Student Cyclist Struck by Car

Hospitalized with head injury after Comm Ave accident

BOSTON – An 18-year-old BU student was rushed to Brigham and Women’s Hospital with a head injury early Wednesday evening after being struck by a car while riding her bike on Comm Ave at Buick Street.

Witnesses said the victim was in the bike lane when she was hit; she was thrown onto the hood of the car, and her head smashed the windshield.

Police declined to identify the victim.

The driver of the car, a 21-year-old BU student who has lived in the Boston area for four years, was issued a criminal citation for failing to report his address change to the Registry of Motor Vehicles and failing to obtain a Massachusetts driver’s license. The state Department of Transportation requires that drivers whose primary residence is in Massachusetts obtain a license within 30 days of becoming a resident.

According to a report filed by Boston police, the victim was heading west on Comm Ave at about 6 p.m. when she was hit by a 2011 BMW crossing the road from Buick Street.

Eddy Chrispin, a spokesperson for the Boston Police Department, says the impact shattered the car’s windshield. He says the cyclist, who was not wearing a helmet, was taken by ambulance to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she is undergoing treatment for a head injury that police say is not life-threatening.

Officers from the Boston Police Department, the BU Police Department, and the Boston Fire Department responded to the call for help. “The woman was conscious and somewhat alert,” says Sgt. Patrick Nuzzi of the BUPD. Nuzzi was flagged down by a BU bus driver who saw the accident. Nuzzi found the victim seated at the curb, talking to a person who identified himself as a doctor. The damaged car was up on the curb, Nuzzi says, and the driver was so emotionally distraught that Boston police had someone drive him home.

Nuzzi says he’s alarmed by the number of cyclists who don’t wear helmets. “I can’t tell you how many people I ask every day, why aren’t you wearing a helmet?” he says. He stresses that cyclists and motorists must learn to share the road. “Drivers aren’t checking their mirrors, and bikes run red lights,” he says. “There’s a lot of ignorance on both sides.”

The intersection at Buick Street and Comm Ave, between Student Health Services and FitRec, is one of several on the Charles River Campus where the road bears a painted “Look Left for Bikes” sign, part of an effort to make drivers and pedestrians aware of the increasing number of cyclists. According to a 2010 study conducted by the University, the number of cyclists on the Charles River Campus increased 64 percent in the previous three years. The Boston Police Department reported 340 bicycle accidents citywide in 2010, including 6 fatalities. The same year, cyclists reported 118 accidents at Comm Ave and the BU Bridge, according to Boston Bikes, a program administered by the mayor’s office. Comm Ave was listed as the most dangerous road in Boston for cyclists in the Boston Bikes annual accident survey for 2009.