Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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MBTA bus involved in Allston biking incident that killed BU student

A Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority bus was involved in the incident that killed a Boston University bicyclist on Monday night, although an investigation is still ongoing to determine the exact details of the incident, officials said.

Although there is no confirmation that the bus directly hit the student, an MBTA bus was involved in the incident, said Suffolk District Attorney spokesman Jake Wark.

“Because it’s early on in the investigation, there are no clear cut set of facts,” Wark said.

Wark said investigators are conducting interviews with witnesses and tracking down surveillance tapes.

Collision reconstruction experts are working on tacking down the steps of the crash, which could take a few weeks, Wark said. The driver has not yet been charged with any offense.

“The facts and the circumstances from start to finish are under investigation both by Boston police collision reconstruction experts and by prosecutors experienced in motor vehicle fatalities,” Wark said.

The MBTA has removed a Route 57 bus driver, who has worked for the T for six years, from service while the investigation is ongoing.

MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said in an email on Tuesday that the driver of the bus was tested for drugs and alcohol, following standard procedure.

“There’s been no suggestion of wrongdoing on the part of last night’s bus driver,” he said.

When police officers arrived at the scene, the Boston Fire Department and the EMS were already at the scene, said Boston Police Department spokesman David Estrada.

The Boston police report did not indicate whether the victim was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, Estrada said.

The accident occurred at 6:36 p.m. on the corner of Brighton Avenue and Harvard Avenue, said BPD spokeswoman Neva Coakley on Monday.

Boston University spokesman Colin Riley confirmed on Tuesday morning that the biker was a BU student.

“This is just a terrible tragedy,” Riley said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family and friends.”

Pesaturo said on Monday that the BPD and the District Attorney’s office have taken over the investigation, with MBTA Transit Police assisting.

Police officers from District 4 in Brighton responded to the accident and upon arrival they observed a male victim who was seriously injured, Coakley said on Monday. The victim of the accident was transported to Beth Israel Hospital and was pronounced dead upon arrival.

The fatality follows two other incidents involving MBTA buses in the city over the past year.

A Boston College graduate student was killed in June after an MBTA bus hit her on Huntington Avenue, an incident Pesaturo said was not the fault of the driver.

“As far as the June incident on Huntington Avenue is concerned, investigators found no wrongdoing on the part of the bus driver,” Pesaturo said. “That bus driver has returned to work.”

In August, BU School of Management alumnus Steve Binnam Ha was hit by a Route 57 bus after witnesses saw him walk across the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Babcock Street when the bus had a green light.

“Witnesses said the bus was traveling through a green light at the time,” Pesaturo said about the August incident. “ The bus operator did nothing wrong.”

Pesaturo said the incidents in June and on Monday night do not demand a reevaluation of MBTA drivers.

As of Tuesday night, the name of the victim had not been released.

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