Please reread. I am for you.

State law for children

(iii) Any person 16 years of age or younger operating a bicycle or being carried as a passenger on a bicycle on a public way, bicycle path or on any other public right-of-way shall wear a helmet.

Also, even if you don't consider motorcycle riders 'cyclists' they do fall into the class of 'anyone else,' and they too are required to wear helmets.


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As someone pointed out earlier.
I wasn't thinking kids when I wrote my previous post. I was thinking motor vehicle passengers, pedestrians and people using stairs. One of the arguments against mandatory helmet laws is that more people suffer head injuries in car crashes, walking or climbing stairs than riding bikes. But since we are conditioned to think helmets are only appropriate for cyclists and motor cyclists, the idea of requiring them for anyone else is wrong.

Very True.

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the fewer cars on the street the safer boston residents are.

the city needs to tax the crap out of car owners and suburbanites driving into the city. There was the "sin" tax. Now we should have the "Quality of Life" Tax.

- A Boston Resident who doesn't even bike.

your statements are unfeeling and bizarre

What we know is that the Cyclist is in intensive care and the drive fled the scene. Blaming the victim may be a natural human impulse, but that doesn't mean you should keep doing it.

Not only are you criticizing someone you never met but you have doubled down repeatedly and piled on accusations. I would ask you to stop, but most of your posts seem this way.

My two broken legs

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Happened when the driver turned across the oncoming travel lane and neglected to see me and sideswiped me, sending me 30 feet away onto the pavement.
I landed on my knees, shattered one kneecap, fractured the other ankle, and skinned my chin where the pavement scraped it. My helmet probably saved my life, because the front above my eyebrows was smashed in about a half inch. It formed a bridge with my chin.

I was in hospital and rehab for two weeks, a brace for 3 months, and limped for 6 months. 18 months later and two more operations have finally removed all the metal.

The driver had only the Mass state minimum insurance of 25000 per person, and no assets to sue for. I didn't want to sue and take their house. The one week in hospital and initial operations were 17000. Then there was rehab and the other operations. And the long term arthritis, and permanent scars on my legs. And months of anesthesia recovery. Fortunately I had Underinsured operators insurance, but only to 100000, which means that's the total amount I could ever get from all insurers combined. It was worth at least 150000 in actuarial terms.

So I got some time off work, paid off all debts, and got a new bike. But not much else. I still bike everyday in the good weather, but it'll be another 6 months of continued work on the muscles to be back to the before version, if ever, 2 years later.

Moral: get the maximum insurance coverage for yourself and others, the rates are 20 years out of date.
Moral 2: driver was at fault 100%.


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You would have taken that poor bastard to the cleaners had he been at fault.

Nope, *I* wouldn't...

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Because I will fully recover from the accident in due time, and if I had pursued legal action it would have taken forever to get a judgement and recover monies from the sale of the house. The driver was the wife of a young couple, and perhaps the judgement would have attached wages for life, or not have netted anything useful at all, really. Meanwhile, I got a sizable sum pretty quick, from an insurance company, no less, whose job is to pay people for exactly this situation, and who won't be having a problem with their business model in the far foreseeable future.

Now, if the driver was in a more - "advantageous" shall we say, life circumstance, then you're damn right I would have hired one of the three downtown lawyers I talked to in their offices while still in crutches to grab whatever they could, and get their 30% of it. As it was, I was lucky to be able to take matters upon myself and just call the drivers insurance and my insurance to get the full amount of my coverage by myself, without involving a lawyer at all, (a little more involved than that, but yeah) because otherwise I would have gotten only 70% of the total, and that's the difference between zero and, oh, lets say, a new TV.

The concept of correlative retaliation is important in more places than on the battlefield. I can walk and talk and chew gum, I'm not paralyzed or missing other real or ephemeral qualities. All they owned was a house with 5 years equity. I couldn't live with taking that. However, If it was someone else with a few houses, well, then we'd all have to do some brainstorming.

Oh, and you cant

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Get blood from a stone. Nothing to take, I was better off with insurance.

