Articles Posted in Bike Accidents

Police are still investigating a hit-and-run bicycle accident near Kenmore Square that killed an MIT professor this weekend.

Kanako Miura, 36, a native from Japan and visiting professor at MIT since 2012, was struck and killed by a truck while riding her bike at the intersection of Beacon Street and Baystate Road around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. bike.jpg

The truck fled the scene. Police say they are looking for a garbage truck that was possibly involved in the accident.

Bikes are considered a way of life in the city, but residents say that the area around Boston University is especially dangerous for anyone including cars and pedestrians, with accidents occurring at an average rate of two to three times per week.

Since 2007, Mayor Thomas Menino has strove to make Boston a more bike-friendly city by implementing more infrastructures such as bike lanes and bike paths to support more cyclists as well as installing the Hubway bike share program. In 2011, Boston was rated one of the safest cities to ride in in the United States, and this year, Cambridge received a Gold-Level rating for being one of the most bicycle-friendly communities in the nation.

Still, with more riders on the road today than ever before, the city is faced with the challenge of how to prevent more accidents from occurring. In a report published by the City of Boston in correspondence to Bike Safety Month, the Boston Police Department reported a bike ridership increase of 28% (56,000 trips per day) as well as a 2% increase in accidents (488 in 2012) since 2010. In more than half of the bike accidents reported, the cyclist was not wearing a helmet.
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On Monday, the city of Cambridge was named a Gold-level bicycle friendly community by The League of American Bicyclists, making it the highest rated city to bicycle in on the East coast. The recognition and ceremony comes in observance of National Bike Safety Month.

Cambridge, which is only one of 18 cities nationwide that has received this award, was recognized on its bicycle friendliness, infrastructure, and its investment into bicycle promotion with the establishment of the Hubway share program.

According to city officials, there are three times as many bikers on Cambridge and Boston roads today, than there were only a decade ago. Many bikers cite traffic congestion and the “Green” lifestyle appeal as their reasons for switching to two wheels.

State leaders have shown their enthusiasm for the shift in bike riding, and last fall, the Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced that by 2030, it wanted to triple the rate of biking, walking, and public transit. Currently over 22,000 people regularly cycle to work around the entire commonwealth. The biggest challenge MassDOT faces is the process it will take to educate people about the rules of the road, and the development of necessary infrastructure to encourage and accommodate more cyclists.

Advocates are pushing for more improvements on safety before encouraging more cyclists onto the roads, based on the rates of bicycle accidents around the city-especially those involving collisions with motor vehicles. 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. Five cyclists have already been killed this year.
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Town officials in Wellesley are considering creating bike lanes to make roads safer for cyclists. The proposed plan comes after a 41-year-old man was struck and killed by a truck while riding his bicycle last year.

“Every time somebody is injured on our roads-particularly when someone dies-the selectmen take it very seriously,” Hans Larsen, executive director of Wellesley said.

“It calls into question, is there something else we need to do? Or is there something we should have done differently? We don’t want this to happen again, and what do we need to do to avoid that?”

The victim, Alexander Motsenigos, was riding his bike on Weston Road near the intersection of Linden Street on the afternoon of August 24, 2012, when he was hit by an 18-wheel truck. The driver of the truck fled the scene and was charged with motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation, unsafe overtaking of a bicyclist, and failing to take precautions for the safety of other travelers, but was not indicted.
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Officials decided not to file criminal charges against a truck driver who struck and killed a bicyclist, so now the deceased’s family is filing a lawsuit against the driver.

Alex Motsenigos, 41, was riding his bike on Weston Road on August 24 when an 18-wheel dump trailer him him. Emergency responders transported him to Newton-Wellesley Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. “Alex was a wonderful husband and father who will never be forgotten. The family misses Alex incredibly and wishes to continue to honor his memory by celebrating the wonderful gifts he brought to all their lives,” the family said in a statement.

The grand jury announced Monday that it wouldn’t bring charges against the truck driver, Dana McCoomb of East Wareham, triggering the victim’s family to file the lawsuit in Norfolk Superior Court against the driver and his employer. “If the truck driver had used even basic care in operating the truck hat struck Alex down, the accident would have been avoided and Alex would be alive today,” lawyers for the family said in a statement.

The lawsuit alleges McCoomb has a history of driving violations. “His driving record demonstrated numerous driving violations which should have put Mabardy and Truck Leasing on notice McCoomb was an extremely dangerous driver who should not have been behind the wheel of a truck,” the lawsuit reads.

Records from the Registry of Motor Vehicles show that since 1982, McCoomb has received 26 moving violations, 11 of which were for speeding and seven for surchargeable accidents. Two of them occurred in the 12 months leading up to the fatal collision in Wellesley.

The lawsuit also questions the condition of the truck itself, arguing that the horn wasn’t functioning correctly, based on information from the police investigation.

Investigators questioned McCoomb about the incident, his past driving record, and whether he intentionally hit Motsenigos. According to the police report, McCoomb told investigators that he was aware of the incident, but “I didn’t hit him. That’s for sure. I know damn well I didn’t.”

