Bicyclist struck, killed in collision involving MBTA bus on Huntington Avenue

UPDATE: Bicyclist identified as BC grad student.

A woman in her late 20s died Friday night after a collision on Huntington Avenue at Forsyth Street around 10:30 p.m. Boston Police report an MBTA bus was apparently involved but that investigators have yet to determine a cause.

Boston and MBTA police initially had some trouble locating the bus that might have been involved; by early morning, however, detectives were going over the bus at the Forest Hills bus yard.

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Comments

How the hell does a bus hit and run?

One, how fast can it get away, and two, none of the passengers saw this and tried to stop the driver? I know that if I saw the bus hit a person, and the bus was still moving, I'd head right for the driver's seat.

Non-revenue

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Might've been out of service heading back to the garage.

Hearing from a friend who

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Hearing from a friend who walked past that it was a cyclist - unconfirmed, obviously.

I walked past this pretty

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I walked past this pretty early on. I can confirm it was a cyclist.

Driver, not bus.

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Busses are inanimate objects. The DRIVER struck a cyclist WITH the bus.

...

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So are buses.

Sorry, but it's just as likely that

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the cyclist ran into the bus with their bike. But I guess it's easier to ALWAYS blame the operator of the motor vehicle in cases like this. Unlike cyclists, they are required to have insurance in order to drive their vehicle on a public street. Also known as deep pockets that lawyers can go after.

just as likely?

When studies have shown that 80%+ of injury accidents to cyclists are caused by improper driving?

I'd say that it is 1/5th as likely, no?

http://bicycleuniverse.info/transpo/almanac-safety... and scroll down to where NYC cops claim bikers are usually at fault, only to be dopeslapped by the actual statistics - 90% are poor driving.

Similar results have been found in the UK, Toronto, and Australia.

Say the cyclist decided to

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pass the bus on the right just as the bus was starting to turn or move into a stop. Yet, by your standard of "improper driving", the bus driver is somehow still at fault because of a decision the cyclist made.

And if cyclists are so willing to be responsible for their actions, as they often claim, then why aren't they willing to be licensed and registered like drivers, and be legally required to use bike lanes and other accommodations where they are provided by the taxpayers.

I've got bingo

Where is that drivers are never wrong if a cyclist gets killed card again?

Note that I DID NOT say that cyclists never foul up. I simply provided LINKS AND EVIDENCE that this was not the "even odds" that you stated or anywhere near. By the evidence I presented, there is still a 10-20% probability of cyclist mess up, and an 80-90% probability of bus fail.

Deal with it.

BTW, as for LICENSING ... 90+% chance that a cyclist has A DRIVERS LICENSE.

Oh, and here's the "standard Boston reply" to this and your contention that we should chop down all street trees so people can open car doors: Why don't you move to Texas if you love your fracking car so much?

Links and evidence?

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No need to look at the links and "evidence" from a cycling website, when I can look on the streets of Cambridge every day and see the cyclists who give you a bad name by flouting the rules of the road. They behave like cars when it suits them, and like pedestrians when THAT suits them. As a pedestrian trying to stay safe, I can typically predict what a motor vehicles will do at an intersection or crosswalk, but I can't say the same for cyclists.

Well, that's not true exactly ... I usually predict that I’ll find cyclists biking in crosswalks while pedestrians are using them to walk in. Or I can predict that I’ll see several MORE cyclists passing through a red light if no cars are in sight, pedestrians be damned. I expect to see these things several times a day, and lo and behold ... I’m rarely disappointed!

'Course I have no pedestrian website stats to back me up, so I have no EVIDENCE of this. *shrug*

We do try to avoid pedestrians

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Yeah, I go through crosswalks and usually slow down to go behind the pedestrians, or way in front of them. I stop when I have to, or slow way down. I've never hit a pedestrian or even come close. The closest scares I've had were people who stepped into the street without looking, or hesitated indecisively when they see a bike coming. But even then I've always managed to avoid colliding with them. Don't be bitter just because we don't have to stop and pretty much rule the streets and sidewalks, just be a good pedestrian and don't worry about bikes going by.

Sigh.

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Seriously--what is your weird agenda? I'll tell you, as a cyclist, what mine is--to stay alive and unmaimed. I'm not a daredevil or a speed demon, and neither are most of the other folks I see out and about on bikes. I'm more than happy to ride in a marked bike lane whenever possible--if you know Boston at all, you'll observe that despite the efforts of many, they're still pretty few and far between. And again--you want to license all of the cyclists in Boston? I can't wait to hear the colossal whine from your Herald-reading, Tea Party-supporting ilk about bloated government and bureaucracy. I'll remind you too that there's no special tax exemption for people who ride bikes--we're taxpayers too, thanks very much.

Really--for you to post stuff like this on an article about a young woman who was killed--in a freak accident, it seems--on a bike is not only idiotic and tasteless but pretty screwed up.

