'It's Certainly Sobering': Cyclist Killed In Porter Square During Morning Commute

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Travelers in Porter Square Wednesday morning witnessed a grim scene during their morning commute: Another cyclist was killed in a crash with a tractor-trailer.

The victim was 60-year-old Bernard Lavins, of Lexington. Officials have not released details of the crash.

The 18-wheeler blocked off a section of Massachusetts Avenue for most of the day. Underneath the truck's cab lay the crumpled remains of the bicycle.

Richard Fries of the advocacy group MassBike came upon the scene during his commute to downtown Boston.

"Suddenly I saw the aprons where they tried to obscure where the victim was, and then the moment you see that you realize, chances are this is a bike rider, which is really tragic," he said, speaking later in the day. "So many bike riders go through there."

Fries estimates three out of 10 commuters in Porter Square are cyclists — and the intersection can be treacherous.

"Judging by where they were, this truck hit this cyclist square on. The body was 60 feet behind and the bike was wedged under this guy's truck," Fries said.

The crash is being investigated by the Middlesex District Attorney's Office.

As investigators reconstructed the crash, David Olson got off his bike and walked it past the scene.

"It's certainly sobering. You keep your eyes open," he said. "I've got mirrors, I'm very cautious, I stop at all the red lights, I do everything properly and still folks don't really seem to notice you."

Another cyclist passing through Porter Square was Lucy Ngyen, who recently moved to Cambridge from Austin, Texas. She says she got into a serious accident in Austin, but she still decides to ride along Mass. Ave. every day.

"Cycling is a better way to get around," she said. "I just think as a cyclist you need to be more aware of your surroundings. Ever since I've been hit by a car I always assume that cars just don't see me."

Asked if the latest biking death will make them second guess riding in the area, both Olson and Ngyen insist that cycling is the best way to get around Boston.

This article was originally published on October 05, 2016.

This segment aired on October 5, 2016.


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Simón Rios Reporter
Simón Rios is an award-winning bilingual reporter in WBUR's newsroom.



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