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No Charges for Driver of Fatal Hit-and-Run Bike Accident

After a long deliberation, a grand jury has found the driver who killed a bicyclist in a hit-and-run accident in Charlestown in April not guilty.

Ricky Prezioso, 41, was initially charged with the death of bicyclist Owen McGrory, 30, when he struck and killed him while driving a garbage truck in Sullivan Square on April 3. According to police reports, Prezioso was charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing death. Prezioso claimed he “thought he hit a pothole;” which police initially believed to be a likely scenario as bicyclists can be hit by vehicles so big that the drivers never see or feel the impact.

The grand jury heard testimony from seven witnesses and was presented with 19 exhibits, a spokesman for the Suffolk County district attorney told reporters at WCVB.

“In light of the grand jury’s decision, prosecutors are essentially left without a criminal case,” spokesman Jake Wark said.

The investigative file assembled by prosecutors has been given to McGrory’s family, should they wish to file a civil suit.

While no Prezioso was not charged criminally in this case, McGrory’s family is eligible for filing a civil suit against Prezioso for compensation for Owen’s death. At the law offices of Altman & Altman, our attorneys have fought vigorously for victims involved in bicycle accidents across the Commonwealth. Not only do we have the experience to argue cases in court, we have the resources to help reconstruct the accident to ensure that your case will reach a successful verdict and you receive the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle accident, it is in your best interest to consult with a legal expert to discuss your rights and options for filing a personal injury claim. Call today to speak to one of our esteemed attorneys for a free and confidential case evaluation.

With more than three times the amount of bicycles on the road today in Cambridge and in Boston, than only a decade ago according to city officials more work needs to be done outside of infrastructural changes to enhance the safety of all cyclists. Safeguards, which have been implemented on many large commercial vehicles throughout European cities, are one such way Boston officials are helping to make larger vehicles safer for pedestrians and bikers on the roadways. While these guards cost a mere $850, they have been found to decrease the likelihood of fatalities by 61% in certain types of accidents. Last year, the city of Boston implemented safeguards on 18 of its public works trucks as a pilot project, and has since asked for safeguards in new contractor bids for trash removal trucks.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 39 cyclists were killed and 2,100 people sustained non-fatal injuries between 2007 and 2011 in Massachusetts. One of the leading causes of accidents between bikers and motor vehicle operators is a failure to share the road. Many vehicle operators also fail to remember that bikers are vulnerable entities. According to state law, all bikers have the right to public ways in the Commonwealth. Additionally, many bikers are unaware of their legal responsibilities to follow the rules of the road. Like motor vehicle operators, cyclists are obligated to follow and subject to most of the same traffic laws as cars and trucks, including obeying traffic signals and signs.

Though bike riding is a popular mode of transportation, especially in the city, it can be extremely dangerous. As we continue into summer, more and more cyclists continue to join the roadways. We’d like to remind you that whether you’re a driver of a car or a bicycle, you are responsible for adhering to the rules of the road. Here are some simple tips that all bikers should observe when on the roadways.

1. Always, always, always wear a helmet. While it seems to be a phrase engrained in everyone’s head, so many individuals do not understand how important helmets are in preventing serious head injuries. Some people dismiss the idea of wearing a helmet because of atheistic reasons, or because they feel their short commute doesn’t warrant wearing one. But wearing a helmet could make all the difference, and could even save a life.

2. Travel with the traffic, not against it. Always ride on the right side of the road, and go with the flow of traffic. Remember that bicycles are considered vehicles too, and cyclists are responsible for adhering to the same rules of the road as drivers. If you come to a stop sign or red light, you are legally bound to stop. In addition, you are responsible for yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks, just as motorists are.

3. Ride in designated bike lanes whenever possible. Ride in bike lanes when you are able to. If you feel unsafe traveling on a road because of traffic, you may also ride on the sidewalk, however it is important to always yield to pedestrians.

4. Wear bright clothing. Always wear bright clothing or reflective clothing and avoid wearing dark clothing when traveling at nighttime, to ensure that motorists are able to see you.

5. Stay vigilant. Be aware of your surroundings and be prepared for unexpected situations or actions by motorists. Also, minimize your distractions-while riding with your iPod may be fun, it can also be incredibly dangerous.

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