A lawyer for Mabardy said McCoomb was properly licensed.
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People no longer have to be in a car to be involved in a motor vehicle accident. Victims are involved in such accidents when they are struck by a car, and they suffer substantial injuries. On September 28th, 52-year old Mark Theobald was walking on Center Street in Stockton, Massachusetts when he was struck by an oncoming car. He was rushed to Boston Medical Center to be treated for his serious injuries, and as of October 1st, he remains in intensive care. The driver, Timothy Poh, reported the accident and no charges have been filed against him. The police assert that the driver will not be charged and found during the course of their investigation that the driver was not speeding but instead had a visibility issue.

Unfortunately, Theobald is not the only one who is injured by oncoming traffic. Just days before Theobald’s accident, a 55-year old bike rider who was hit by a SUV on Belmont Street. The man rode his bike across the street where no crosswalk is present and was struck by a blue Toyota Rav4. He was picked up and flown by a medical helicopter to be treated for his injuries. His injuries, which included serious head trauma, appear not to be life-threatening according to the local police. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. The yellow bicycle was crumbled on the floor and the SUV had a crack on its windshield. This accident is no surprise to local residents, as the area has been known to be unsafe for everyone. The state Department of Transportation claims that the nearby intersection of Lorraine Avenue and Linwood Street is famous for accidents-millions of dollars in improvements are needed to make it safer. State reports from 2005 to 2007 indicate that the same intersection “had 56 crashes, which ranked 68th statewide during the time period.” The improvements, which include pedestrian crossing and traffic light installation, are scheduled to occur in the year 2014.

Another accident, occurring at the same time, involved a boy struck by a car on Battles Farm Drive and Battles Street. The child was transported to Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital to be treated for his injuries. The police indicated that the boy was not seriously hurt. None of the drivers of these accidents are being charged by the police, as the police asserted that the drivers were not at fault for the accidents. The police did not even charge the truck driver who struck and killed a 3-year old girl earlier this month.
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Massachusetts bears the distinction of being ranked the United States’ third most “Bicycle Friendly State” for 2012. The Bay State placed 9th in 2011, 16th in 2010, and 19th in 2009. The secretary of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Secretary Richard A. Davey, said that the state’s rising rank over the years accurately reflects the department’s commitment to providing safe and healthy transportation. Massachusetts’ climbing status as a hub for cyclists also substantiates the efforts behind the three-prong policy of the environmental initiative, GreenDOT: 1) Reduce Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) 2) Promote the healthy transportation options of walking, bicycling, and public transit, and 3) Support smart growth development.

Sadly, with all the new bike paths and community efforts to promote cycling, like Boston’s Bike Week, mishaps occasionally still lead to tragedy.

Wellesley police report that on Friday, August 24, 2012, at around 1:58pm, 41 year old cyclist Alexander Motsenigos, husband of nearly ten years and father to a six year old boy, was struck and killed near the intersection of Weston Road and Linden Street, otherwise known as Wellesley Square. Motsenigos was wearing a helmet. And neighbors have said that the point of the collision, an intersection resting at the bottom of a short but steep hill, was a dangerous place.

Lieutenant Maria Cleary confirms that both Motsenigos and the vehicle were headed north. An
investigation is underway because the vehicle sped off, possibly unaware that someone had been struck. The public is being asked to provide any information. But because there were conflicting accounts of the automobile’s make and model, the police are unable to submit a definitive description.

I drive a lot. But I’m currently looking for a good bike in the interest of diversifying my workouts and getting a little more “green.” And I’m well aware of the friction that exists between Continue reading

A 56-year-old man was crossing the Bourne Bridge this morning when he lost control of his bicycle and fell onto the roadway and in the path of a tractor trailer. According to State Police and Bourne police, the man was heading northbound, off of Cape Cod, at about 5:40 a.m. when the truck driver, traveling in the opposite direction, saw him lose control, possibly due to strong winds rushing over the bridge.

Firefighters were able to remove the victim from underneath the wheels of the truck’s cab, during which time the bridge was closed off completely. According to Bourne Police Lieutenant Richard Silvestro, the truck driver “saw that the bicyclist appeared to be out of control” and attempted to avoid hitting him, but he ultimately went under the rear wheels and became trapped there. The man was then removed and flown to a nearby hospital where he was treated for “serious, but non-life threatening, injuries.” The bridge was closed in both directions for about an hour.
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The death of Boston College graduate student and Seattle native Kelsey Rennebohm remains under investigation, but officials have reportedly identified a Route 39 MBTA bus as being potentially involved in the incident, according to The Boston Globe. Rennebohm, who died Friday in a bicycle accident, was studying at the Boston College Lynch School of Education.