Btw I learned all about how insurance really worked for the first time in my life while hopped up on goofballs.
And I still don't trust a lawyer.

Homestead Act?

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More likely than not you are not taking anyone's home from them. The declaration of homestead protects the equity in your home for up to $500,000 in the event you are sued. In other words, if you are sued, $500,000 of your equity could not be touched by an attachment and subsequent levy on execution of sale.

Who bears the blame?

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I'll be the one to say it. None of us really knows.

Maybe the cyclist was dressed in dark clothes, without lights, and made a sudden lane move.

Maybe the driver was drunk, speeding, or unattentive.

All we know is the driver fled, which definitely knocks her down a peg in my eyes.

Texting and driving is the

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Texting and driving is the problem. I see it all over the city. It is the number one danger to riders in Boston.

Blame the victim

Way to blame the victim. Comment 1. Wooohhh!

Now let's demand that all pedestrians wear hamster bubbles FOR SAFETY without ever going after the biggest hazard of all DRIVERS WHO CANT DRIVE SAFELY.

FTR: I am a helmet wearer. But this is just bullshit.

Blaming the system

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Sorry if you thought I was blaming the victim... Neither you nor I know the whole story.. Glad you wear a helmet.
But do we know the circumstances? No. But what we both know is that no safety mechanism was in place for that cyclist.

We thought so because you were

Sorry if you thought I was blaming the victim.

Please reread your posts. It focuses on what the victim of a criminal hit-and-run might or might not have done. This is absolutely and unambiguously victim-blaming.

Helmets can protect cyclists

Helmets can protect cyclists from head injury when they get knocked to the pavement but not the injuries when a two-ton motor vehicle hits them or visa-versa.

Does Commonwealth or Clarendon have a cycle track that separates cars from bikes with a protective barrier? This approach keeps cyclists safer and increases cycling in lieu of driving

Looks like Clarendon has no bike lane, Commonwealth does but it is not a track separated from vehicles by a barrier like a curb.

Lane, no track

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Left cycle lane on comm ave next to the Mall. No separation from traffic. I believe no lane on Clarendon.

I have no opinion on this accident as I have no other details.

Cyclists please please please wear helmets even if not required and especially at night, bright clothes and bright lights white in front red in back (I believe a white front light is required an hour before sunset and an hour after sunrise). You can't imagine how hard you are to see at night. Laws be damned, a driver can't avoid you if s/he can't see you and helmets are just common sense. Despite what you think, drivers do not want to hit you and ruin your life and their own.

And please obey the traffic rules. I intervened against a cyclist a block from this accident on Friday. The cyclist was 100% in the wrong but started beating on a car that he claimed cut him off while he was running a red light. He's lucky he's not in the hospital or worse.


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But I refuse to ride on the streets. Too dangerous.

Only ride bike paths now.

I don't drive on streets,

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I don't drive on streets, either. I only drive on freeways. Makes it hard to get groceries, though.

"Too dangerous"

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You find it safer to ride on so-called "bike paths" full of texting pedestrians, dog-walkers with long stretchy leashes, kids in strollers, and oh yes a few bicycles?

As my HS biology teacher used to say

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When he was calling you out for being an idiot, "aww Jeezus charlie, go play in the traffic."

If you wanna play gazelle in a herd of steel clad elephants that can run faster than you (while texting) have at it.

Not for me. I'll hang with the deer and the antelope.

Think about it

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When he was calling you out for being an idiot, "aww Jeezus charlie, go play in the traffic."

We may be talking about different uses here -- I'm speaking as a transportational rather than recreational cyclist. If recreation was the only consideration, I might agree with you (probably not, but maybe). But my interest is in getting from point A to point B, both of which are located in Boston. What I've observed is that a number of factors make it safer to ride here than in many places. The infrastructure, the fact that many different types of vehicles plus pedestrians share the same space, the traffic density during rush hour, all combine to slow down traffic AND make it more likely that drivers are used to dealing with different types of road users operating at different speeds (FWIW I notice the same thing in rural areas - people are more used to coming around a corner and encountering someone on a horse, a cyclist, a tractor, etc.). Contrast this with the suburbs.

