Bicyclist struck and killed by tractor-trailer truck in South Boston
A woman bicyclist in her mid-30s was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer truck on busy West Broadway in South Boston on Monday afternoon, police said.
The truck ran over the woman, who was not identified, in the area of West Broadway and A Street, between Amrheins Restaurant and a Gulf gas station, at about 3:55 p.m., said David Estrada, Boston police spokesman. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
It appeared that the woman was riding her bike on A Street heading toward Dorchester Avenue, Estrada said. When she tried to take a left onto West Broadway, she came into contact with a tire on the tractor-trailer, which was also turning left at the intersection, and she was run over, he said.
After 5 p.m., waves of commuters emerged from the nearby Broadway MBTA station and made their way down that street to be turned away at a police line about 30 feet from A Street.
The truck sat at the edge of the Gulf station lot, its right front panel and tires covered by several large pieces of cloth. Under the truck, between the cab and the trailer, a single bicycle tire was visible.
Witnesses who saw the immediate aftermath of the accident described a horrific sight.
John Libonati, co-owner of the Social Wines shop at the corner of West Broadway and A Street, said he looked out his window and saw a man jumping up and down, very upset. The man, he said, appeared to have been bicycling alongside the woman who was hit.
Libonati said he saw the woman under the truck for just a moment, but had to turn away. “I just saw a mangled body underneath the truck,” he said, as his eyes began to tear.
A man named Buddy, who declined to give his last name, was standing with a friend one block up Broadway outside The Cornerstone Pub when they saw the commotion, he said. The men walked to A Street, where Buddy “took a quick look” and also had to look away.
“I walked up there, and she was under the truck,” he said. “She was pinned under there.”
Libonati said he has complained to the city about problems with tractor-trailer trucks using the tight intersection, and he has seen a large truck get stuck there when it was hemmed in by an illegally parked car.
The driver of the truck remained on the scene following the accident and was interviewed by officers. The truck belongs to R+L Carriers of Ohio. A woman who answered the phone at the trucking company’s Canton office Monday night declined to comment.
A spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said the driver had not been charged Monday evening.
The accident occurred on the first day of the third annual Massachusetts Car-Free Week, in which state officials encourage residents to bicycle, walk, take public transportation, or carpool to help reduce carbon emissions.
Dot Joyce, a spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas M. Menino, said, “The full efforts of the city were at the scene today and will continue to review and investigate the circumstances surrounding this incident. The mayor is committed to having a city that is safe and welcoming to all vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians.”
Monday’s fatality follows several accidents that took place locally over the summer in which bicyclists were killed when struck by motor vehicles. Boston police were not able to immediately provide statistics on bicycle-related fatalities Monday night.