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Bicyclist killed by semi in Back Bay hit and run

Surveillance photo of the wanted truck, via BPD.

A woman in her 30s was hit sometime before 7:30 a.m. at Mass. Ave. and Beacon Street, was pronounced dead not long after. The truck was turning right onto Beacon from Mass. Ave.

Mel witnessed the crash:

EMS on scene. Girl has a pulse but not breathing. Open helmet smashed and contorted. Rough shape. Girl's head split open.

She adds the truck was a semi:

I didn't catch the plates but I'm hoping someone else did. He/she needs their license revoked ASAP.

Penny Cherubino reports it's a a flatbed trailer with a red sleeper cab and a broken front grill.

IntestinalFortitude adds:

White writing, lots of chrome, two chrome air horns, hauling a “heavy load” on a flat bed.

BPD released these additional photos of the truck:

Wanted truck

Anyone who knows where it is can call detectives at 617-343-4470.

The scene at Mass. Ave. and Beacon (Photo by Rob Colonna):

Fatal crash scene in the Back Bay
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Comments

A woman is dead and a truck driver who may or may not be guilty of hit and run is the accused assailant. Two lives destroyed in another example of life in the big city.

Let's try and keep that in mind while arguing the advantages and disadvantages of our various modes of transportation and the people who use them.

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Only one life is destroyed. Drivers who kill people in this country get pathetic slaps on the wrist. The guy who killed the two pedestrians when he sped through an intersection not far from today's killing will be out of jail soon and didn't even get his license revoked for life!

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1,000 x's this.

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so now we can talk about my agenda.

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Agreeing with a post that that effectively says not only is it horrible that someone was killed, but that drivers who are responsible for tragedies like this often get off relatively easily is pushing a completely different agenda at the victim's expense?

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He's having an opinion, and those are sacred.

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Strange how you can make the diagnosis that the truck driver is some kind of unfeeling sociopath without even meeting him or her. How would you feel if you were responsible for ending a life? Happy because you didn't do a lot of time?

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Can't tell if you're be facetious or not...

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I'm just a person who relies on all of the facts being brought to light before I'm willing to discard a human being who may or may not have known they killed someone. If he's guilty, the law will deal with the driver, not the Uhub mob who seem to know nothing about how the criminal justice system works.

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but, yes, the driver of the semi might not of known he hit her. There are a variety of reasons why this could of happened; she was in his "blind spot", for example. So let us suspend judgement against the driver until he is caught (hopefully) and questioned, shall we?

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his "blind spot" was 1.5 lanes of traffic.

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This UK film will help explain about truck blind spots:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9E1_1M-qhU

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You do realize that in a vehicle that size, it's likely he didn't even see the bicycle, not because he wasn't paying attention but because of the size/shape of the vehicle, and again, due to the size of the vehicle, probably didn't even feel (or hear) that he hit something, right?

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These trucks that can flatten people and not even know it don't belong on city streets? At least during hours when people tend to be out and about?

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Cause you need to Stop Making Sense.

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David Byrne also does not own a car and rides bicycles made by Montague in Innman square! (my personal choice of velocipede as well).

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that was not his beautiful 18 wheeler?

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What is the city curfew these days?

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There is no reason for a truck like that to be on city streets in the first place. That someone would be driving a vehicle incapable of seeing out of properly should be a crime in and of itself.

Look at the high visibility design halfway down the linked article. That is what should be allowed on the streets, not some highway big rig.
http://www.citymetric.com/transport/lorries-have-been-involved-six-cycli...

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You do realize that a truck like that was required to deliver the construction equipment to the site to build it. The trash truck that recently hit someone had to pick up the garbage that gets generated in the city. Do you live a garbage free lifestyle? The 18-wheelers deliver all that cheap stuff to CVS. Do you shop there?

These big trucks have to be on the streets. We could run them off hours or insist on smaller trucks (in some cases - in others it's simply not feasible). In that case it will drive up costs of living in a city where many can already barely afford to live. Should we drive more lower and middle class people out of the city?

And one more time - exactly how do you conclude it was the driver's fault? According to stats recently posted by Swirly and the study conducted, drivers are usually at fault - but very frequently (maybe 1 of 3) it's the cyclist. Not blaming anyone! Saying nobody knows yet.

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It doesn't matter who was in the right place [although from the picture of the truck we do see it is in the wrong place - turning right from the left lane]. It's more about providing vehicles that make both the truck driver and those around them safer.

You should look at the truck in the article I linked. It's much smaller in footprint while able to carry nearly the same sized cargo of an 18 wheel tractor-trailer. The shorter wheel base allows for nigh normal turning radii. And the windows and driver placement ensure almost as good a visibility as any car out there.

Sure there will be the rare oversize load that does not fit such trucks, but those - like any oversize load - should require escort vehicles. The cost of the better-visibility trucks is estimated to be only 15% higher than similar sized, low-visibility trucks. This 15% may be reflected in consumer prices, but could equally come off some executive's 1 million dollar paycheck. Hell, being newer and smaller they would use less gas, saving money even as they cost more to buy.