Is it totally safe? Hell no; nothing protects you from self-distracted, inebriated or clueless drivers. You need to be alert in case they aren't. What I find, though, is that on the street things are more predictable, there are more options, you can get to know the route (so you know what lane to be in), and people are focused on getting somewhere rather than recreating or strolling or letting their dog pee.

To each his own

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I don't jump out of perfectly good airplanes either.

some people do.

Precisely my take on Boston cycling

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I've used nearly the same language to explain to people why I feel safer riding in town than in any suburtb.

I Agree with you

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Agreed. Pedestrians do need to also equip themselves with lights at night for both cars and bicycles.

Kitty is trolling us

Insurance statistics show that collisions between car and not car are overwhelming the fault of the car. We know that this incident involves a car that left the scene and a bicyclist. If that's all we know then the possibility that this cyclist is at fault is microscopic.

Concerned condescension about how cyclists and pedestrians should do more is hurtful to this victim.

The sad fact is this runaway driver is ignorant of how little we care about cars killing people. If they stayed, it would probably be a slap on the wrist like the rest of the driving murderers.


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Just stop it.


I believe the multiple posts are due to a UHub glitch. The site was offline for a while there.

Seriously, kitty?

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The first thing you think of is to go off on a helmet rant? And why would police be telling people they can't ride without helmets? Crazy helmet nazi!

Its the law as of last year for 16 years and younger

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190 MGL Section 11B: Bicycles; operation and equipment; regulations; federal product safety standards, effect; races; violations; penalties

Section 11B. Every person operating a bicycle upon a way, as defined in section one of chapter ninety, shall have the right to use all public ways in the commonwealth except limited access or express state highways where signs specifically prohibiting bicycles have been posted, and shall be subject to the traffic laws and regulations of the commonwealth and the special regulations contained in this section, except that: (1) the bicycle operator may keep to the right when passing a motor vehicle which is moving in the travel lane of the way, (2) the bicycle operator shall signal by either hand his intention to stop or turn; provided, however, that signals need not be made continuously and shall not be made when the use of both hands is necessary for the safe operation of the bicycle, and (3) bicycles may be ridden on sidewalks outside business districts when necessary in the interest of safety, unless otherwise directed by local ordinance. A person operating a bicycle on the sidewalk shall yield the right of way to pedestrians and give an audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian.

Operators of bicycles shall be subject to the following regulations:

(1) Bicyclists riding together shall not ride more than 2 abreast but, on a roadway with more than 1 lane in the direction of travel, bicyclists shall ride within a single lane. Nothing in this clause shall relieve a bicyclist of the duty to facilitate overtaking as required by section 2 of chapter 89.

(2)(i) The operator shall ride only upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle; a passenger shall ride only upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle or to a trailer towed by the bicycle.

(ii) The operator shall not transport another person between the ages of one to four years, or weighing forty pounds or less, on a bicycle, except in a ''baby seat'', so-called, attached to the bicycle, in which such other person shall be able to sit upright; provided, however, that such seat is equipped with a harness to hold such other person securely in the seat and that protection is provided against the feet or hands of such person hitting the spokes of the wheel of the bicycle; or upon or astride a seat of a tandem bicycle equipped so that the other person can comfortably reach the handlebars and pedals. The operator shall not transport any person under the age of one year on said bicycle.

(iii) Any person 16 years of age or younger operating a bicycle or being carried as a passenger on a bicycle on a public way, bicycle path or on any other public right-of-way shall wear a helmet. Said helmet shall fit the person's head, shall be secured to the person's head by straps while the bicycle is being operated, and shall meet the standards for helmets established by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. These requirements shall not apply to a passenger if the passenger is in an enclosed trailer or other device which adequately holds the passenger in place and protects the passenger's head from impact in an accident.

It's unfortunate that reading

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It's unfortunate that reading the comment section in most parts of the internet is likely to give you cancer. I hope the world treats you better the next time a tragedy befalls someone you care about.

