Truck Driver Kills Cambridge Man Next to Symphony Hall in Boston
A truck driver struck and killed a Cambridge man while he was riding his bicycle through the intersection of Huntington and Massachusetts Avenues, near the Symphony Green Line station, on Wednesday afternoon.
Boston police told StreetsblogMASS that the dump truck driver drove into a man riding his bike through the intersection just after noon on Wednesday, July 13. The driver reportedly remained at the scene while EMTs transported the victim to a nearby hospital with serious injuries. Doctors later pronounced the victim dead.
On Friday afternoon, Sergeant Detective John Boyle of the Boston Police Department told StreetsblogMASS that the victim had been identified as George Luis Clemmer, 71, of Cambridge.
Video of the crime scene from WCVB shows yellow police tape surrounding a dump truck parked in the eastbound lanes of Huntington Avenue just east of its intersection with Massachusetts Avenue.
Steve Cooper, a WHDH reporter, captured a photograph of a mangled bike frame on the sidewalk in front of 236 Huntington Avenue.
Cooper also referred to the killing as a “bike accident,” in violation of broadly accepted professional standards that urge reporters to avoid exonerating the drivers who are responsible for crashes.
— Steve Cooper (@scooperon7) July 13, 2022
Massachusetts Avenue, a major north-south bike route between Cambridge, Back Bay, the South End, and Dorchester, features a paint-only bike lane at this intersection. However, Boston officials have been collaborating with the MBTA to build sidewalk-level protected bike lanes on this section of Massachusetts Avenue as part of an upcoming MBTA project to build new elevators for the Symphony Green Line station.
Eliza Parad, Director of Organizing and Operations for the Boston Cyclists Union, noted that large trucks are a disproportionate cause of crashes that kill bicycle riders in the Boston region – including an April 2020 killing that happened a few blocks away on Massachusetts Avenue at Harrison Street.
“Every year, we work on a bill in the legislature that would require safer trucks with side-guards and better rear-view mirrors,” said Parad. “It’s not controversial, but we’ve been working on it since 2018, but somehow the legislature can’t get it done.”
The legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation has endorsed this year’s versions of that legislation, House bill 3549 and Senate bill 2636, but both bills are currently stalled in the House and Senate Ways and Means Committees, which are chaired by Rep. Aaron Michlewitz and Sen. Michael J. Rodrigues, respectively.
This story was updated on Friday, July 15 at 5:50 p.m. to include the victim’s identity.