Another important factor is driver safety training. Truck drivers should tip toe as much as they can when they are driving something that large. They don't. That may be just my anecdote, but I never see trucks driving slowly and carefully.

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How else will all that free range quinoa get to the Whole Foods on Westland? Bike messenger?

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You really are determined to be an asshat about this, aren't you?

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my original post warned of people going off and trying the driver moments after the incident and that's exactly what's happening to the point where posters here are actually positing that trucks should only have limited access to this city.

And I'm being an asshat? I get it, based on your usual responses to my posts, you don't like anything I have to say, but let's leave the name calling to the children, shall we?

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Why would I forgive you when you proceeded immediately what you were tut-tutting at others not to do?

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You're starting to become him.

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you don't agree with anything I have to say so you respond by calling me a racist xenophobe? That sounds more like Howie than I do.

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Negligence and callousness are all too often connected. Often, people who've acted negligently at other people's expense often don't care, or are just plain oblivious to the consequences of their actions and behaviors. This particular incident, when the driver of a great big semi/rig hit and killed a woman on a bicycle, at a particularly dangerous intersection, is an excellent example of that.

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Why are you assuming it's a man? Are women not allowed to drive Semi's?

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Tell them Large Marge sent you.

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Strange how you can make the diagnosis that the truck driver is some kind of unfeeling sociopath without even meeting him or her.

I'm looking for and failing to find the words "unfeeling sociopath", or anything that could be remotely construed as such, in the post that you're responding to. Perhaps you can show me where it says that, or alternately, stop kneejerking. You call on people to not react inappropriately and then you post this? Shame on you.

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I said two lives were ruined. The poster said only one was ruined. So therefore one would reasonably presume that the poster was making the conclusion that somehow the driver's life will go on with no psychological after effect.

Or should I use pictures?

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Your lumping the two lives under the same word, "ruined," implies that they are equally affected. That's what's pissing people off. If you don't understand, I can't help you, pictures or not.

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...like a little spring lamb! You leap from a life not being "ruined" -- a word with no quantitative definition -- to "therefore...the driver's life will go on with no psychological after effect". Do you seriously think that anytime someone experiences a traumatic event that carries a "psychological after effect", their life is "ruined"? I think you just gamboled your way into a crevasse.

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disappoint you.

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^psycho

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Well one life was ended... and if this truck driver is a decent human being regardless of legal repercussions had his life altered today. I can't imagine how horrible it feels to know you were involved in taking another human life.

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even if they receive a minimal or no sentence, their career is pretty much over. Even if they decide to set up shop as an independent contractor, which is increasingly rare these days, accidents can still impact their ability to renew their CDL.

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Your kidding right? First of all it's VERY unlikely the driver even knew he hit anybody. As somebody who drives those for a living I can tell you people in cars and bikes almost kill themselves with my truck EVERY DAY! Bicycles are the WORST offenders for doing stupid things around trucks! I pay VERY close attention to my surroundings but I can only do so much when I'm surround by idiot borderline suicidal drivers of cars and bikes. Don't be so quick to judge something you know NOTHING about! You weren't driving that truck, and you weren't riding that bike!

It's clear by the trucks position in the lane as well as the aliment of the flatbed that he didn't try to change lanes quickly and you can see his turn signal lit up. He did what he was supposed to do, bet you my last dollar the bike didn't!

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Let's try and keep that in mind while arguing the advantages and disadvantages of our various modes of transportation and the people who use them.

What comes to mind is how insane it is to advocate for bicycling in the city full of cars. Accidents will happen with any form of transportation. A 15 mph car collision typically results in 1000's of dollars of damage. A 15 mph bicycle collision often results in long-term injuries. It's a huge waste.

We don't need more bikes and more bike lanes. We need smaller cars.

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You realize if there are fewer bikes there will be more cars, right? Cars hit pedestrians too, should we ban those?

The more bikes on the road, the more drivers are aware of them and will remember to check for bikes/pedestrians/snow shoveling yetis.

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I was going to call the driver a coward but Mel already did on twitter. Let them spend a couple decades behind bars to stew in their gutlessness.

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I always find this excuse hard to believe, but....given the size of the truck (ugh), they may not have even known they hit the driver.

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Thanks for laying out the defense strategy for us all.

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"I didn't see the bike" has about a 95% success rate in court, if it even makes it that far.

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Maybe we should demand that the vulnerable road user bill move forward.

Barring that, armed unfeeling sociopaths with a thirst for vigilante justice. Because that is exactly what it eventually comes to when the rule of law fails to result in the prosecution of people who kill other people.

Anyone who leaves the scene of an accident needs to rot in jail for a while. Not claiming to know that they killed somebody should not be a valid legal license to murder.

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Do you and/or your bike explode violently with the force of at least 100 grams of TNT when hit by an 18-wheeler? Do you suddenly swell up to at least ten times your original size when under a large wheel? If not, you'd be pretty hard to notice, especially if you were unfortunate enough to end up under the rear wheels of the trailer while in the driver's blind spot.

Also, do you apply you allegedly vast knowledge of physics selectively? Are large trucks made of rubber in your world, meaning they can just contort themselves into the right turn and not have to do it from left lane?