Laws... know them.

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• The law in Boston states that if you are under 16 a helmet is required.
• Most road cyclists killed were wearing helmets, so please, just don't go there.
• By my own experience, and that of others, the road "safety" test in MA is a joke. you can practically be the walking dead, but if you pay the required fees, they'll give you a license.
• What safety "gear" in cars are you referring to? Airbags? Seatbelts?
• Most newer cars are "equipped" with screens that distract drivers as much as cell phones, putting ANYONE not in that car, at risk.

What does drugged driving or cycling have to do with this particular incident?

There is no good quality evidence

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that bike helmets reduce the overall rate of serious injuries in cyclists. Most cyclists who die do so because they are hit at speed by a care and most helmets are not rated for those kind of collisions. What helmet laws do is reduce the number of cyclists on the road which is the single thing that is guaranteed to increase danger to other cyclists. More cyclists = safer roads for cyclists.

There is also no law requiring adults to wear a helmet while cycling while there is one to require adequate lighting on a bike which is sensible and is enforced (I've seen people being stopped for it before).


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There is NO excuse for fleeing like a coward after you hit a person with your car. Stop drag racing down Comm. Ave., Beacon and Boylston! Where is law enforcement? People are getting killed and all Walsh/Baker can come up with is lowering the speed limit? Drag racers don't abide by the speed limit so what is the point?? I almot never see drivers pulled over for speeding or running reds in Boston. Furthermore, it blows my mind the number of drivers I have seen and smelled (yes, you smell like a filthy skunk, take a shower!) in recent years smoking a joint behind the wheel. In Boston, I witness this 7 days a week, morning, noon and night. And, it's people of all ages driving all diff. types of cars. Lower the speeding limit by 5mp with absolutely zero enforcement was a joke, esp. when people seem to think driving while getting stoned is acceptable. Drunk driving is 100% socially unacceptable, so why is driving high considered cool? And, for all of you idiots who claim you drive better stoned, go F yourselves.

Sometimes hit and run drivers ....

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... turn themselves in.
Apparently there was a witness who described the silver sedan. Someone else may turn the driver in also. We need this person off the road ASAP.

You're right, anon.

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Driving while under the influence of anything, including marijuana, is unacceptable, and dangerous to everybody on the road, including the driver him or herself. That doesn't mean, however, that cyclists shouldn't take some responsibility for their own safety. I've seen many of them go through red lights, disregard stop signs and one-way street signs, and simply go at too fast a speed, and weave in and out of traffic. As a cyclist myself, I think this kind of reckless behavior on the part of cyclists has to stop.


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what in the story indicates to you that either of the two cyclists involved were "being reckless"?

or did you just have a real need to claim to be a "responsible cyclist" and saw your chance?

if you're so perturbed by other cyclists' actions, are you as willing to stop them on the street to lecture them as you are to spout opinions on the interwebs?

You were a witness?

So you know that the cyclist was reckless?

Do tell.

Otherwise STFU. There is a BIKE LANE on Commonwealth Ave. and, as Cinnamon Girl pointed out ... RECKLESS DRIVERS are the problem far more than cyclists.

You were a witness?

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So you know the cyclist was NOT reckless? There is a bike lane on Commonwealth Avenue. So you know the cyclist was in the lane at the time?

Oh wait - a CAR was involved. By your biased "logic", CARs are always presumed to be at fault instead of cyclists. Because cyclists are perfect and can do no wrong.

Perhaps you should note Chapter 85, Section 11B of the Mass. General Laws, which states in part:

Section 11B. Every person operating a bicycle upon a way, as defined in section one of chapter ninety, shall have the right to use all public ways in the commonwealth except limited access or express state highways where signs specifically prohibiting bicycles have been posted, and shall be subject to the traffic laws and regulations of the commonwealth and the special regulations contained in this section,

So until we know what happened here, perhaps you should be the one the STFU.


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Way to read stuff in that isn't there.

