Bicycling has become a growing recreational activity and mode of transportation in Massachusetts during the last several years. In light of this growth, the Commonwealth has undertaken several plans to provide bicyclists with safe access to Massachusetts roadways, including designated bicycle lanes and increased education for motorists. Still, in 2013 alone, nearly 750 bicyclists were killed across the United States in bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles.
Eighteen-year-old Fritz Philogene was killed Tuesday night while riding his bicycle on a familiar Dorchester, Massachusetts road. He was just a block away from his home. He had been approaching the three-way intersection where Talbot Avenue, Norwell Street, and New England Avenue all meet. Suddenly, a white Cadillac rear-ended a BMW that had been stopped at the red light, forcing both vehicles to go crashing through the intersection. Philogene did not have time to avoid the crash. Although witnesses attempted to revive Philogene using CPR, he could not be saved, and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The at-fault driver of the white Cadillac, 27-year-old Gregory McCoy, fled the scene of the bicycle accident. Leaving behind one of the car’s axles and even one of its wheels, he was not difficult to track down. According to the Boston Globe, police are thanking the witnesses who were able to provide even more information about the driver, assisting police to make a faster arrest. Ultimately, McCoy was arrested at his mother’s home just four hours after the fatal hit-and-run car accident.
Police later learned that McCoy does not now, and in fact never has had, a valid license to operate a motor vehicle. During his arraignment, McCoy pled not guilty to all charges, including charges of motor vehicle homicide, leaving the scene of an accident causing death, and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. Because McCoy was already on probation dealing with a prior case, he has been sentenced to a nine-month jail term. These additional charges, however, could put him in jail for many more years to come.