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Perhaps so, but in that case, we should reconsider what sort of vehicles we allow on crowded city streets.

I'm reminded of the cyclist who was killed a few years ago on Comm Ave, who collided with the side of a truck that was making a right turn from the left lane:

http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2012/12/06/bicyclist-and-vehicle-collide...

Just look at the picture there. Does that seem like a vehicle that should be on a street like that? It's probably impossible for that truck to make that right turn from any lane other than the far left lane.

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But there was also one a year or two back where a biker stopped (?) next to a truck was crushed in front of her boyfriend when the truck made a turn. It was in the seaport district, maybe?

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Was it this one, at A & Broadway?

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/09/17/bicyclist-hit-killed-by-18-wheeler...

That let to a community process to add bike lines to West Broadway... until Bill Linehan stepped in and killed it:

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/south_boston/2013/09/hold_city_abrup...

After arguing that it would make the street more dangerous...for bikes:

http://southbostontoday.com/councilor-bill-linehan-opposes-bike-lanes-on...

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That looks right.

I would be depressed by the followup if I didn't expect it.

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Nothing.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/02/05/civil-suit-but-criminal-ind...

Except for Mark K jerking off to the image of another dead cyclist.

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Except for Mark K jerking off to the image of another dead cyclist.

Please I haven't had enough coffee to have that visual in my head yet *shiver*

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after you're fully conscious?

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You have a point there.. :)

At least fully awake I can make sure the vomit hits the trash can properly.

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Please let's not respond in advance to what we think somebody might say or do.

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My heart goes out to her and her family. Mass Ave is terrible for bicyclists. I nearly got wrecked at Columbus and Mass Ave, in bound on Columbus, when a pickup truck barreled through a left hand turn, ignoring all vehicles going straight. Asshole.

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From people who didn't witness the accident but know EXACTLY what happened.

Ready 1....2.....3.........

Ya, i'm looking at you!

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And when the investigations of these incidents are finished, there is never a followup post here or in any other news outlet to tell us what actually happened. So it's all speculation, and people proposing solutions that might not even have prevented the original incident.

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BPD will setup another one of their safety theater traffic stops, where they will only pull over cyclists, to hand out helmets and reflectors.

Because thats why cyclists are getting killed, not the cars that are hitting us.

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Neither the Somerville nor the Cambridge police, whom one would hope would know better, are any different.

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A friend of mine flipped over his handlebars while cycling and smacked his head on the pavement. The helmet saved his life acc. to the ER doc. So please STFU that helmets don't make a difference.

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I ride with a helmet and advocate for others to do so as well.........because cars are dangerous. Never said anything against wearing helmets, so why don't you STFU or actually try contributing something of value to the conversation.

The BPD responding to us getting hit by cars by handing out helmets is insulting and patronizing because it assumes we are to blame for getting hit.

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If you start reading actual studies about helmet usage, you'll find there isn't a good consensus on how effective they are, if at all. You get plenty of anecdotes like yours, but hard data is scarce and often contradictory. One theory is that helmets might increase certain types of injuries while preventing other kinds.

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To be fair, lights (which is what I have heard is what they hand out, not reflectors), CAN save a cyclist's life on occasion, by making the cyclist more visible. Just as long as they're not those blindingly bright, headache-inducing and bedazzling blinkers, which seem to me to cause MORE driver distraction, not less.

But yes, that's not likely to have helped in this case, in daylight. Maybe more education for all parties. There's a good one for cyclists here: http://iamtraffic.org/resources/interactive-graphics/what-cyclists-need-...

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Cyclists, and not drivers, are getting killed because bicycling around on city streets, moving at 15-25mph on crowded asphalt protected only by spandex and a helmet on a vehicle that can easily tip or flip means that if you collide with something, you're a lot more likely to get killed than someone strapped inside a metal cage with airbags.

Bicycle advocates rarely admit how intrinsically dangerous it is riding a bicycle. Even Tom Menino, the biggest bicycling advocate Boston will ever have, spent the final eight years of his life with a bum knee needing multiple surgeries because on one "minor" car-bicycle accident.

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You're missing something. What makes riding a bike dangerous is cars/trucks not driving safely with bikes on the road. It's as simple as that. They pass when it's not safe to pass, they don't give the bike room, and simply treat the cyclist as an inconvenience rather than treating them as a human being.

It really is as simple as that.

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Just ask John Kerry and Bono, or their doctors, or insurance carriers. You are simply wrong with your assertion. If that isn't enough for you, ask mountain, BMX, and bike racers on closed courses if cars hit them.

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This is exactly the denial I'm speaking of. Bike advocates refuse to admit the inherent danger of bicycles. They try to put the focus on cars, totally ignoring that they're the china choosing to walk through a bull shop.

It's as simple as this: transportation accidents happen (for any number of reasons). If you're on a two-wheeler and get in an accident, you're screwed.

Myself I've seen my fair share of fender-benders over the years. All of them resulted in bumper damage, easily fixed by small amounts of money. But I still have a scar from when I got car-doored while riding a bicycle as a foolish, invincible 20-year old.

