16 Seconds: The Killing of Anita Kurmann

Yesterday, MassBike, along with a team of investigative partners, released a video to challenge a police investigation that failed to charge a truck driver in the 2015 death of Dr. Anita Kurmann.

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The police investigation put 100 percent of the blame on Dr. Kurmann, a renowned endocrinologist killed on Aug. 7, 2015. That morning, a truck driver swept right from Massachusetts Avenue in Boston and turned onto Beacon Street, crushing the surgeon under the rear wheels.

No charges have been filed against Matthew Levari of New Jersey, the driver of the 18-wheel truck that killed Kurmann. Despite repeated requests to the Boston Police Department to review the investigation no progress has been made.

In releasing this video, we've shifted the conversation. The public, the media, and public officials have taken notice. 

Dr. Kurmann is one of 33 people who have been killed while riding a bicycle in Massachusetts since 2015. In 28 cases no charges were brought. In the five cases that were brought only two resulted in convictions. In the nine cases (more than 27%) where professional drivers operating large trucks killed a person riding a bike, charges were not brought.

While we know that there are other pieces to the puzzle in working towards safer roadways, right now we need to focus on enforcement. We need the police and District Attorneys of the Commonwealth to properly investigate crashes and hold drivers accountable.

What can you do to help?

  1. Put the pressure on - Share the video on social media. The video and supporting documents can be found here. Tag the Boston Police Department when you post to Facebook or Twitter.

  2. Email the Boston Police Department - Email the text below or use your own to mediarelations@pd.boston.gov:

Dear Commissioner Evans and Superintendent Detective Greg Long,

I am writing to ask that you reopen the investigation of the killing of bicyclist Dr. Anita Kurmann. Upon seeing the video and accompanying documents presented by MassBike (available here: massbike.org/16seconds) it is unfathomable that not a single citation was issued to the driver of the 18-wheel truck.

To place 100 percent of the blame on Dr. Kurmann is grotesquely unfair and inaccurate. If drivers are not held accountable for their actions on our roadways then all vulnerable road users will continue to be in danger.

Sincerely,
(your name here)

3. Email Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley - Email the text below or use your own and send to SuffolkCommRelations@massmail.state.ma.us:

Dear District Attorney Conley,

I am writing to ask that you reopen the investigation of the killing of bicyclist Dr. Anita Kurmann. Upon seeing the video and accompanying documents presented by MassBike (available here: massbike.org/16seconds) it is unfathomable that the Boston Police Department did not issue a single citation and that charges have not been brought against the driver of the 18-wheel truck.

To place 100 percent of the blame on Dr. Kurmann is grotesquely unfair and inaccurate. If drivers are not held accountable for their actions on our roadways then all vulnerable road users will continue to be in danger. 

Sincerely,
(your name here)

We need your support to keep the pressure on.

Thanks to the hard work of our partners on this project who have made this initiative possible:

Richard Fries (author), Executive Director, Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition
Joel Feingold (author), Ride of Silence Boston & Brookline Town Meeting Member
Andrew Fischer (author), Attorney at Law, Jason & Fischer, and Bikeattorney.com
Alan Wright (author), Rozzie Bikes, Walk UP Roslindale
Peter Cheung (video editor), Boston Bike Party organizer

Showing 2 reactions

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  • Johnny Deacon
    commented 2018-01-27 19:44:50 -0500
    funny How that intersection video starts with a (not the doctor) bicycle asshole running a red light.

    That’s the inherent problem, these bike dickwads think they can jam traffic and disobey common safety and safety procedures and cut everyone off — all the cars knew not to pass on the inside, and lets not forget, she passed all those cars IN her lane, eg, cut in line, cause she thinks shes special.

    this bike person just thought she had extra rights…and the group that posted this video is part of why she thinks she has/deserves extra rights.

    They show a video of a bike overtaking a truck, and then post a law that specifically talks about a vehicle overtaking a bike — and I assume that’s the best they can do, because you don’t post an irrelevant law as if it’s relivant if you have a better one.

    Also if they were trying to make some point about if he might have passed her earlier, the words “overtake, and then” imply immediacy in a court of law, eg. Once the overtaking maneuver was completed, if there was any intervening time, there is no “and then”.

    Your advocacy and telling people who are clearly wrong that they are right, is in part to blame for this tragedy.
  • Tony Vallentine
    followed this page 2018-01-26 08:17:18 -0500

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