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Outcome of August Hit-and-Run in Wellesley Angers Cycling Community

Before the crash, Patch readers voted the Weston Road-Linden Street intersection one of the most dangerous in Wellesley.

 

A Massachusetts grand jury returned no indictments against truck driver Dana McCoomb in the Weston Road hit-and-run from last year. The Boston Globe reports that the area cycling community is reacting with anger to this case.

During the trial, Wellesley Police Chief Terrence Cunningham tells the Globe he got the impression that one juror did not understand that, in this situation, the driver of the truck was obligated to yield to the cyclist.

“Personally, I don’t feel they [the grand jury] followed the law,” Chief Cunningham said to the Globe. “But that’s the process.”

Warning against speculating on the jury's decision, Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey added that he thinks there may be an overall bias against cyclists, although he is not certain whether that was a factor in this case.

In addition to a perceived bias, cyclists also have to contend with safety issues.

A cyclist, , “We’re vulnerable out there, these cars are 2,000 pounds.”

See the full story on the Boston Globe

In September, Boston Magazine also said "There has to be some accountability." Word is that the victim's family intends to file a civil suit.

The case comes from last August, when Wellesley cyclist Alexander Motsenigos lost his life after being struck by a passing truck on a summer afternoon, at the intersection of Linden Street and Weston Road. Motsenigos, 41, was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, but sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported to Newton-Wellesley Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police also investigated the scene for more than a month afterward, with the intent of bringing charges against the driver. Over the course of several days of testimony and reports of witnesses, the grand jury elected not to indict.

A memorial was set up at the site during the week following the crash, and passing cyclists and fellow Pan-Mass Challenge riders stopped to pay their respects to Motsenigos. A Ghost Bike memorial was also briefly put in place at the scene. 

In July, before the crash, Patch readers voted that intersection one of the most dangerous in Wellesley.

Michael February 19, 2013 at 08:02 PM
http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/local/12009771306720/wrongful-death-suit-filed-in-wellesley-bike-accident/ Watch the 16 second video included in this WHDH coverage carefully, full screen is optimal. You will see the trucker clearly behind the cyclist and attempt an aggressive pass in a short distance before the road narrows dangerously. If you doubt the criminality of the driver go ride a bike through the intersection and imagine a huge truck trying to pass you where the road narrows and bends. What is your opinion after seeing this video? Are you familiar with that road? The driver said he was and said he saw the cyclist. Yet, he attempted to pass at that point with total disregard for the safety of the cyclist. Would you have passed in that situation? Would 1 in 100 people attempt to pass in that situation? Would 1 in 1000 truckers driving a big rig try to pass in that situation?
JsMM February 19, 2013 at 08:16 PM
Judging from the utter inability to write in proper English,this guy is either Dana Mccoomb of East Wareham or a friend of his. Dana Mccoomb killed a productive member of the society. That is Dana Mccoomb's crowning achievement after 20+ years of vehicular infractions, including 2 surchargeable accidents in the 10 months prior to killing Alex Motsenigos, DWIs, destroying property and leaving the scene and oh so much more. Dana Mccoomb essentially believes that he got away with murder. Justice has an elephantine memory though.
JsMM February 19, 2013 at 08:26 PM
@John Casy SHAME ON YOU. You are clearly uneducated and incapable of a cogent argument on the topic. You are the problem. When citizens of your intellectual caliber are asked to participate in Grand Juries, it is no wonder that justice is not served. Bias trumps reason and evidence. To add insult to injury CJ Mabardy of Cambridge hired and defended the hiring of such an incompetent driver as Dana Mccoomb. What a judiciary travesty...
JsMM February 19, 2013 at 08:34 PM
@Bob. Thank you for your thoughtful response.
Mike Brennan February 19, 2013 at 09:57 PM
The sad part of your idiotic comments is that you don't seem to recognize the tragedy for all involved here regardless of fault. That said, current laws allow cyclists to ride on the road. It's actually against the law for them (us) to ride on sidewalks. But let me guess, you're the guy who brakes for a squirrel in the middle of the road and then 1/4 mile later goes into a rage about a couple of guys (or women) on bikes, maybe getting in shape for a cancer ride, flips them the bird and then tries to rub them off the road. You're a credit to humanity.

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