Sullivan Square Bicycle Fatality Leads to Criminal Charges

A biker was killed on Thursday near the Sullivan Square MBTA Station in Charlestown, Massachusetts, after he was struck by what witnesses described as a white sanitation truck with black lettering. The hit-and-run accident happened at the busy intersection of Cambridge Street and Spice Street at about 1:40 pm, on Thursday, April 3, 2014.

Police later identified Ricky Prezioso of Swampscott as the driver who left the scene of the accident. Prezioso’s arraignment was sheduled to be held Friday morning in Chelsea District Court for leaving the scene of an accident after causing death. If found guilty, Prezioso could face imprisonment for 2 1/2 to 10 years and fines between $1,000 – $5,000.

In addition to the driver facing criminal responsibility, the owner of the commercial truck involved could face civil liability to the victim’s family. Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Reguldations, owners of certain types of commercial trucks that are used in the course of trade or commerce must ensure that their trucks meet minimum safety standards, are inspected regularly and that their drivers have ongoing training. Any misstep by an owner of a commercial truck could trigger tremendous exposure to the owner’s business.

According to the Boston Globe, this is the first bicycle fatality of the year in Boston. There were five other bicycle deaths in Boston in 2012. There was no accurate data for bicycle deaths in 2013 according to the news report.

MassBike, an advocacy group dedicated to promoting a bicycling friendly environment and encouraging bicycling fun, fitness and transportation, supported two pieces of legislation in 2013 to increase safety for bicyclists and other “vulnerable users.” The legislation identifies vulnerable users as bicyclists, pedestrians, wheel chair users and other non-motorized road users.

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