Pretty clear that her point was that we don't know what happened, but that cars injure a hell of a lot more people than just about anything else.

Look at the injury stats, dude. And stop whiffing your tailpipe - its making you cranky.

Commonwealth ave not limited access

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And idiot drivers kill a lot of innocent people - like a 30,000 car kills to 1 cycling kill ratio.

But you have shown in the past that statistics isn't a strong point with you.

Educated Guess

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The same offending driver hit another car as well. And drove off. So yeah, it's pretty obvious who is almost 100% certainly at fault.

Well, we do know that

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the bicyclist is still in intensive care, showing us exactly what the consequences of being in an accident as a rider vs. a driver, while the driver of the silver car has random apologists on the internet trying to convince us of the evils of cycling. Meanwhile, the person operating the car thought so little of his/her chances of being found innocent of being at fault that he/she chose to add a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident to the existing accident. Which doesn't bode well for the motorist's innocence.

As much as you enjoy victim-blaming, maybe you could dial it back a little bit until we know if this person is going to live, yeah?

Read more carefully...

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• You seem to be assuming that Comm is a "limited access or express state highway where signs specifically prohibiting bicycles" is posted.
• There is a sign on the right side of the roadway on Comm that expressly states that Bike May Use Full Lane because too many drivers believe the opposite.
• That left "bike lane" is scary, AND it's on the left side which is useless if one needs to turn right. It was painted when they added the "bike lane" to the underpass.

Roadman so tough. Not a clue

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Roadman so tough. Not a clue to the caliber you are addressing. Tough are the cyclists who pass the dangers to ride for the freedom of such.

If you read your cut and paste, it clearly states why cyclists are allowed to do what they did. And if you absorb the rest of the laws pertaining to the rules the road, it is more than clear, whom is at fault.

Why is it that the Automobile Nazis cower when the cyclists catches them at the next red light or traffic stop?

There are idiots on bikes, idiots on foot, but far more dangerous idiots behind the wheel. Become better educated.

Roadman ,You are obviously not enough to shut anyone up.


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We all know how you feel about cyclists and car drivers but you jumped the gun a little bit there.

Statistics say ...

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Very high probability that driver is at fault.

Sorry, the the reality is that drivers kill. And kill. And kill. And Kill. And kill ...

30,000 killed by drivers, maybe 1 by cyclists = high probability.

Did you read the original comment?

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Of course not. That would be Unamerican to actually observe context rather than react like a drooling dog to a bell.

Motorists need to be bicycle-certified

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We need new legislation requiring motorists to be certified to occupy the same public roads as bicycles. We know Car Culture has created dangerous attitudes among those who drive motor vehicles. Common behavior of motorists occasioned the coining of the term "road rage."

I will leave the recommendations to cyclists to someone else. No doubt, some of those will be reasonable.

Here's a short list of what motorists must accept:

1) Cyclists can use the full lane.

2) Driving dangerously "at" a cyclist who is using the full lane, and screaming at said cyclist, just to "educate" the cyclist about your entitlement-psychosis, is bad, and should warrant citation.

3) Cyclists have hidden cameras and can text your license plate to police who are investigating driver etiquette in Boston. You're on candid camera!

Grow up guys

Yet another kid hurt riding his bike in traffic. I have 1 idea BPD follow these bikers and I do have sympathy for people who don't have the money for a car ,insurance etc.Yet enough is enough if u r going to ride ur bike on any Boston street which is a bus line the BPD if seen two mbta buses passes one of these bikers they should be ticketed n bike should be impounded for 30 days, this also may cut down on these people getting hurt or killed riding in Boston traffic.

Grow up guys

Yet another kid hurt riding his bike in traffic. I have 1 idea BPD follow these bikers and I do have sympathy for people who don't have the money for a car ,insurance etc.Yet enough is enough if u r going to ride ur bike on any Boston street which is a bus line the BPD if seen two mbta buses passes one of these bikers they should be ticketed n bike should be impounded for 30 days, this also may cut down on these people getting hurt or killed riding in Boston traffic.