Still the bus' fault

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Turning to the right in front of or next to a cyclist is illegal in this state (aka a "right hook").

A cyclist has every legal right to go straight and pass on the right on the street.

How about no

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Considering a cyclist has a 360 degree view of their surroundings with nothing to block their hearing either, it's unlikely for a bike to run into a bus...whose driver has limited visibility and no ability to hear anything on the street aside from sirens.

So, no, they aren't "just as likely" by default. Also, what good are "deep pockets" to her? She's dead, you crass boob. Cyclists aren't hitting buses with the risk of dying underneath them just to sue the MBTA.

Anyone awake at a news desk?

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I know it's late on a Friday and all... But I can't find another single article about this and it has been at least two hours since it happened.

Right?! I was walking by as

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Right?! I was walking by as the first responders arrived, and it was a weird scene. TONS of people standing around Qdoba, but none looking like they were really trying to help the victim. Police, fire, etc. arrived and felt for a pulse on the woman and then immediately began covering her up and moving her messed-up bike to the side. So disturbing :(

they moved her bike?

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So she dies, and they move her bike before the reconstruction team can respond?

It's a crime scene, people. DON'T TOUCH THE EVIDENCE.

Real life is not CSI. It was

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Real life is not CSI. It was probably determined that a reconstruction team was unnecessary.

what i heard from 39 driver ...

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she was hit by a car not a bus... i was aware of something going on outside our house east midnite or 1145 st stephen at gainsboro and huntington and gainsboro blocked by cop cars headed towards mfa ..
i thought well if bus is blocked one way ill miss my bus they cant go down means they cant come back!shit! but it showed up was hit by a car not a bus... there you go..

If this actually was a bus

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why haven't the police or the T done anything? There are only so many NABIs running on the 39 at night, all the buses are out of the Arborway garage, this isn't rocket science. Hell, using the schedule you should probably be able to pinpoint the bus exactly (even with the 39's legendarily bad schedule adherence). Something is fishy here, and I don't know what it is. RIP to the poor victim, what a sad way to go.

Update

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Just walked past and spoke with some bystanders. The cyclist is pronounced dead, body still in the street with a sheet over it.

Traffic blocked going towards MFA from Mass Ave. on Huntington Ave. and St. Stephens St. but still open heading from MFA towards Mass. ave. (@1:05am)

This can't be a crime

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I'm sure the driver really didn't mean to hit the cyclist.

I'll be he's really sorry, but simply couldn't be expected to drive safely or know he hit somebody.

I'm sure the cyclist was invisible. On purpose! Just to be bad.

Oh, and I'll be the cyclist was "in the street".

I'm sure the cyclist MUST have done SOMETHING wrong.

and THE DRIVER WAS WORKING!

Yep.

I think I'll make a bingo card for all the reasons the driver can't be cited even for killing somebody. Not for UHub - you guys are swell. For the cops and the T to fill out with all the reasons the driver isn't responsible.

Right.

It is much better to just throw this driver in jail for 20 years for 1st degree murder. Us Uhubbers are all ACTAR certified crash reconstructionists that were there and saw what happened right?

I should make another bingo card for all the reasons the driver should be cited without any evidence to indicate such.

Really, Pete?

You mean to say that there isn't any level of responsibility between "not responsible" and "first degree murder"? Melodramatic, much?

Do you also seriously think that it is ever acceptable for a driver to hit and kill somebody and drive off and not notice?

Acceptable?

Probably not.

With the onlyinformation I have now from the internet (dead cyclist and a hit and run driver who may or may not have made contact with the cyclist), I'm going to say there is a 80% chance the driver is responsible. There is a 10% chance is that the cyclist wasn't even hit but had to avoid the vehicle and hit something else, and the other 10% chance is that the bike flipped over on a train track or pothole and the rider hit the side of the bus or near the bus. Within that 10% chance the bus driver may not have noticed if anything touched the bus. I've never driven a bus, and I wasn't there, so it would be tough for me to say. But I do know for a fact that a lot of bikes do break the law, and I have seen MBTA busses break the law as well. I factor those facts into my own semi-professional opinion.

But yea I'm going to guess that there is an 80% chance the driver is responsible, and that number might go up if I actually knew the facts of the crash.

Other cases that I read off the internet I might give the driver 50% blame.

The melodrama is in response to other posts about wanting people to be charged with crimes that there isn't enough evidence for. Hell, you had a poster on here who said this:

why haven't the police or the T done anything?

Really? How would this anon know if anything happened? Did they think the police would just stop the investigation at 11pm? It looks like they were able to identify the driver of the bus and there was already an investigation. 80% of me feels like there might be charges coming.

On second thought.....

