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Driver Kills 69-Year Old Man Next to Northampton High School

End of the bike lane on Elm Street Northampton

A one-block gap in the painted on-street bike lane next to Northampton High School was the site of a fatal crash on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2021, when a driver struck and killed a 69-year-old man riding a bicycle.

A driver struck and killed a 69-year-old victim on Wednesday afternoon on Elm Street in Northampton, near the intersection with Woodlawn Avenue in front of Northampton High School.

According to the Northwestern District Attorney’s office, the apparent perpetrator, a 23-year-old woman from Haydenville, struck her victim, who was riding a bicycle, around 4:15 p.m.

Photos of the crash scene taken by Carol Lollis of the Hampshire Daily Gazette show a mangled bike resting on a low, mountable median island in the middle of Elm Street, and a Hyundai sedan stopped a few yards ahead, facing west. A spray-painted "x" labelled "BIKE" is visible in the middle of the westbound travel lane of Elm Street.

Elm Street extends west from Main Street in downtown Northampton, past the Smith College campus, to Northampton High School. From there, it continues as North Elm Street past the Cooley Dickinson Hospital campus.

Elm and North Elm both have painted, unprotected bike lanes for most of their length. But those bike lanes disappear for a one-block segment in front of the high school, at the site of Wednesday's crash.

According to Google Street View imagery, the bike lane gap is marked with a small yellow "share the road" sign.

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