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Pedestrians and bicyclists have a right to use the public streets without being gored to death. Walking and biking are not inherently dangerous, it only becomes so when motor vehicles are allowed access to the same right-of-way.

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Definitely not denial. But rather, an opinion based on a lot of years and a lot of miles of biking. You see things, you experience things, and you figure out why they happen.

Of course, there is an inherent danger of cycling. And yes, there are some idiot cyclists out there that make the other 90+% look bad. But, when a cyclist is simply legally riding on the right side of the road and a driver gives that cyclist no room, that's not inherent danger. When a driver passes me on a blind corner, that's not inherent danger. When a driver passes me on a blind hill, that's not inherent danger. These are all situations that are easily avoidable and simply caused by impatience, bad attitude, self-importance, total disregard for other's life, etc.

Definitely not denial.

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My heart goes out to this woman and her family. Obviously we don't know all the details in this specific incident yet, but it's a universal truth that Mass Ave is not safe for pedestrians or bicyclists with vehicles flying down it and especially with the many large trucks that use it. The city must get serious about slowing down the traffic on this road and many others. For too long, there has been a reluctance to put in place any type of traffic calming measures beyond yellow Slow signs that no one pays attention to. It's time to do something more like so many other cities, including some neighboring Boston, have.

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That intersection is so very dicey. Last year, when I was riding Hubway bikes, I would stop at that intersection and get off the bike to walk it across. Too many areas, I thought, where something could go wrong.

I don't think the issue can be fixed with traffic calming measures (traffic moves pretty slow in this area, especially during rush hour), unfortunately. It is just a very congested and highly trafficked intersection and, at times, dangerous.

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I know that intersection well too. One thing would be to "bump out" the curb on that corner so that vehicles turning right from Mass Ave onto Beacon have to really slow down when turning. Right now, they are able to shoot the corner without needing to slow down because of the curve of the curb. We don't know what specifically happened here yet, but that's one immediate solution that would help greatly overall.

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Bump outs won't make a difference. I lived at that intserction for years and have lived in the Back Bay for nearly 15. That semi had to slow down to make that right turn just by the very nature of a semi -- it can't make the turn at full speed. Furthermore, it's rare that vehicles wouldn't have to stop before making that right since there are usually cars coming from Mass. Ave. in the opposite direction trying to hurry up and make the left onto Beacon. That intersection is a shit-show. If a semi is too large to see pedestrians and cyclists then it has no business being in residential sections of the city. Period.

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Respectfully disagree. I lived in the Back Bay for years too and know this intersection. Obviously vehicles have to slow down some turning there but they can definitely take the turn going a good clip because of the angle. I've seen it there countless times. Maybe not with this specific semi, we don't know yet, but overall it's true of vehicles there. As another UHub post says, it's literally the most dangerous intersection in the city for cyclists. Either way, I don't wanna get lost in the minutiae here. A terrible tragedy and hopefully a wake up call for the city.

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But I remember that the road quality leaves quite a bit to be desired, meaning any cyclist's concentration is being split in order to stay upright.

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Yes, the road surface (the tar, if you like) on the right lane of this intersection is really bumpy, patched over dozens of times, and deformed from the #1 bus (and other heavy multi-axels).

Also, Mass Ave road surface in general from Beacon to Boylston is in D- to F level shape.

Speculation: Too busy a road to repave as often as necessary; too little budget or interest in safety to provide city services where needed most.

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I rarely even can use the bike lane along that stretch of Mass Ave because of all the double parked cars and the like.

Taking the lane at dicey corners also forces the vehicles behind you to both see you and slow down on the turn, whether they like it or not. It is completely legal to use a right lane for a right turn or use the travel lane to go straight. It is also completely legal and advisable to be out of the bike lane where it is unsafe to travel in the bike lane.

As for repaving, well, territorial pissings between the DCR and the City of Boston are likely responsible for any and all inaction to upgrade this intersection.

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Although I don't frequent that area, when I do, I'm certainly not in the bike lane.

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Mass Ave and Beacon is well within Boston's jurisdiction -- the nearest DCR pavement is a block away. The DCR territory is easy to identify -- it has visible lane markings and better pavement. https://goo.gl/maps/wfQoc

Also note that if you look at the historical street view from 2012, there were sharrows in the right-turn lane. But they weren't repainted after they faded to nothing.

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To be honest, I'd rather be more in the flow of traffic. I understand why more casual commuters would feel differently.

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and that intersection, along with all of mass in the back bay is a perfect candidate for those protected intersections.

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I'd be curious to see how that protected intersection design could fit into Mass Ave. It's a much narrower street than the ones shown in the video.

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Cambridge has attempted to protect bikes from turning cars on some redesigned streets in Kendall Square.

The bike lane is to the right of the right-turn lane, but right turns aren't allowed during the straight-ahead phase.

Unfortunately this means there are long and complicated traffic light cycles, so everyone sits around at long red lights when it would be perfectly safe to go. It's also harder to synchronize the lights at multiple intersections when there are long reds and short greens, so you end up hitting every red light for some travel paths. This affects bikes and cars alike (unless bikes go through red lights). It also takes a lot of space for all of the lanes.