Little information has been released regarding the circumstances of her death, which was the result of an accident occurring around 10:25pm at the intersection of Forsyth Street and Huntington Avenue, according to Transit and Boston Police. Although the investigation is still being conducted, authorities say that police have questioned the bus driver but have not yet brought any charges.
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Phyo Kyaw, a 2010 Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate, age 23, was killed on campus on Tuesday night after his bicycle was hit by an oil tanker. At approximately 7:40 p.m., he was riding his bicycle at the intersection of Vassar Street and Massachusetts Avenue when the oil tanker was turning from Massachusetts Avenue onto Vassar Street, towards Main Street. Kyaw was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Kyaw, from the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar, graduated from MIT in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical-biological engineering. According to the MIT News Office, Kyaw was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity. After he graduated, he was working as a research scientist at Soane Labs in Cambridge.

Cambridge police said that there have been 27 recorded accidents at the Massachusetts Avenue and Vassar Street intersection since January 2010. MIT Chancellor Eric Grimson commented “This death, so tragic and so close to home, touches and concerns our entire community…Our thoughts go out to Phyo Kyaw’s family, friends, and classmates. We share their sense of loss and grief.”

The Middlesex District Attorney’s office is leading the investigation into the crash and is working with the Cambridge and MIT police departments. The truck driver was uninjured in the accident and he has not been charged.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, from 2002 through 2009, approximately 400 car crashes, fatal and non-fatal, were involving cyclists. Statistics additionally reveal that more bike and car accidents happen in Cambridge more than in any other Massachusetts community. As a preventative measure to bike accidents with vehicles, MassDOT provides these helpful safety guidelines for bicyclists:

• Give yourself space from cars • Ride in the same direction as traffic • Always wear your helmet • Stop at red lights and stop signs • Put front and back lights on your bike at night
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2009 alone, 630 cyclists were killed in the United States. In addition to this, 51,000 were injured in motor vehicle traffic accidents. Cyclist deaths thus made up 2% of all motor vehicle accident fatalities. Approximately 70% of all bicycle fatalities happen in urban centers or college campuses, such as the case here, where there are more cars and bikes on the road together. The NHTSA also reports that bicycle helmets are 85% to 88% effective at preventing head injuries and death. However, the statistics show that less than 25% of all bicyclists wear a helmet.

If you have been injured or involved in a Massachusetts car or bike accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts lawyer.

Sources:

Cyclist killed in Cambridge accident ID´d, The Boston Herald, December 29, 2011
MIT graduate is identified as victim in bicycle-truck collision, The Boston Globe, December 28, 2011
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A hit-and-run bicycle accident in Attleboro is under investigation. Just before 11:30 p.m. on Thursday night, a resident of Attleboro, Justin Duphilly, 20, was riding his bike on South Main Street when he was struck from behind by a vehicle that drove up onto the sidewalk and then drove off. Detective Sgt. Arthur Brillon said that the vehicle was a black sedan, which could have been a black Ford Taurus. Police are asking anyone who was near the scene of the hit-and-run accident at 456 South Main Street on Thursday night to contact the authorities.

According to authorities, Duphilly was flung into the air due to the collision and landed on the sidewalk. He was taken to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence for numerous injuries, but none were life-threatening. He was released after treatment for stitches, an abrasion on his back, a gash behind his ear, and multiple bruises.

Duphilly´s cousin was with him at the time of the accident. He was riding his bike behind Duphilly and witnessed the accident but was not injured.

Police report that the driver did not stop after hitting Duphilly and fled the scene of the accident. He continued north on South Main Street in the direction of Attleboro´s city center. Because of the nature of the accident, it is possible that the car sustained damage on the front of the vehicle which could help police to identify both the vehicle and the driver.

The accident continues to be under investigation by officers Joseph Ryan, Brett Poirier, and Sgt. James MacDonald while police search for the vehicle and driver.

The 20-year-old victim stated, “I would like to know what he was on and I want him to get caught.”

According to Massachusetts General Law, Part I, Title XIV, Chapter 90, Section 24, the first offense for knowingly fleeing the scene of an accident is: “a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not less than thirty days nor more than two years, or both.”

We have seen this spring and summer an increase of bicycle accidents in and around the Commonwealth. The warm weather, the expensive gas prices, and the exercise that bicycle riding provides leads to many more cyclists in the warmer seasons. In this case, the victim was very fortunate that the injuries weren’t life threatening.

The victim will still have to deal with his injuries and damage to his bicycle. There are different insurance avenues that one goes through when hit on a bicycle, and the issues become even more complex when the vehicle leaves the scene. For instance did the bicycle rider have an automobile policy, did a household member have an active insurance policy? Did anyone get the license plate of the vehicle? These among many other issues need to be identified to successfully assist someone that has been hit while riding a bike.

If you have been injured in a Massachusetts bicycle accident or involved in an accident with a bike and car, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts bicycle accident lawyer.

Sources:

Bicyclist struck by hit-and-run car, WPRI.com, July 16, 2011
Police seek help in crash probe, The Sun Chronicle, July 16, 2011
Massachusetts General Laws, Part I, Title XIV, Chapter 90, Section 24

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Keeping Safe on the Roads; May is National Bike Safety Month

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