Wednesday, June 12, 2024

A mangled Bluebike lies at Mount Auburn and DeWolfe streets in Cambridge after a Friday crash with a truck. (Photo: Ken Carlson)

A bicyclist died after being hit by a truck at around 4:30 p.m. Friday at Mount Auburn and DeWolfe streets, south of Harvard Square in the Riverside neighborhood, according to police.

Cambridge and state police are investigating, said Cambridge Police Department spokesperson Robert Goulston. The name of the victim hasn’t been released, but was identified late Friday as a 55-year-old Florida woman.

The woman was on a rented Bluebike near St. Paul’s Parish when a truck with no side guards turned right across a cyclist going straight across the intersection, according to the Cambridge Bicycle Group. A member was on the scene shortly after the crash, along with several police officers. A preliminary investigation suggested that the truck and bicycle were traveling the same direction on Mount Auburn and the truck turned onto DeWolf Street, police said.

First responders treated the woman on the scene and took her to CHA Cambridge Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The truck operator remained on scene, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Cambridge police commissioner Christine Elow said in a 9:12 p.m. mail confirming an investigation was underway.

The most recent previous death of a bicyclist was in Somerville, as Stephen Conley, 72, died in August 2022 on Broadway near Teele Square from a “dooring” incident – the driver of an SUV opened a car door and hit him. A month before that, Cantabrigian George Clemmer was killed in a collision with a dump truck in Boston. Paula Sharaga, died February 19 in a traffic crash in Boston when a cement truck hit her bicycle in an intersection.

There have been previous truck deaths in Cambridge, including of Matthew Barker in a parking lot in The Port near Central Square in September 2022; Darryl Willis in August 2020 by a tractor-trailer near the Harvard Square T Station; Jie Zhao, killed by a dump truck in October 2018 in Cambridgeport; and Bernard “Joe” Lavins, who was hit by a tractor-trailer in October 2016 in Porter Square.

The Cambridge Bicycle Safety group gave a statement Friday evening: “We are heartbroken to hear of the fatal crash involving a person riding a bike in Cambridge today. We extend our deepest condolences to their family and friends. Cambridge Bicycle Safety remains committed to a future where no one needs to endure such tragedies. We have more to do to improve our infrastructure to make our streets safe for everyone who travels them.”