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totally wrong. A through bike lane at an intersection is supposed to be between the right travel lane and the right turn lane - see Figure 9C.1 in the 2009 MUTCD.

http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2009r1r2/part9.pdf

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My previous post was based on this comment:

The bike lane is to the right of the right-turn lane, but right turns aren't allowed during the straight-ahead phase.

So I presume there is at least one location in the Kendall Square area that wasn't designed properly.

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In that view you have a truck driving right through the solid lined bike lane. Woe be anyone in its way.

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When I slow down or stop for cyclists and pedestrians, the car behind me honks then speeds around me and nearly plows into the people crossing. It's dangerous and infuriating and it happens every day. Too many drivers in cars and trucks have ZERO respect for others on the road.

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Horrifying. Aggressive drivers are out of control in the Back Bay. I can't tell you how many times I've nearly been hit while crossing legally on foot. Cars don't stop for stop signs, drivers are yapping on their phones or texting, backing up without looking, contractors treating one way streets as if they are two-way, cars drag racing down Beacon and Comm. Ave. ...it's reckless and inexcusable. Too many cyclists and pedestrians have been hit and killed on Marlborough St. and Beacon St. in the past few years. And now we're going to add hundreds of college students to the neighborhood who may not be used to dodging cars like Boston residents? We need cops out on the street to start writing tickets and enforcing traffic rules.
Condolences to the victim's family. Stay safe out there everyone.

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Too many close calls, way too often, in Back Bay, Fenway, and Southie. Drivers are not paying attention, and have no regard for human beings walking, and adhering to the walk signals.

I wish the city would STOP favoring cars, over pedestrians. We are not World Class, we SUCK!

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I practice what I call my "London Street Crossing Technique" of repeatedly turning my head from side to side and looking before I even begin crossing a street, which has saved me from being hit by about four bikers in the past year who were zooming past me the wrong way, not in the bike lane. It's also protected me from many turning cars who ignore the Yield for Pedestrian signs and just see the green light at intersections.

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I've had 10 close calls as a pedestrian with people on bicycles for every single close call with a motor vehicle of any type.

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Please return with your insightful comment when we are talking about a death caused by a cyclist.

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If a bike hits me, the biker is going down too. He won't drive off obliviously, be at worst inconvenienced by waiting 10 minutes to tell a judge he didn't see me, and instantly have a chorus of Internet commenters crying that it's just not possible to be responsible for the vehicle he's chosen to be responsible for.

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STOP JAYWALKING! If a cyclist has the green light, you do not get to amble into the intersection like a drunken cow and complain about "nearly getting hit".

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Nice assumption, but no. Most of the incidents I'm remembering happen in Harvard Square. There is a legal crosswalk with a stop sign at Brattle and Mt. Auburn. Bicycles almost never stop at this sign. The problem here is that they often pass the cars who do stop, and therefore do not see me as a pedestrian legally crossing in a crosswalk.

My experience is that Harvard Square seems to bring out the worst in bicyclists. Once I was in my car, sitting at the red light on JFK waiting to cross Mem drive. A bicycle rode up swerving around cars and people, and ran into the driver's side front panel of my car. Being summer, I reached my head out and said "hey, watch out." He just spat at me into my window. Just yesterday an older man on a bicycle clipped me while riding on the sidewalk in front of the Coop. Personally I wish much of Harvard Square was converted to pedestrian only.

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Motorists don't stop there either. Or for that extended wide crosswalk - they keep barging along and try to attack pedestrians.

Also, stop jaywalking. Now. A crosswalk is not a right of way at a signalized intersection.

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That intersection at Brattle and Mt Auburn isn't signalized it's a pedestrian crosswalk

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Pedestrians are in Harvard Square are, literally, the worst. I say that as a native who is a daily pedestrian there.

Also, going ped-only would totally kill cross-town traffic; the street configurations without taking Mass Ave to Mt Auburn are a mess. If I could make one change to the square, it would be to ban the huge Harvard-visiting tour busses that unload their herds of oblivious tourists all day, every day.

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I may be a pedestrian but I am not, and have never been, a drunken jaywalking cow, missy.

I watch bikers run red lights in front of pedestrian crossings flashing walk signs almost every damn day. So do you if you are a sentient being who walks anywhere in this city.

My husband and I came closest to being hit by a biker on Mass Ave in front of the main MIT building. We were on the sidewalk, at the crosswalk, waiting for the traffic light. I remember that we were holding hands, heading to Anna's. We had the green light and the walk sign to cross Mass. Ave. The biker ran the red light. He came zooming down the bike lane from the WRONG direction, heading to the bridge right under our noses as we were in mid-step. He missed us both by half a second.

I wish I could forget how gut-wrenchingly horrible it felt to see my husband come so close to becoming an accident victim but I cannot.

There is no way we were in the wrong. It happened about two months after a guy I knew was hit by a car crossing Memorial Drive while walking to work one morning. We were already being more cautious, remembering him.

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No you haven't.

