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Cyclist killed by truck in Cambridge, Massachusetts identified as MIT student

Cyclists call for Cambridge to do more to protect them after bike rider is hit and killed by truck
Cyclists call for Cambridge to do more to protect them after bike rider is hit and killed by truck 02:17

CAMBRIDGE - The cyclist who was hit and killed by a truck Friday in Cambridge has been identified as her death renews a conversation about safety for cyclists.

MIT student hit and killed by truck

Police said the victim, identified by family as 24-year-old Minh-Thi Nguyen, was riding through the intersection of Hampshire and Portland streets Friday morning when a truck making a right onto Portland Street collided with her bicycle. She was taken to Mass General Hospital, where she died from her injuries. The truck driver remained on the scene.

Nguyen was a student at MIT. Flowers have been placed at the intersection where Nguyen died. Her death has left cyclists in Cambridge devastated and calling for the city to do more to protect riders.

"Sometimes it feels unsafe, I bike very slow," said Cambridge resident Zack Facco. "You've got people just pulling in and out all the time and so we've got all these bike lanes, which are great, but people park in them all the time and pull into them all the time, which can be tough. I feel for them, there's nothing you can really say for them but it's terrible."

Implementing Vision Zero

Cambridge's Vision Zero aims to reduce roadway fatalities by implementing 20 miles per hour speed limits, prohibiting right turns at red lights and improving bike lanes. This included a project along Hampshire Street that was completed in the last few months.

"It's just really heartbreaking," said Cambridge Vice Mayor Marc McGovern. He said city car ownership is down while cycling is becoming more popular by the day and infrastructure changes may not be enough to make a difference.

"We have a lot of people using our roads in lots of different ways and our roads really aren't built for a lot of that usage," said McGovern. "We need to slow down, we need to be more attentive."

"To know that it's somebody who's 24, a Ph.D student at MIT with her whole life ahead of her, it's just so heartbreaking," said Cambridge bike safety group volunteer Christopher Cassa. He suggested adding pedestrian islands to slow drivers down and increase visibility through intersections. "Drivers are usually going on the turns just a little bit too quickly and they can't see people. I couldn't believe it happened again, it's really a tragic, heartbreaking incident."

Police said the crash investigation remains open. It's not clear if the truck driver will face any charges. 

Vigil and call for action

Bikes lined the sidewalk in front of Cambridge City Hall Monday. The community gathered for a ceremony that was part vigil, part call to action. Earlier this month Kim Stanley was killed while riding a bike. The mother of two was on vacation from Florida.

Nguyen was in a bike lane on Hampshire Street that was created within the last six months.

Cambridge cycling advocates call for safety changes after deadly crashes 02:05

"I think the support of you all here is a perfect reflection of the deep community she sought to build," said Nguyen's boyfriend Nick Krasnow.

Nguyen was ranked as one of the top students in the country, her friends and family feel like she was just getting started.

"Cars don't own the roads. The roads are for everybody," McGovern said. "We have to understand that modes of transportation are changing."  

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