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Bicyclist killed in Fenway crash was Cambridge woman

Paula Sharaga

State Police have identified the woman killed in a crash with a truck at Park Drive and Brookline Avenue yesterday as Paula Sharaga, 69, of Cambridge.

Sharaga was the children's librarian at the Coolidge Corner branch of the Public Library of Brookline. She leaves her husband, Eric.

State Police say three witnesses - including a trauma surgeon - who witnessed the crash between Sharaga and the driver of a cement truck around 1:45 p.m., immediately rushed to her and began CPR, but she was pronounced dead at nearby Brigham and Women's Hospital.

According to State Police, Sharaga:

Was riding in the intersection and came into contact with the front end of the truck. The sequence of events leading up the collision remain under investigation.

When Trooper [Keith] Deshler reached Sharaga he found two civilians performing CPR on her. He requested an ambulance. A third civilian approached and identified himself as a trauma physician and requested a ventilation bag, which Trooper Deshler was able to provide from his medical kit, and used it in an attempt to administer aid. Sharaga was transported to Brigham and Women’s Hospital by Boston EMS. She was pronounced deceased.

The operator of the Cement truck, a 67-year-old Salem man, was transported to Beth Israel Hospital.

No charges have been filed at this time.


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Thank you and condolences to those bystanders who tried so hard to save her.

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From the Public Library of Brookline Facebook Page:

"The Staff and Trustees of the Public Library of Brookline are deeply saddened to share that our beloved Children’s Librarian, Paula Sharaga, passed away yesterday. Paula was a wonderful asset to the Coolidge Corner community, which she served for almost two decades. Paula was a fun, caring, thoughtful, and empathetic staff member, and a kind and good friend. An avid bicyclist, dedicated environmentalist, and vigorous political advocate, Paula was loved by all who knew her and will be missed terribly by the staff of the library, and by her friends in the community and around the world. Our hearts go out to Paula’s husband and the rest of her family at this terrible time.

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It was a shock to me to see this -- the first time I've ever actually known someone who appeared in the news in this context.

I've known Paula (as a casual acquaintance) for many years, as she was a librarian in the Brookline library system. In recent years she was the children's librarian in the Coolidge Corner branch.

Strangely, she's the second Brookline librarian I know who's been struck while bicycling, although the other woman (months ago) survived.

In addition to always being cheerful to me, Paula was very helpful. There was a children's book I remembered from my own childhood, long long ago, that I wanted to look at again. But I remembered the title slightly wrong, which made it very hard to track down. Paula put out a call to an (informal?) network of children's librarians, and based only on my description, they found the book weeks later at some other library and I was able to read it again.

This is so sad. Rest in peace, Paula.

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Transportation in Boston has become scariest and most risky now. Whether you're on foot, bike, car, scooter, or wheelchair.

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