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Bicyclist Struck, Killed By Garbage Truck In Center City

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Philadelphia police say a woman was killed Tuesday morning, while riding along the Spruce Street bicycle lane, in Center City.

Police Capt. Sekou Kinebrew says accident investigators spent the better part of the day reconstructing what happened, like whether the driver of a large, privately owned sanitation truck failed to yield to the cyclist.

"That's one of the things Accident Investigation Division is looking at to see what, if any motor vehicle violations were committed in this incident," Kinebrew said.

It happened just before 7:30 a.m. as the truck was making a right hand turn at 11th and Spruce Streets, just as the cyclist was continuing westbound on Spruce, along the bike lane.

There is a "No Turn On Red" sign at that intersection.

The victim was identified as 24-year old Emily Fredricks, who lived nearby at 7th and South Streets.

"What we know is that the truck made contact with the cyclist while she was on her bike," Kinebrew said.

Sarah Clark Stuart, the executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, is deeply saddened.

"Anytime anyone loses their life by just going out about their business on our city streets is a horrible tragedy," she said.

Stuart says cycling advocates will remember the victim with a vigil Wednesday at 5 p.m., at the scene.

She says the Spruce and Pine Street bike lanes in Center City, first installed in 2009, have "traffic calmed" those roads, and reduced the number of accidents involving motorists.

Stuart says one step advocates seek at tight intersections is expanding the corner curb, for vehicles to make wider turns.

The city has signed on to a Vision Zero policy, to reduce serious and fatal crashes, through better road design, education, and traffic safety enforcement.

The city says more than 50 percent of traffic-related deaths are a result of aggressive driving, which includes speeding and failure to yield.



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