There is even less of a chance in my mind that the driver is responsible (for the leaving the scene part of the crime). MBTA drivers are petrified of losing their jobs or not following regulations, and I have my doubts that a driver would actually leave the scene of a crash knowing that they would lose their job 100% if they were caught. 10:30 at night at this intersection would have a lot of witnesses, especially if there were people on the bus, which I would assume there would be anyway.

I mean, am I that far off in assuimg that?

Yes

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I question whether the driver had any idea that they were involved in an accident. I'm wondering if in passing her they rubbed her bike and the cyclist went under the back tires. I'm not sure how easy it would be to ignore that at the time. But her bike still appeared to be in good condition in the picture on WBZ's article, so I don't think it was run over. I also have to imagine the driver didn't hit her with the front of the bus for similar reasons to what you've said.

However, according to the latest police comments, they found the MBTA bus and it has evidence of having struck her. So, how is the driver not responsible for leaving the scene...he hit her...and left. Are you telling me that ignorance of the fact that you were involved in an accident that resulted in death allows you to escape from "leaving the scene"? That seems flawed.

It depends on what degree of criminal intent....

... the law requires. I would assume that leaving the scene of an accident requires actual knowledge that an accident has, in fact, occurred. Negligent homicide, on the other hand, would typically not require any intent to harm.

"knowingly"

The driver has to know he/she collided with something or someone.

If there is evidence that shows the driver knew they collided with someone, then yes that driver would be resonsible.

This case would now be considered a felony by the way, since leaving the scene of a crash w/death is a felony.

MGL Ch.90 s.24(2)

Cyclist hit&run $20 civil fine

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Its is a criminal offense for a motorist to leave the scene where there has been bodily injury or considerable property damage. For cyclists, if ever caught, only face a $20 civil fine that is uncollectable! Mass laws re-written by MassBike need serious fixing. There have been elderly pedestrians hit by cyclists resulting in falls and broken hips (Ch 5 Chronicle show), so there is absolutely a need for fixing bike laws and enforcing them, including a way to identify riders who flee.

The driver of a loud 20 ton bus at night in traffic may not have heard or seen contact with a cyclist at the opposite corner from the driver. If the driver saw a cyclist go down, they don't know if it was from them hitting them or they lost control and hit something else. Anybody want to ban T buses?

Statistics, Please

You saw it on chronicle.

Care to link? Also, please provide comparative statistics for the number of cycle-ped collisions resulting in injury and compare that to how many pedestrians are struck and killed by motorists each year - compare and contrast, y'know?

The evidence may be at the

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The evidence may be at the rear tires though, I would assume it is still considered "striking" someone even if it's the rear tires where contact was made. Presumably there were passengers on the bus (I haven't read or heard anything saying it was empty) and apparently none of them realized anything was wrong either.

Boston streets aren't great for anyone.

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Once I was a passenger at the back of a 39 bus and a biker riding beside the bus on the left hand side got snarled in the train tracks on Centre Street in JP (tracks are gone now) and fell into the street.
It was very scary. Luckily bike rider was ok.

If the rider had been run over by the bus Centre Street was so full of pot holes back then that the bus driver may not have noticed the extra lumpy ride.
A bus is a big vehicle and the rider could have swerved into the bus and suffered a head injury - the bus driver would probably never notice and kept going. In such a case the bus driver didn't cause the accident, and it was the rider who hit the bus.
In either scenario the bus driver would not be guilty of leaving scene of accident, nor would they be at fault.
Boston is an old city, streets are not on a grid system like other cities and the weather is tough on the surface material - these are all in play and make it a challenge whether you are in a car, on a bike, or on foot.
RIP to the rider.

...who looked at a bike and

...who looked at a bike and said "oh, he was in a high gear, he MUST have been going really, really fast!"

If I recall correctly the accident that you are referring to was young man who died on Mass Ave in Cambridge around the end of December. I believe that the report no where used the standard of "MUST have been going really, really fast!" as you've indicated, but instead acknowledged that there are no witnesses so instead used a "most likely" standard.

When one removes dogma from an investigation, we can only go upon available facts which are sometimes less conclusive than having one's mind made up beforehand.

Oh I forgot

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Cyclists are always in the right. Never do anything wrong. Never run red lights, ride on sidewalks, in crosswalks, etc.

Your anger is misplaced. You should be using your energy to educate your fellow cyclists who make YOU look bad by not following the rules and riding safely. Wake up.

So sad

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to hear. RIP to the young woman and family.

I hope this perks the

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I hope this perks the attention of other cyclists. Everyday I see them disregarding all traffic signals, stop signs, etc., or weaving through car traffic. Bikes are supposed to follow the same traffic laws as cars, and riders put themselves and others in danger. Bikers and car drivers need to follow the rules and pay attention!!!

Bring forth your evidence

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Apparently you are privy to some knowledge that this bicyclist was breaking the law.

