Cyclist killed is identified as BU graduate student
A Boston University graduate student riding a bicycle was fatally struck by a dump truck Friday morning in Cambridge on the Boston line near the Museum of Science, officials said.
State Police said the cyclist, a 24-year-old Cambridge man, was hit around 8:12 a.m. at the intersection of Museum Way and Monsignor O’Brien Highway. The victim, whose name was withheld pending family notification, was later pronounced dead at Massachusetts General Hospital, troopers said in a statement.
BU Today, the official news website of the university, identified the cyclist as Meng Jin, a graduate student from Shanghai.
“We are extremely sad about this most unfortunate accident,” said Kenneth Elmore, the associate provost and dean of students at the university, in a statement that was featured on BU Today. “The university’s thoughts and prayers are with the student’s family.”
State Police identified the driver of the truck as a 50-year-old man from Leicester. It wasn’t known if he will be charged with any crimes or cited for any motor vehicle infractions.
“Preliminary investigation has revealed that the truck was stopped at the intersection of Museum Way and O’Brien Highway, waiting to take a right turn onto Museum Way from O’Brien Highway,” the release said. “The bicyclist was also stopped, on the right side of the truck, waiting to take the same turn. When both the truck and bicyclist began to make their right turn, the bicyclist was struck by a tire of the truck. . . . The name of the truck driver will not be released until the investigation determines if charges will be filed.”
The 2016 Western Star truck was operated by Roach Trucking. A call to Roach seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned on Friday.
Gladis Zelaya, 32, of Everett said she saw the aftermath of the crash and was troubled by the scene.
“We saw the bike and the blood,” she said, adding that three or four cruisers had rushed to the crash site. “It’s very scary.”
Police closed portions of travel lanes while they investigated, and the bicycle and truck remained at the scene for more than two hours. The truck was parked nearby with its hood pushed forward, exposing the engine. The bicycle was removed shortly after 10:30 a.m., and the truck was towed away around 11:10 a.m.
“Witness interviews, evidence collection, and collision reconstruction [are] ongoing,” State Police spokesman David Procopio wrote in an e-mail shortly before noon.
Cyclist Pauline Lim of Somerville rode past the crash site later Friday morning and said the cycling community is pushing for more protections on city roads.
“There’s constantly stuff going on to try to get more protective bike lanes,” Lim said.
She said she always stays on the sidewalk when she rides that particular stretch of O’Brien Highway.
The group Cambridge Bicycle Safety said in a statement that news of the crash was saddening.
“We cannot imagine the pain and grief that the victim’s family will be dealing with soon and for the rest of their lives,” the release said. “Our hearts go out to them.”
The group said at least 10 people have been killed while walking or biking in Cambridge since 2015.
“The status quo is unacceptable and our residents deserve safe streets on which to walk, bike, and drive,” the organization said. “The City of Cambridge has a bicycle plan which calls for safe, protected bicycle facilities on O’Brien Highway as part of a citywide network of 20 miles of protected bike lanes. Yet, at the current pace of implementation, it will be over 30 years before this network is complete.”
City officials, the group said, must speed up the process. The bike safety group also called for officials in Cambridge and Boston, as well as the state agencies that maintain state roads, to “work together to implement safe and improved bicycling facilities on all major commuting corridors connecting our communities. We must all work together to implement changes to our streets which will improve safety for everyone and avoid tragedies like this in the future.”