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As a pedestrian, driver, and occasional biker in this city, I can say with confidence that everyone is out of control. A vast majority of the city's citizens are in a huge rush. Speeding is a huge problem in this city. So is running red lights. I'm referring to both cars & bicycles.
How did it get this way?
NO POLICE PRESENCE.
Very rarely do I see officers out on the streets, and almost always it is just a construction detail officer, often looking at their phone.
Since there is virtually no penalty for speeding, driving in the wrong lane, running red lights, driving through crosswalks with pedestrians still in them, etc., why would anyone expect this to stop? Don't even get me started on drunk driving, which occurs on Boston's streets every single night with no check points.

So would traffic enforcement have prevented this particular accident? Who knows, but one thing is for sure; reckless driving in all vehicles will continue to escalate until an authority presence makes the necessary efforts to curb it.

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Would anyone with more information share which direction the cyclist was travelling and which direction the truck was travelling? Mel?

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Although this is after the fact. Odd that there were a number of accidents afterwards.

https://twitter.com/steveannear

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According to a video of BPD on scene, the truck was turning right onto Beacon from Mass Ave. Don't know where the bicyclist was, but it would seem she was on Mass Ave as well and got pinched/run over by the turning truck.

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So the truck was turning right onto Beacon St. after crossing the Mass. Ave. bridge. That's right where the hubway bike station is. A very busy and congested intersection where all modes of transportation converge. Quite frankly I don't quite get how the driver of the semi would not have seen the cyclist.

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or ridden in a large tractor trailer? If you can do so, you might be surprised at how difficult visibility can be, especially for somebody on a very small vehicle (bicycle) coming up on your right.

Over the years, I've had a number of friends who were professional truck drivers. On ocassion, I was able to ride with them. Gives you a totally different perspective on sharing the road with large trucks.

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I understand how the driver could have not seen the cyclist while making the turn, but in my view, this is looking at the turn in a vacuum.

Both the truck and the cyclist were coming from the bridge. Trucks are faster than bikes. The Truck overtook the cyclist before making his turn. The driver saw a cyclist, passed them, and after passing the cyclist, turned and right-hooked the cyclist. fatally.

The driver should have known when he was making a turn that there was a cyclist behind him on his right, because the driver passed the cyclist. "I didn't see her" is a bunk excuse.

"Oh, I must have hit a curb while making my sweeping right turn. Or maybe it was the cyclist I just passed on the bridge... eh whatever, I have a delivery to make"

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The Truck overtook the cyclist before making his turn.

We don't know that, you're making assumptions.

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But it's a pretty good assumption.

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A truck that size would have to move to the middle or left lane to make that tight turn, which then swings the bed close to the curb. I agree if he felt anything he may have thought he hit the curb. From the photos looks like she was right on the corner curb. She may have been struck by the tail end of the flatbed as she waited for the light. Just my speculation though.

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The cyclist is visible in the above surveillance photo, behind the truck's passenger size mirror. :(

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So, the cyclist may have been traveling in the same direction and gotten right hooked, provided everyone was generally following the traffic lights. The trucker cutting her off implies he wasn't aware of her when turning, nor when hitting her as hitting curbs is routine now turning on streets being made theoretically safer with bump outs.

That doesn't seem to make speed a factor here. These trucks don't turn on a dime so must slow considerably. If the truck driver was not using his turn signal I would put him at fault. A cyclist ought to pay attention to a slowing truck or bus, swinging left, with right turn signals on, and not try to pass it on the right. Could be distracted cycling if she didn't notice those three characteristics of a right turning truck.

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If the truck driver was not using his turn signal I would put him at fault.

If a driver crosses a traffic lane -- and a bike lane is a traffic lane -- and strikes another vehicle, he is at fault whether he used his signal or not, whether he slowed or not, whether he swung wide or not, whether he yelled "IMA TURN NOW" or not. But you get points for consistency in yet again trying to find a way to blame the victim.

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1) If he wasn't aware of her while turning, he wasn't driving safely. "Blind spots" are situational. As in, there was a time and place earlier than the collision when the driver had the opportunity to observe the bicyclist and be aware of her presence and avoid her. If she approached him while he was waiting at the light, he could have seen her earlier. If they both crossed the bridge together when he passed her to reach Beacon first, he knew she was there. At *some* point in the timeline prior to the collision, she wasn't in a "blind spot". The only bike rider who could remain completely in a blind spot until dead is a suicidal ninja. Claiming that she was "in his blind spot" is just an excuse to say he never has to consider anyone around him.

2) "Hitting curbs is routine" is just a bullshit excuse to let him get away with leaving a scene of an accident. First, if he goes over a curb, I'd expect him to double-check that a) it was a curb and b) it was only a curb. Also, this intersection doesn't have bump outs so your bullshit excuse is naked on its face.

