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Watertown bicyclist hurt in Newton crash

Posted by Sarah Thomas  June 1, 2010 10:46 AM

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A 40-year-old bicyclist from Watertown escaped life-threatening injuries last Thursday after colliding with a car on Commonwealth Avenue and becoming trapped beneath the vehicle, police said.

The male cyclist was wearing a helmet when the accident occurred at 6:20 p.m., police said.

‘‘The vehicle was making a turn into a driveway when the cyclist came up on the right-hand side,’’ said Lieutenant Bruce Apotheker of the Newton Police Department. ‘‘No citations were issued, because we don't believe there was a chance for the driver to see the cyclist before turning.’’

Apotheker said the first officer on the scene was not from Newton, but from Wayland. Patrolman Tyler Castagno was off-duty and on his way to Waltham when he saw the accident take place in front of him.

‘‘I was driving and I saw this red Corolla knock over a bike, and the cyclist went under the car,’’ Castagno said. ‘‘I got the driver's attention, because she was trying to back up, which would have made things worse, then some other bystanders and I helped lift her car and free the cyclist.’’

The cyclist was transported to a hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening, police said.

Police said they are not releasing the name of the cyclist or of the operator of the vehicle, whom they describe as a 41-year-old Newton resident.

Earlier this month, Commonwealth Avenue came under scrutiny for the dangers it presents to cyclists when 21-year-old Andrew Von Guerard was killed after a collision with a car on May 18, just before the start of Boston's Bike Week. Another bicyclist was struck and killed by a bus on April 7.

‘‘There are hundreds of bike-related injuries reported every year, and probably many more that are never reported,’’ said David Watson, executive director of MassBike, at the time of Von Guerard's accident. ‘‘While we can never eliminate danger, we can change both the designs of our roads to make the streets safer for bicyclists, motorists, and pedestrians.’’

Sarah Thomas can be reached at sarah.m.thomas@gmail.com.

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