Visiting MIT scientist killed after bike hit by truck

A cyclist was killed in the Fenway Sunday, and another collision in South Boston earlier in the afternoon left two pedestrians with serious injuries, police said.

Boston police did not identify the cyclist who was killed after being hit by a truck, but the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said in a statement Sunday that Kanako Miura, a 36-year-old visiting scientist at the university, “died in a bicycle accident.”

Boston police Officer Katherine Shea said the victim in the bike crash was struck by an unidentified truck near Beacon Street and Charlesgate West at about 3:30 p.m. and that the truck drove away. Shea said police had spoken to several witnesses.


The cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene, police  said.

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Officer James Kenneally declined to describe the case as a hit-and-run, and said the crash remains under investigation.

The death came just four days after Mayor Thomas M. Menino made a pledge to cut the cyclist crash injury rate by 50 percent by 2020.

The goal was announced after city officials released a report that compiled years of ­data on bike collisions in the city, including statistics on crash locations and times, helmet use, and bicyclist and motorist behavior. The report also contained a number of recommendations to improve bike safety; five cyclists died in crashes in Boston in 2012.

Miura, a native of Japan, had been at MIT since the fall of 2012. Within the university’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, she worked in the lab of Russ Tedrake, an associate professor of computer science and engineering, the statement from MIT said.


“Our hearts go out to her friends and colleagues at MIT, and especially the Miura family, who must absorb this terrible loss from so far away,” L. Rafael Reif, MIT president, said in a statement. Tedrake could not be reached Sunday.

The two pedestrians who were struck in South Boston had serious, but non-life-threatening injuries after they were hit by a taxi, authorities said.

The women, both 23, were walking in a crosswalk at Seaport Lane and Congress Street at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday when they were hit. They were taken to Tufts Medical Center, State Trooper Reid Bagely said.

As of Sunday night, no citations had been issued and no charges filed against the 48-year-old Boston man who was driving the taxi, Bagely said, adding that the case remains under investigation.

South Boston resident John Bozarjian said he and his wife witnessed the crash and were interviewed by police.


Bozarjian said he told police that his car was stopped behind several other vehicles, which were all stopped to allow a group of people, led by the two women, to cross the street.

A taxi, which had been in the line a few cars back from the crosswalk, quickly pulled around the other cars and “slammed on the gas,” Bozarjian said. He said that he witnessed the moment the women were hit by the taxi, and that each was knocked several feet in the air.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “It was traumatizing.”

In another case, a vehicle rolled over onto its side after hitting a curb near Corey and Jordan roads in Brighton shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday, Kenneally said.

Two of the vehicle’s occupants had injuries not considered life-threatening.

Globe correspondent Alli Knothe contributed to this report. Matt Rocheleau can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @mrochele.