3) If we can agree that she didn't leave the house today intending to suicide by way of truck accident, then there are very few ways she gets hit here and was somehow amiss about the truck. I'm willing to agree that the truck driver didn't leave the house today intending to kill by way of truck accident, however there are still MANY ways she gets hit because he was amiss about her being there. Nearly all of which are preventable by him being more aware of bicyclists, being more aware when he's hit something so he doesn't flee the scene, and being more aware of the dangers of driving in a busy city. The onus is on the *truck* not to hit pedestrians and cyclists. It is *NOT* on the cyclist or pedestrians to avoid being where they are supposed to be. This is why the right hook law exists. Because even if he's making that right turn, he's got to be more aware of what's around him as he's the one with all the deadly force in the equation. His blind spots are *HIS* liabilities not hers. If she goes out of her way to avoid them, that's because she knows that he has every chance of screwing up, not because she should be required to do so as *his* only means of driving safely in the streets.

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So now you assert nobody needs to look both ways before crossing the street if where they are where they are supposed to be?

Would you like a silver spoon with your nanny state?

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I think Adam should do yearly superlatives for commenters.
I would like to nominate you for Best Troll. You do such an excellent job of seeming sincere while saying the most asinine things.

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he's fair game now, right?

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excellent job of seeming sincere while saying the most asinine things.

Wait, shouldn't we name it the Donald Trump Troll Award then?

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I assert that I *should* look both ways because people like you exist.

I assert that when I die because you ran me over, whether I looked both ways or not is immaterial.

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Those are the two big construction areas of Cambridge right now that would be getting steel.

The driver left the scene. That says a lot about character.

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yesterday. I saw a flat bed delivering crated loads, but I didn't pay attention to the color of the cab (was backed in the loading zone and facing away.

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PLEASE ALWAYS BE EXTRA CAREFUL, because you are no match for a car, SUV, truck,van. In a perfect world accidents wouldn't happen. In a perfect world, humans would never make mistakes. In a perfect world, humans would never be sleep deprived, emotionally upset because their mom is dying and they're destracted, mentally ill and unstable, psychopathic. WE DON'T LIVE IN A UTOPIA, A PERFECT WORLD, where none of the above applies. Things are supposed to work this or that way. Laws are passed. These things don't mean suddenly everything will be fine, and bad things will stop occurring. Your safety is ultimately be your responsibility, not some stranger you hope and assume will 'do the right thing', be awake and lucid, be mentally stable, follow the law, not make any mistakes.

I was a bike messenger in Manhattan for years. I grew up riding my bike around NY and Boston. You gotta be really, really careful in a big city riding a bike. That's just the way it is.

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We were unaware that cars and trucks kill a lot of cyclists.

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What part of the above statement do you not appreciate? Did you skip over it?

SMUGNESS kills.

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Obey the laws, stop texting, pull your head out of you asses, slow down, and look where you are going. YOU and ONLY YOU are ultimately responsible for where your vehicle goes and what happens with it.

If you can't manage that TURN IN YOUR LICENSE NOW and stop driving.

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Motorists and cyclists both need to be careful and pay attention to what they're doing. As do pedestrians, roller bladers, etc.

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I’m amazed by the astounding level of vitriol and venom in this conversation. This was a tragedy. One life was lost. One life was likely ruined. No one’s suggesting anything about this being intentional, right? It was an accident, and it seems quite possible to me that the driver didn’t even know what happened. Maybe he or she broke the law. Maybe the bicyclist did. The facts will come out. But in the meantime, all this bitter sniping, character assassination, and rushing to judgment does no one any good, and just makes a sad situation even sadder.

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This kind of thing hits me right in the gut, as I imagine it does a lot of people. We bike that stretch all the time and know how horrible it is--poorly marked, bumpy, potholed pavement, a lot of very fast drivers. I am very, very cautious in that exact spot but I know that that doesn't mean this couldn't have happened to me.

And of course a crash involving a healthy young woman biking to school or work on a fine summer day is heartbreaking. We can't prevent every accident but there's a lot we can do. I'm hoping that the death of a young person jolts Mayor Walsh into getting back on track in terms of making this city better and safer for people on bikes and on foot. So much has been accomplished but the past year we've lost ground--we can do better and we should.

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you're amazed? you must be new here.

this is the literal exact conversation, usually with the exact same commenters, that happens every time there's an accident involving a motor vehicle and a bike. and always, both sides are completely infallible and no one did anything wrong or needs to change their attitude.

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Why should we be angry? The facts never come out. These drivers are never prosecuted. She didn't do anything wrong. She was in a bike lane. The truck was making an illegal right hand turn, probably trying to get the turn in quickly because of all the traffic, probably saw the bike and said fuck it, I'm making this turn, and she'd dead. How many of these cases do we need? It's Christoper Weigl all over again. He was also in the bike lane. He was also killed by a semi making an illegal turn. This bullshit has to stop.

http://www.universalhub.com/2012/bicyclist-bad-shape-after-collision-tra...

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I think should consider the possibility that this was an accident. Some accidents occur with out any negligence - from either party -. There is no reason to support your claim that the truck was making an 'illegal right hand turn' , nor to assume malice on the part of the driver.
Perhaps both the driver and cyclist where somewhat inexperienced; meaning the driver did not consider the possibility of a cyclist in his/her blind spot and the cyclist did not consider the possibility of the fact that the trailer turns at a different radius than the truck itself or that she was in the driver's blind spot.

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Is that how you know exactly what happened?