Please enlighten the rest of us about this, to help reconstruct the scene, and about how you're not simply blaming the victim?

the T's been happy to blame her

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They've been telling all the reporters she "fell off her bike" despite the investigation supposedly still being in progress.

Witnesses?

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I've heard this "fell off her bike into traffic" line multiple times, and have been wondering if someone claims to have actually witnessed this, or if this is just another case of (not-so-subtle) blaming the victim. And it is important to understanding what happened. People don't just fall off of bikes; did she hit a pot-hole? Was she trying to avoid being doored? Did her tires slip on wet pavement? Was she knocked off by the bus in question?

Unless there is a witness who has answered this question, I find it irresponsible of the news outlets to be using this phrase. If there is a witness who has answered this question, I find it irresponsible of the news outlets to be leaving this data point out.

More likely, until the investigation is done, we won't know. And the news outlets should avoid editorializing, intentional or not.

Wow--thanks.

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For "perking" my attention to the fact that I have a good chance of getting killed by a car or bus in Boston while riding my bike and that if it ever does happen, god forbid, there will be a bunch of jerks posting here about how I was probably speeding or blowing through a red light or riding too slowly. Seriously...during all this time you spend observing scofflaws on bikes, do you ever take a second to look at the DRIVERS? Because I'll tell you an astonishing fact--people here drive like idiots. Psst--we may even have a national reputation for it. But yeah--keep going on about how many grandmothers have been mashed by crazed cyclists this year but please, while you're at it, look up the real number of how many people on bikes have been killed by people in cars in Boston just this year. And then check out the photo now posted of that lovely young girl and give us another lecture about how we need to "pay attention."

reply to Sally

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Sally, you are so right about the lack of driving skills/etiquette/common sense that is seen in a fair amount of greater Boston drivers. Even most of the paid enforcers/police drive while ignoring crosswalk and intersection stoplines and worse. The professional drivers (especially cabbies) should also be brought into line. Many of them speed up at yellow lights and ignore the crosswalk altogether. Can you believe that someone was paid to regulate the traffic lights at Brigham Circle ? It is an ongoing joke. The light finally says walk and there are cars, trucks, and buses still going through the same intersection. I'm the one flashing the bird at them, and worse, every time.

I hope this perks the attention of other drivers.

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I hope this perks the attention of other drivers. Everyday I see them disregarding all traffic signals, stop signs, etc., making illegal u-turns in busy intersections, accelerating through crosswalks where pedestrians are trying to cross. I was once on a bus where, the driver frustrated by having to follow a bicycle riding legally through an intersection, accelerated quickly and passed the cyclist so close that half the bus's passengers gasped loudly. Cars, buses, and trucks are supposed to follow the same traffic laws as bicycles, and drivers put themselves and especially others in danger. Bikers and car drivers need to follow the rules and pay attention!!!

Keep in mind the child in the

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Keep in mind the child in the photo in question "belongs to" a member of the forum to which it was posted. That user had no intention of it being distributed to u-hub. Personally I think it's a powerful image.

A lesson learned

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Is never inappropriate. The picture should make you squirm. The little girl is learning a sad but important life lesson; one which we should all take away from this sort of accident. The streets can be dangerous and everyone needs to drive/walk/bike defensively. Chances are someone else is not paying attention, but the possibility always exists of a true accident. Either way the results can be tragic.

I saw you guys spray-painting

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I saw you guys spray-painting the bike late this afternoon on the Arborway carridge road - I didn't understand the white paint until I read this comment. I think the ghost bikes are a great memorial - it makes people stop and think, because it seems these tragedies go away from the public eye too quickly.

Is there any guidance

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for bus drivers and proximity to cyclists? I got buzzed by the Silver Line last week (like a foot away) and when I asked the driver if he could give a little more space (for me and for other bikers) he gave me a line about not having enough room to pass me. . .

. . . the fact remained that we were both stopped at the stoplight and buzzing me instead of waiting for 10 seconds to give a wider berth didn't affect his time to the next stop one iota.

my line after scary incidents with cars/buses usually boils down to asking a driver if their convenience is more important than my life.

There is guidance - the State

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There is guidance - the State Law. If he "doesn't have enough room to pass" then he CAN'T until he does. I've been buzzed by aggressive drivers before. Next time that happens, get the bus number and call the or tweet it to the T. They DO want to know when these things happen.

Try the MA Driving Manual

Don't pass unless it is safe to do so.

Leave several feet of space.

(for you newbs out there, this is yet another reason to ride the lane - particularly at night. They can't say they didn't see you, and you can still swing right if you get buzzed.)

This is covered in the

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This is covered in the training for new bus operators (and I think streetcar motormen too, since there's still street-running on Huntington and Chestnut Hill Aves), as well as the refreshers. I feel like there may be a few Special Orders regarding safe operation/sharing the road with bicyclists as well.

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