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Newton bicyclist killed in crash involving a UPS truck

Officials report a 57-year-old man on a bicycle died after he was hit by a UPS truck whose driver was coming the other way and making a left turn from Watertown Street onto Bridge Street in Nonantum around 5:20 p.m. on Monday.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Newton Chief of Police John Carmichael say the UPS driver remained on the scene as the bicyclist was taken to a Boston hospital, where he died.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

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Comments

Because we don't yet have a determination of fault, we can't reasonably say "UPS Driver Kills Newton Cyclist with Truck", but we can at least say "Newton Cyclist Killed by UPS Truck in Crash"

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No matter who is at fault, it sucks.

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It sucks.
Both apply.

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It does indeed suck, and my heart goes out to the family and loved ones of this cyclist.

But it also does matter how this crash happened. As a cyclist, I want to know what can be done to prevent further tragedies like this one. That includes steps we cyclists can take while riding to keep ourselves safe, as well as things that can be done with regard to laws, law-enforcement, and infrastructure changes to generally make the road safer.

Years ago I was in a crash that at least had similar geometry, though much less tragic results (I was banged and bruised a bit, but nothing serious). I was riding at pretty much full speed (downhill) to the right of traffic that was barely moving. The light ahead of me was green, so I entered the intersection, and was hit by an oncoming car that was turning left. The other driver couldn't see me until the last second (nor could I see his car), because our view of each other was screened off by the slow-moving traffic that I was passing. Lesson learned: regardless of whose fault that crash was (and the police report was phrased in a very neutral way), I can reduce or eliminate the likelihood of such a crash by being careful when entering an intersection when my view is so obstructed. I wonder if something similar happened here?

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Some years ago, my brother and I were riding and he died in this same way.

The law says that turning traffic must yield to all oncoming traffic (including cyclists legally going faster on the right/gutter than the vehicular traffic in the main traffic lane) but that's cold comfort.

So many of these deaths happen in similar ways that we really need to understand and address those issues.

Have you ever seen a person taking a right turn look over their right shoulder before doing so? Probably not. A bike could legally be there! In Germany, I'm told that will cause you to fail your license test.

It is insane that we keep loosing people to the same causes and do nothing.

RIP Andrew Bohm.

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… your brother and in such a way.

In the Netherlands they also have strict laws, punitive fines and vehicles are impounded in the spot for many offenses. One of my Dutch friends was riding home one New Year’s Eve and collided with a vehicle. He was unharmed and there was minimal damage to both. Neither he nor the driver were even certain where the fault lay but both knew the law is very clear there and the driver would have had his license suspended till the fault was established by a judge. If he was found at fault the suspension would be extended and there would be heavy fines to pay as well as damages.
These legal standards are why the stats on car crashes are so low in the Netherlands and why few people bother to look both ways when using a crosswalk. Drivers pay attention to stuff like this when they are held responsible.

In my friend’s case, the driver immediately offered him a sum of money to not call the police or exchange insurance info. My friend, the kindhearted idiot, felt sorry for him and let him go without even taking the bribe.

You make good points and my sincere condolences.

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Jaw walking should be abolished from the books. All it does is save insurance companies money by reducing liability. The law doesn't even require a visible cross walk to apply.

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Looking down on jay walking is anti safe streets and anti mobility in another way also. So called jay walking (co opted by early automobile manufacturers from the original term “ jay driving”) is the smartest safest way to cross a street in terms of danger from speeding distracted drivers who tend to speed up through yellow and red lights and are on the look out, if they aren’t looking at their phones, for other motor vehicles that might collide with them. Pedestrians and cyclists are no threat to them so they come in fourth for attention granted after cops and potholes.

I only use crosswalks if they are actually in my path. And I use them especially cautiously.

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I was also looking for good info on left cross collisions but almost all the search results are just law office websites. I did find one good article. Unfortunately, the takeaway is just to ride slower. When you think about it, it makes sense in giving you a shorter stopping distance and a better chance to maneuver.

One of the scariest left crosses I had was on my commute, where I cross an intersection at the bottom of a hill, and there are often oncoming construction vehicles in the morning. A dump truck just swerved in front of me and I had to swerve left to go behind him. I would rather carry my speed from the downhill but I should probably slow down some before that intersection.

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Federal and state - its CRASH not accident.

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The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Perhaps the cause was "being run over by a fuckoff-big truck"?

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According to the facts, the ups driver should yield to oncoming traffic. That doesn't mean he/she is evil or uncaring. Saying the cyclist would be alive if they did something different is blaming them. They don't deserve to be blamed for their own death. There is some weird human compulsion to believe that a magical sequence of preparations will prevent bad things from happening. That isn't factual. Trucks are unsafe to pedestrians and cyclists. Newton streets were not designed for this many cars. I am sick and tired of stories that seem to commend the driver for not running away. Newton has the best public transportation of all of the suburbs. By subsidizing automobiles, we encourage many people to buy them that could do without a car. We need to stop looking at auto sales as a measure of the economy. I'm sorry but all this victim blaming in the comments makes me rant.

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“ I am sick and tired of stories that seem to commend the driver for not running away. “

This always irritates me too.

In this case though, it was Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Newton Chief of Police John Carmichael reporting it, not adam.

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The boston globe quoted that too. The globe turned off comments.

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I am absolutely in favor of holding drivers accountable for their actions and for their negligence, whether deliberate or accidental. Furthermore, companies like UPS that hire large numbers of drivers should *also* be held accountable, and should be made to make sure that their drivers are well-trained.

But the necessary improvements in infrastructure, laws, and law-enforcement will not happen overnight. And even when they do happen, no system designed by humans is perfect. So in the meanwhile, I adamantly disagree with the statement "Saying the cyclist would be alive if they did something different is blaming them." When I mentioned above, that after my experience as the victim of a left-cross collision, that I had learned to be more careful entering intersections when passing to the right of a line of stalled traffic, I was neither blaming myself nor absolving the driver who hit me. I don't want to be in a collision no matter who is at fault, and if there's something I can do in my own riding style that can reduce the likelihood of a careless motorist hitting me, I damn well want to know about it!

In fact, I will say this publicly: If I (God forbid!) am seriously injured or killed I want the folks on UHub to analyze what happened, and to suggest things that cyclists in similar situations can do to protect themselves or avoid such a collision. And I do not want anyone who makes such a suggestion to be silenced by someone who is scolding about victim-blaming. If someone's life can be spared through such advice, it would bring meaning to what might otherwise seem like a senseless tragedy.

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But lets start by HOLDING DRIVERS ACCOUNTABLE.

We have normalized law-breaking while driving to the extent that any given community message system is flooded by people asserting that they have an absolute right to drive to endanger others.

Start with jailing people for leaving the scene and requiring retraining for speeding and lane violations.

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A person died. Save your helpful advice for another time.

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