At 7:23 a.m. on April 9, a 47-year-old Salem man was struck by an MBTA bus near the old District Court building. He was traveling down Federal Street towards Washington Street when he was said to have crossed into traffic and was hit by the bus. His bicycle collided with the front right side of the bus. The man was coming from the direction of the municipal parking lots in back of the old courthouse when he rode out of Federal Street and into the path of on-coming traffic, resulting in yet another of the mass transit accidents that often plague metropolitan areas in Massachusetts.
The bus operator, a 51-year-old Stoneham man, was traveling inbound at the time of the crash. The bicyclist sustained serious traumatic injuries and was rushed to Salem Hospital, where he was then flown to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He apparently did not wear a helmet at the time of the accident. The man remained in critical condition at the hospital on the day following the accident.
As with similar mass transit accidents, the MBTA and local police were both investigating, though no theories were advanced about the cause or causes of the collision. Efforts were being made to reconstruct the accident in an attempt to determine exactly what happened. While headphones said to belong to the bicyclist were found at the accident scene, it was not known if the victim was wearing them when the accident occurred. No charges were filed in the immediately aftermath of the incident, and the MBTA refused to comment on their employee's driving record or his current duties.
Massachusetts personal injury law provides civil recourse for injured parties related to a car crash or mass transit accidents against parties whose negligence caused or contributed to an accident. A successful personal injury claim typically includes monetary damages for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses, as well as related pain and suffering. As the bicyclist begins what may be a long road to recovery, he will likely look to the police report and other evidence to assess whether or not such a claim is appropriate in these unfortunate circumstances.
Source: Gloucester Times, "Bicyclist struck, seriously injured by MBTA bus," Julie Manganis and Bethany Bray, April 10, 2012