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bad infrastructure kills

bad driving kills

helmets can't do shit about either one, as Mel had to see

can we get serious about fixing the real problems?

or are we going to end up with more victim blaming?

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[repost of what I wrote on the other thread about this incident]

I am a daily commuting cyclist, and I often ride on Beacon Street through this intersection.

If (God forbid) I am ever killed while cycling, and someone points out something I could have done differently that would have saved my life, DON'T YOU DARE CASTIGATE THAT PERSON FOR SO-CALLED "VICTIM BLAMING"!!

If someone else's life would be saved by learning from my mistakes, then my death will have had some meaning. But so often, when someone tries to point stuff like that out, people jump down their throats and yell "victim blaming". I'm sick of it!

Look, it's AWFUL that this cyclist died, and I sympathize with her family. That any lives are lost this way is a blow to all of us. I want to stop this from happening in the future just as much as the rest of us. There are many approaches that can be taken to prevent further deaths. Infrastructure improvements can certainly be one of them. We also have to show sensitivity to those who are affected by this terrible tragedy. But let's not cut of one of the ways we can prevent future deaths -- by learning what happened here and applying it to our lives.

Please see http://iamtraffic.org/resources/interactive-graphics/what-cyclists-need-... to learn about some of the dangers involved with trucks and what we cyclists can do to reduce them.

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you seem to not understand what victim blaming is

talking about ways to avoid truck crashes is not victim blaming

just saying "i bet it was the cyclist's fault" is victim blaming -- like that guy on the other thread did

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I do think there is a place for determining fault, especially in a case like this one. If the accident was caused by negligence on the part of the truck driver, or if the driver knowingly left the scene of this fatal accident, then s/he should certainly be prosecuted, and it should be made clear to all that doing such things have serious consequences.

But it is possible that the trucker was being careful and the cyclist made incorrect assumptions about where the truck was going and/or wasn't paying attention, and rode into the truck's path. If that was the case (and yes, it's a big "if"), then I don't think it would be incorrect to describe the cyclist as being at fault as that other poster did. And in any case, a reminder for cyclists to be extra careful near trucks is a good thing. Too often, advice to cyclists not to make such-and-such mistake like so-and-so did in a fatal accident is shushed with the epithet of "victim-blaming".

I think the likelihood is that what happened was somewhere between the extremes, and that neither party was as careful as s/he could have been, though the trucker leaving the scene certainly looks bad.

Personally, even as an experienced cyclist who doesn't hesitate to take the lane when the situation calls for it, I try to stay as far away from trucks as possible.

But to me, the important part is not to place the blame, but to prevent stuff like this happening again. Blame can have a role in determining whether criminal charges are warranted, and making sure guilty parties are charged and punished can play a role in stopping others from being criminally negligent. But even if it's 100% the trucker's fault, it's worth discussing what the cyclist could have done to prevent a collision. Such a discussion should NOT be shushed as victim-blaming, as it often has been here and on other forums. Such a discussion could save someone's life!

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I'm reminded of this NY Times article on pedestrian deaths and why drivers at fault (and I'm not saying this driver was at fault) almost always get away with it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/30/opinion/why-drivers-get-away-with-murd...

Also Freakonomics did a podcast on how the surefire way to get away with murder is run your target over with your car, because you won't be punished.

http://freakonomics.com/2014/05/01/the-perfect-crime-a-new-freakonomics-...

Trucks make that wide turn - turning right, from the left lane - usually across a car and bike lane, all the time.

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Just stop calling this "murder." Murder is a deliberate act committed with the specific intention of killing someone. An unintentional collision isn't any more murder on the driver's part than it is suicide on the cyclist's.

Also, thet NYT piece isn't an article. It's an opinion piece by a cycling advocate I actually agree with, but let's not pretend that the inflammatory headline is based on any real-world legal theory.

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negligent homicide?

careless truck driver killed a person through negligence.

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and more and more requiring trucks to make right turns from left lanes.

Slip lanes are being removed. Turn radius of corners are being reduced with theoretical claims of safety which seem to increase accidents with trucks, including use of bump outs. Data of increased accidents from bump outs is missing because many are solo accidents with are not reported. Who wants to report one, have it ho on their license and increase their insurance rate for no personal gain? Hence, bumpouts are less safe.

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[Citation Needed]

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Even when charged, it's hard to get drivers indicted by grand juries:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/02/05/civil-suit-but-criminal-ind...

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Hard to tell, does anyone know what the colour and make of the bicycle was? I sadly might know the victim.

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I think it was matte black with skinny black bags on the rear wheel.

Better picture of the bike:
http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/08/07/woman-bicyclist-injured-appa...

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Not the person I was thinking of. I regret saying thankfully but.. ugh

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Zoom in. Way in. She is dressed in black against the black pavement on a black bike.

You can see the cyclist riding below/behind the right outside mirror of the truck. She is up to the cab of the truck in about the crosswalk, not down by the trailer.

He must not have seen her when passing her, because he should have yielded to her. It likely he was checking his left mirror to swing left to make the turn so not paying attention to the right side where the cyclist was. Still, he is at fault.

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